Well, this is not good…

Posted: August 30, 2011 in '36 Roadster

Going out to the campground night before last in the ’36, the road started to whine, and the car started to pull to the left.  That can only mean one thing, flat tire, and happily there was a farmhouse not 100 yards down the road, lights on, mercury vapor light over the garage, so I idled in under the light.

My reasoning for not carrying a spare, aside from the fact that there’s no place for one, the car has two different wheel bolt patterns, and two wildly different sized pairs of tires front and rear.  Cell  phone and a credit card should get me out of any possible jam, right? 

Well, right, except that there was no cell phone service where I was, and while the lights in the house were on, nobody answered the door (it was 10 pm, so I don’t blame them).

Across the street was another place, so I walked over there, and knocked on the back door.  The very pleasant gentleman who answered insisted I come in to use the phone, saying their cell phones don’t work at home either, and that he had som many guns, I should be the one who was worried, not him! 

I tried to call Kim who was at the campground, but there’s very poor cell service there as well, so she didn’t get the call.  My Dad did answer, and he was soon on the way with a small 12V compressor to rescue me. 

Meanwhile, the man whose house I was at offered me the use of a small portable compressor and air tank to see if I could air up the tire.  Thinking that might work, and kill some time while I waited, I headed across the street in the pitch black, carrying said compressor.  I could see the car in the yard light of the other, now dark house (how they didn’t seem notice me pulling in with a nearly mufflerless car, me getting out, knocking, and generally making racket, and not even come out to investigate is beyond me), and thinking I was at the drive, I headed for it.

I took one step off the shoulder of the road and pitched headlong into a deep ditch on my face.  I did manage to hang on to the little compressor, but got the wind knocked out of me, my jaw hit the ground so hard my teeth still hurt today, and laid there trying to catch my breath in the dark.   “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up”, I thought.

Happily, I caught my breath after a few moments, and continued to the car, where I found the valve stem was inside the rim, and couldn’t try to inflate it anyway.   I got in the car, fired it up (STILL no stirring from the house!) and idled across the street to the other house on a flat tire. 

These folks were happy to let me leave the car in their concrete, leve drive, hidden from the road, and Dad soon showed up and took me on to the campground, about 6 miles.  It’d have been a long, long walk in the middle of the night!

Yesterday, I had the tire broken down off the rim at Dewey’s Car Palace in Delton, and found that the tube had a tiny hole in the face.  It had goon soft enough I think on that curve that the tire rolled and pulled the valve stem in, which tore that, and the tire went flat pretty quickly.  It still had a little air when we broke it down. 

A new motorcycle tube from “Diggers” chopper shop in Kazoo had me all set, and the car was soon back on all four.  A happy ending, but there’s still no place for a spare, a jack, and tools. 

There’s no convenient time for tire trouble,  cell phones don’t always work, and people are sometimes afraid to answer the door in the country after dark.  Happily, I found somebody who wasn’t, who didn’t shoot me (!) and my Dad was able to come get me.

It’s good to be rescued!

  1. gene newton says:

    Hello Brian
    Well this story proves there are still good people everywhere in this world. Thank God.
    You really have to use your ingenuity and find a way to mount a spare tire even if it’s one
    of those space saver tires with extra holes drilled in the rim so you can mount it front or rear.
    As far as tools a 3/4 in. ratchet, with an extension, and socket to fit your lugnuts can be stored anywhere, glove box, door panel under your seat etc. or even a can
    of sealant air, I know that’s got me out of trouble a couple of times but anyway i’m glad your
    alright and you didn’t fall prey to some psycho killer Leatherface farmer.
    Oh by the way your truck is looking really good, keep up the good work I always look forward
    to your newsletter.
    My Regards

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