When I was in high school I had a 1979 buick Regal. It was my baby but I treated it like an abusive parent and in return it treated me just as bad. It was an abusive relationship but we loved each other. Me and my dad built this car from the ground up and when I say me and my dad I mean mostly my dad but I got yelled at a lot so it counts when I add me. Neither one of us is a mechanic so you can guess how this went. The frame was wrapped with ¼ inch steel all the way around, so this bad boy was meant to be a lowrider from day one. Brand new engine, and we never did get that thing working perfectly but in my house good enough is good enough.
The first time anything ever went wrong in this car was the first time I took this car to work. I think I should also add that at this point my driving skills are not very good and I rarely drive, I’m 17 by the way. Well it started as a good day the Texas sun was shinning and my crappy job didn’t bother me, not today. I was on top of the world with my baby parked outside waiting for me to punch the clock and get off of work. I was showing the car off to all my coworkers, I started hitting switches front to back and side to side. It was like having a giant remote controlled car, I guess that’s exactly what it is, I was on top of the world as I hit the switches. Then the guys asked me if they could all pile up into the car and feel what hydraulics on a car felt like. That’s when I made a mistake that I would never forget. I started hopping the car, it was getting off the ground and everyone in the car was having a great time. Up to this point I had never hopped the car but it was worth it to show off a little.
It was time to go home so I was giving two friends a ride home, for the sake of this article lets call them Rick and James, Rick was on my way home but James was out of the way at some apartments. I didn’t know this guy that well but he was Ricks friend so I gave him a ride. I was driving down the street when I noticed that a light on my dashboard started to light up, it was the temp light, it was dim at first but as we got closer to where James lived it got brighter. By the time we got to James apartments the light was bright red and I was about to park and pop the hood to see what was wrong. I stopped in the parking lot of the apartments and as I grabbed the shifter there was a pop and the windshield fogged up. Hot moisture all over the windshield and now a gushing sound as well. I popped the hood and put the car in park. That’s when I saw something that I will never forget. The battery had fallen over onto the fan so the fan was stuck cutting into the battery, the car over heated with no fan working and the top of the reservoir had popped off causing the moisture on the windshield. Then James being the mechanic and genius that he was said to turn off the car, NEVER turn off the car when it overheats, and with all his wisdom decided to take the cap off the radiator, NEVER take the cap off the radiator of a car that has just been turned off. SPLOOSH!!! Boiling hot radiator fluid exploded everywhere, I was thankful to have my ninja quick reflexes, radiator fluid in peoples eyes and faces…. People went running holding their faces and eyes. The engine sat steaming with joy because it had taught me the most important rule of Lowriding, always make sure the battery is tied down.
Not much more happened after that but it took at least a year before the full extent of the damage was known and fixed. Backyard mechanics what can you say, slight burns and lessons learned.
This isn’t the last of my horror stories in my Lowrider so stay tuned Lowriders of Death shall return