Tag Archives: automobiles

Automobile Modifications

My informant’s grandfather worked in auto shops, and had a lot of friends who did the same. Between them, they passed around tricks for modifying cars.

One technique was to put a spark plug in the exhaust pipe so that when pulling on the choke, the fuel would come out partially unburnt, causing fire to emerge from the exhaust.

Another was to turn around the back seat of the car and put belts on the steering wheel, then driving the car in reverse by using the belts to steer.

Apparently these men are frustrated that cars are no longer manufactured according to methods they understand, which makes sense, especially considering they can no longer use their know-how to modify their cars in the ways they might want to, as if a community they were a part of has been partially erased by industrial and technological progress. All that they really have left are their memories of the way people used to treat their cars, and perhaps their own preserved vehicles. As time marches on, traditional mechanics will likely find themselves left by the wayside even more, only strengthening the folk bonds that remain between them.