It was May of 2016 when I received a call from my mother. “Mr. Speal wants to give you his Rambler.” she informed me. I was at work when I got the call, working for a landscaping company. Anybody who has done adolescent landscaping duties for a small-town company at a young age can attest that I wasn’t making nearly the kind of money that someone who buys antique cars should be making. I paid Mr. Speal a visit after work one day. He stood at the gate of his boundary line and allowed me in. He was wearing an old sheriff hat with a buckskin belt tied around his waist. He’s been friends with the family for years by then, but we had no engagements prior to this.
He led me into the garage to unveil a 1969 AMC Rambler. It was hidden between piles of rubbish and towers of antique collector oil cans. Immediately I thought that him just “giving me” the car was a bit of a fat lie. I was right. He asked $1,000 for it. Included with it came a free parts car: spare bumpers, panels, fenders, interior fixings, and whatever could be salvaged from the motor. This was a nice gesture, it even came with the old garage door that fell on the hood over winter. The reason why the car was auctioned at a mere cost of “free”, or $1,000 realistically, was that it wasn’t in proper running order. Although the frame was in near immaculate condition, the motor needed some reworking.
First, we noticed that the fuel pumps and lines needed replaced. Using an aftermarket pump and junking the redundant mid-way auxiliary pump, we found that the car was still running sloppy. After every deep rev a gust of white smoke would flush out of the exhaust. On top of that, we were getting low compression.
We opted to drain the tank and put new gas in. We also changed the spark plugs for good measures. No dice. Our next step was one that is often overlooked. We tried using a bit of fuel additive. We didn’t expect a magic cure at first. Soon enough, after letting the car idle for about five minutes, we noticed that the smoke cleared up. It was a great feeling to not have to tolerate that odor any longer. We pulled it out of the garage and took it for a test drive around the block. The motor performed fluently and up to par with how a modern engine should.
This can be explained with a little bit of reasoning. Running classic cars with ethanol gasoline can surprisingly cause a host of issues for the engine. Using unleaded additives can alleviate many of these problems at a very low cost. There are plenty of benefits that come from using additives as a regular circumspection: increased power, lead replacement, better economy, and a longer overall life expectancy. There’s no reason a classic car owner shouldn’t go the extra mile and invest in engine treatments.