Friday, February 3, 2012

Flashback Friday # 171

Cadillac Crunch Time

A hearty welcome to one and all. It's good to be back. I debated which narrative to spin for you this time, and since there's been a lot of gloom on the Flashback Friday post recently, I decided to go with a light hearted story for today.

Those of you who have read this blog for a while recall the pool table that Dad bought. The neighbors of the folks that had the pool table were good friends of Dad's best friend, Chuck. Both the father and the son had the same name, and the first name rhymed with the last name.

But I digress. The Dad of this family had a Cadillac that had some major mechanical issues. They were such that he was going to enter it in the upcoming demolition derby at the county fair. Back then (late 70's), the prize money was $200 for the winner of the derby.

The kids spray painted slogans like "Hit me" and "Crunch" on the car. The only thing that needed done was to take out the windshield & windows, which was going to be done there at the fairgrounds. There was a nearby auto parts salvage dealership (aka junk yard) that would buy up all the glass from the cars. If you took it out beforehand, there was a chance it might get broken in transport.

The Dad got into the car to drive it up onto the trailer. He started it up and put it in drive, and the car wouldn't move. The transmission had given out. Even with all his mechanical knowledge, he couldn't get the car to move. Great, there goes the prize money. He could sell it for junk, but he had another idea.

There was an upcoming street festival in town. This particular Saturday, the main street was blocked off and food vendors and carnival games dotted the street. He may have missed out on the demolition derby prize money, but the entrepreneurial spirit ran deep in him. He towed that Cadillac into town, and charged people 50 cents for three swings with a sledgehammer.

I personally spent $5.00 taking whacks at that car. I had gotten there a bit later in the day due to working that Saturday with Mom. I was told that the windows & windshield were the first to be smashed. By the time the day was over, the car that he was going to sell for junk anyway proved to be more valuable than one would think. He got the same price for the scrap value, but with the money that was brought in from smashing it, it came out to more than the $200 he would have won if he had won the derby.

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