Part of being a gearhead is learning hard lessons, that’s true for us as well. We have all done something really dumb to or with a car at some point in our evolution in the hobby. Maybe it was running that tired, clapped out motor in your teen-aged daily driver to the redline one too many times, or following the uninformed advice of another pal that resulted in busted stuff. Of course, there is the ever popular, “just try it one more time” stories that inevitably end in some sort of destruction.
Our ultimate bone headed move? It came on the first weekend my dad and I went bracket rain with the Nova that he still competes with. Having just built the iron-headed 383 with a PAW automotive stroker kit (remember them?), we hit the strip ready to really get after it. The car had an electric fuel pump so we installed a block off plate over the boss that the mechanical pump would bolt to and thought we were in good shape. Sadly, we forgot to run a bolt into one of the holes in the front of the block to prevent oil from shooting all over the place when the motor was under load.
I went blasting down the track on that first pass and lubricated the drag strip from about 50′ to the end. The motor was unharmed but the ego damage was pretty big, especially when a dude walked up to the oil soaked car and said, “You need to put a bolt in that hole,” and then walked away like we were total idiots.
We’ve blown junk up before and flattened camshafts, but bringing an entire drag strip to a stop for an hour or two was our crowning moment of badness, what’s yours?
Question: What is the most bone headed automotive thing you have ever done?