The Times Journal & Russell County News
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Cruisin': Who said old cars are fun?
In Nov. 28 Issue
Russell County News
By Ron Cowell, Columnist

This past summer I was out cutting the grass and I had my 1961 Corvair parked in the yard. Of course I did not want to take a chance on the mower picking up a stone and hitting the car so I decided to move the car.

I jumped in to move it to the garage and realized I didn’t have the key with me. As I jumped out of the car to get the key I must have bumped the floor shifter. About the time I got to the front of the car I realized the car was rolling backwards.

I grabbed the car by the front bumper and stopped it with ease. The only problem was every time I let go the car started to roll.  It was clear I was not going to be able to get to the open drivers door before the  door hit a tree. Long story short, the door hit the tree and folded it completely back around the car. I was sick!!!

I went to see a guy who I would say is the best body man in Russell County. He said he would fix it for me and to get the parts needed and bring it over.. On the way to his house, with the door tied shut, I started hearing a loud rattle when the clutch was pushed in.

Turns out I had a throw out bearing going bad also. I figured,, what the heck,, I’ll get the door fixed and then find someone to change the bearing for me.,

I talked to a local mechanic who said SURE not a problem, as soon as you get it back from the body shop we will get on it and fix the bearing.

I was all set,,, The car was at the body shop and the appointment was made to have the bearing changed when I got it back.


The body man that was going to repair the door got injured and was not going to be able to work for six weeks at least… I figured that was no problem, I would just take the car back to the mechanic and have the bearing fixed and then back to the body man when the mechanic was finished.. Following me so far?

Well, I went to see the mechanic and told him what had happened and he could do the bearing.  I would get the body repaired when he was finished.. Here we go.

He then told me he got to thinking about it and it was a pretty big job and he just didn’t want to mess with it. So after three weeks I was right back where I started. My Corvair was setting in the garage with a banged up door and sounding like an old singer sewing machine that every bolt was loose on.  Now what do I do?

I was wondering and concerned about the body man because his injury could keep him from working for a while so I better see if there was another way to solve the dent problem. I got on ebay and found a door near Cleveland Ohio.  

My self and a good friend took off for Cleveland one morning to pick up the door. We left at 7 AM and got back home about 11:30 that night.. Problem solved,, I also contacted the guy who painted the car for me and he said he would paint the new door for me..

He came to the house, we got the door off and he was on his way. Now my car is setting in the garage with no drivers door on it and when I start it up it sounds like it’s going to fall apart.

In speaking with another good friend, Wayne Lynch, he said he believed we could change that bearing our self. I agreed and one cold morning I jumped in the car and headed to Wayne’s house in the Corvair with no drivers door on it. You would think people never saw a car driving down the road with no door and sounding like a bucket full of loose bolts.

A short time later and very cold I got to Wayne’s house with the car. After two days of work, we had the engine out of the car, transmission off the motor and were replacing the throw out bearing… Yes, we got it done with the help of another mechanic (who knew what he was doing) and got the car all back together..

It was time to test drive the car. I got in, turned the key and she started right up. We had to make an adjustment to the exhaust system but the mechanic end of the project was finally finished.. Yea right!!

I took the car for a test drive down the road and back, went o pull in the driveway the car sputtered and stopped running, It was really quiet then!

I thought I may have been out of gas but no such luck,, after all that work and getting the car back together the fuel pump went out. I have two projects left,,, change the fuel pump and once the door is finished get it back on the car.. And then wonder what is gonna happen next!

That’s just some of the joys of owning an old car… But it is fun and I do enjoy it.

So sometime this week if you see a gold color Chevy Corvair driving down the road with no drivers door on it,, but sounding real pretty it’s just me getting my car back home to wait for the door to be finished and put back on the car. With any luck I will have both of my cars back in shape by next spring and the next car show season.

These things are just standard when you own a classic car, so if your in the market to buy one remember, there is more to owning one than getting in, starting it up and riding around.. Till next time, Keep Crusin’

If your Club Club is having an event you would like us to tell everyone about drop me a line with all the information at

All information on events needs to be turned in at least two weeks before the event.

Also you may want to have one of the Clubs in the County bring

their cars for display at your club or church or function.  Once again drop me a line and I will get you in touch with the Clubs in the area.

The clubs of Russell County are more than happy to show off their cars.

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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
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Fax: 270-866-3198
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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