356 Small-Block & 1969 Chevy Chevelle Malibu - CHP Garage


Fuelin' Now And Then
Who knows what will happen with gas prices by the time this goes to print? I sure don't, but as gas prices creep down everywhere-it's below $3 here on the West Coast for the cheap stuff (87 octane)-we can all breathe a sigh of relief in the wallet and at the pump. What's strange though is how $3 seems cheap today, when just a year or two ago drivers were screaming bloody murder when prices hit $2.50 a gallon. Either way, hopefully prices will continue to decrease. But, like I mentioned before, who knows where the prices will end up? How are fuel prices in your neck of the woods? Let us know at chevyhiperformance.com.-SH

0902chp_04_z 356_small_block_1969_chevy_chevelle_malibu John_nelson 2/5

John Nelson

I've never been a Boy Scout. I mean that literally, as in I never joined up and earned badges and that sort of thing, and also figuratively, as in no one has ever mistaken me for a Boy Scout. For the most part, I can live with that, but there's one part I really wish I adhered to, and that's the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared. Especially since these days it seems like more often than not I'm quite simply unprepared.

I've been having a rough time in the transportation department lately. My daily driver truck-where I usually keep my tools, by the way-is laid up for some major repairs. I took the tools out, and today they're stuffed in a box in my bedroom. So, with my truck down and out, I charged up the battery in my Corvette and started driving that instead. I've let my Vette sit a lot the past year or so, and driving it again reminded me of how much I enjoy the old C4-right up until, in a moment of massive karmic justice, the fuel pump went out. And of course, none of the pile of fuel pumps borrowed for this month's story would work.

So I went for the contestant behind door number three, my '84 Z28. It's loud and doesn't get very good mileage, but it is pretty reliable. That is, until I'm heading home on Friday, totally dialed in to my iPod and not really paying attention to much else. Then I noticed that the temperature gauge was up at 250 degrees, and I headed directly for the nearest gas station.

The little beast had thrown its alternator belt, which also drives the water pump. I stepped into the local pizza joint while the car cooled down-then, since all my tools were in a box at home, I made a break for the local 24-hour Walmart. After spending about $30 on a socket set, screwdrivers, and a flashlight, I got the belt back in place and headed home. I was glad that the problem was something I could fix.

On the other hand, I keep thinking that I really should have been prepared with some basic tools stashed in the Camaro. It was a drag to have to spend money on tools I already own. I'm still no Boy Scout, but I guess now I'm at least somewhat prepared. As long as I leave the tools in the car, that is.


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