Thursday, July 22, 2010

#23 - The Story of Mrs. Mayberry - Part 4

Picking up where we left off, with Mrs. Mayberry back on the road and us thoroughly enjoying her…We’ve won a “people’s choice” award, a second in class at an antique auto show and had her in a Christmas parade in Millington, TN…and the adventure is just beginning.

Since the time I originally wrote this story, we put another 6000 miles on Mrs. Mayberry and even drove her all the way to Branson, MO for a show. Unfortunately in 2005, time, and not being used for those 10 years, took its toll and the motor lost its compression. We just couldn’t get her cranked again. It wasn’t unexpected because getting 60,000 miles out of a car back in 1955 was doing pretty good, even for one that was maintained perfectly. It was still kind of sad, tho.

Due to a job change and relocating to Murfreesboro from Jackson, I wasn’t able to get to work on the motor until 2008. But work on her, we did. I had Mike’s Speed Shop do the machine work (by the way- those guys are great!) We bored her out, put hardened valve seats in and a new camshaft. I even found a decent ‘how-to’ book about the Ford Y-blocks and put a couple of tricks into the motor to keep her lubricated far better than she was out of the Ford factory.

Anyway, we got her going again and have been going to shows and cruise-ins for over 2 years now and but for a leaky top radiator hose, she has been just fine. We even drove her back to Mt. Airy to visit the daughter of the original owner- that was a 7 hour, 410 mile trip –one way. I must say that big old 281 (it was a 272 but we bored it out, remember?) just rolled on down the highway. She wasn’t designed for interstates because there weren’t any back in 1955, so we cruise down the State roads whenever possible and practical.

We do hang out at the Auto Garage in Cannonsburgh a lot and it’s quite possible that you might see us out on the roads when the weather is good. We even had occasion to display her at our church (World Outreach) last father’s day and it was really a hoot talking to the folks about her. There was one particular lady about my age (maybe a few years older) who said she had learned to drive on a ’55 Ford. She stopped by before service, and then was back again after service, so, me being me, I told her “If you can remember the trick to starting it, here’s the keys, take her for a spin.” She looked flabbergasted…and then you could see the wheels in her mind turning…trying to remember what the ‘trick’ is.

She didn’t recall it, but I love connecting with people’s fond memories of their past - that’s what it’s all about.

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