For the last 4-5 weeks my mechanic friend Vince Sauberlich and I have been fixing an exhaust leak on my ’89 Caprice cop car. Even though we only work together once a week, that may still sound like a lot of time for such a project. But you have to understand the job required redoing the manifolds and involved cleaning and painting all the parts UNDER the car. That’s the way we do things. Not a restoration, but pretty nice. And when we pulled the tires for clearance, we noticed the rotors were scored and redid the brakes, too. And we redid everything possible with genuine factory police car parts, which take time and money to find. While removing the manifolds, we bent the tube that the oil dipstick slides into. So I ordered a new one from my local Chevy dealer. The little black tube with a bracket welded on it cost an outrageous $35, plus tax. But that didn’t bug me as much as the labels GM stuck all over the tube. There was a big white and yellow nomenclature sticker and a smaller white sticker. So I had to spend time peeling these off as carefully as possible and then cleaning the tube with Go-Gone, before I waxed it. Doesn’t GM think anyone takes pride in how new parts look on their car? Why not put the tube in a plastic bag and put the stickers on the bag? Oh yeh, the bag costs half a cent! Well, I paid $35 DOLLARS for the part!!!! Worse yet was the sticker on the welded on bracket. It had a maple leaf and said “Made in Canada.” I have nothing against Canada, mind you, but I would rather see my new parts come with “Made in the USA” stickers. Or are they going to tell me that can’t make a 20-inch black metal tube in America for under $35?
Gunner’s Garage with John Gunnell
"Gunner" is one of of the most prolific authors and most visible characters in the old car hobby. He has written dozens of books about old cars for Krause Publications and is the former editor and publisher of Old Cars Weekly. His collecting pursuits range from old Pontiacs, to MGs, to retired police cruisers, to Indian motorcycles. He remains a frequent contributor to Old Cars Weekly and owns and operates Gunner’s Great Garage, a classic car restoration and gift shop in Manawa, Wis.
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