The Land Rover Writer

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

So Happy in the Snow

An odd incident on the ferry with the Corvair almost left a sour taste about my beloved 1966 Corvair. As we approached Carver's Harbor on Vinalhaven, I started up the car. Happily, it fired up without incident but in my side mirror, I noted an unusual red blinking light behind me. For a moment, I thought it might be the reflection of a blinking buoy light, but then I realized there were none in this part of the harbor.

Then a neighbor knocked on the car's window and said "your flashers are on." Now on late afternoon runs in winter darkness, the ferry captain and crew restrict vehicles from turning on lights until the boat is docked - it reduces problems with night vision. So I took her missive seriously; I also knew that a 1966 Corvair has no "emergency flashers." What it meant was that a short circuit of some sort was sending current through my blinkers to all the rear taillights. I fiddled with the directional lever and lucked out - the blinking stopped (however I note that the problem still continues a couple of days later whenever I turn on the blinkers). Sigh...yet another electrical quirk to trace and repair.

With the Corvair home, I backed it down a slight slope by the harbor beside my shop. Then it snowed yet again and the car sat covered with snow. This afternoon, my EMS chief asked for my help through a ride to get his Jeep at the local repair garage. The chief has a slipped disc, and he feared that trying to climb up into the Land Rover would be too painful for him. I averred that the Corvair sat quite low to the ground, but he insisted he'd prefer that option. 

So I went to start the Corvair. Naturally, it foundered when the undercarriage got hung up on a snowdrift. I shoveled underneath the car for a few moments and a carpenter working next door came out to give me a mighty shove. So I got the chief ("Wow, this car is low!") and drove him around on our snow covered roads to complete his errands. 
He asked about the defroster (which takes a while to work because the engine is slow to warm up) and I pointed to the roll of shop towels in the back seat. The drive brought back memories for him of a VW Beetle with the same defrosting traits, and no doubt a secret wish that he had requested assistance from someone, anyone, with a normal, conventional car.

Then came an EMS call, which I drove to in the Corvair, relishing its traction and nimbleness on the snow covered roads. Two hours later, I needed a ride to get my own car from the patient's house. A charming 20-something drove me in her Prius [spare me!], which she extolled, until she saw the Corvair. Even in the dark, she oohed at its Italianate lines. She'd never heard of a Corvair but pronounced it "hot." I could only hope that the same sentiment would wash onto me as well.

See why I'm happy driving the Corvair in the snow?

1 comment:

  1. You are an inspiration to us all. My kids too think my Range Rover Classic is cool and can't imagine me owning anything else. My daily commute dictates my daily driver be a soulless Honda Civic. Everyday I wish I were driving my Classic, especially those when I walk out to a parking lot full of soulless clones and wonder which one is mine.

    Eric Stephens