Of all the Chevrolets built, I think the ‘39 was the prettiest. I paid $145 for this dark green beauty and loved to drive it. But, even being careful, I couldn’t keep engines in it. There is some kind of harmonic dis-connect between my body and Chevrolet’s six cylinder engine. Others would drive like maniacs, winding the engines beyond engineered limits, but nursing mine around carefully only caused the engines to explode or start seriously knocking. There was a junkyard on Empire Way that had engines piled into mountains. I would climb around in the rain, pulling pans and shaking con rods until I found a good one. “Any engine in the pile, $20”, was the yard’s mantra.. One of the engines died a spectacular death. I was going up a long hill about 50MPH when I felt something strange. Just as I put in the clutch, “Clunk!”, the engine stopped. A con rod had let loose, knocking a hole in the side of the block. Time to climb the mountain again. Another time I loaned it to my friend Jimmy. When it came back, it was knocking again. I clambered over the mountain again, this time is a huge downpour; what fun!
Three things I remember about this car: #1, the vacuum assisted shifter didn’t work; it took lots of force to change gears. #2, I bought a set of new whitewall tires for this beauty, wearing the right rear totally bald within a month; it could really burn rubber! #3, I installed a split manifold on this car. Nothing beats the sound of a Chevy six with dual pipes! It could almost break windows, but the noise drowned out the rattle of loosening rods.
One day, I stopped for a stop sign, and as I began to go, I was rear-ended by a Buick, knocking me through the intersection. The seat broke, dumping my two friends and I into the trunk. My dual pipes lay on the ground and there was one small dent in the rear bumper. I felt so sorry for the kid that hit me since it was his dad’s car and he was going to be killed when he got home (the grill was knocked out of the Buick) that I didn’t do anything.
After the third engine, I decided that Chevrolet sixes and I were incompatible and sold it. How could something so beautiful be such a pain in the butt? Shades of female relationships to come?