It Be Cold Out There!

Barb was up early and has a picture of the thermometer on the window outside her kitchen and it is between 15 and 10 below zero. When I went out to fetch the paper about 8:30 the snow squealed beneath the tires because it was so cold. Barb said the weatherman predicted it would warm up about 40 degrees and still not get above freezing. Brrrrrrrr!

Yesterday I mentioned the 1971 Vega I owned while a student at KU. I bought a 1969 Chevelle when I came home from Vietnam and while I loved the car, it got terrible mileage. I had to drive from Leavenworth to Lawrence almost every day and there was no way I could afford to do that with a car getting less than 15 MPG. The Vega got between 25 and 30 MPG and was kinda fun to drive on the small county roads I took back and forth. What I failed to mention was the cause of all of the problems with the Vega. Someone decided that to cut the weight, they would use an aluminum block that was impregnated with silicon to fight the wear and then the problems began. First of all, if you could keep the water in your engine, it would generally last about 45,000 miles not the usual 100,000 miles we were all used to. If for any reason the thermostat stuck, or leaked (like mine did) the engine would lose all the water and the block would "slump" Once the block slumped there was nothing you could do but jerk it out and replace it. A lot of cars have aluminum heads and they can be "trued up" because the metal block they are on generally stays the same shape. Not true of the block in the Vega. What is frustrating is that the Pontiac version of the Vega had a motor they called the Iron Duke because it stayed with the car until it too died of rust about 5 years later. If you don't think they died of rust, just look around and see how many Vega's or Pontiac's of the same style you see out there.

Oh well, better get on down the road.



  1. Yep! Thanks for elaborating on the Vega. I had a memory of the Vega and aluminum going together like black and ice.

  2. I had a yellow vega that I loved. I was the only one who loved it.