HRPT15 (Memphis, TN) - Grease Angels

Hot asphalt is not the most comfortable place to be crawling under the car, but it beats wet grass and nasty critters.

Just 35 miles outside of  Memphis Motorsports Park, we heard a rattle. Not a big deal. We've picked up a lot of goodies on this tour. There is a five-gallon bucket full of tools (compliments of AutoZone) and assorted hot rod gear (compliments of various vendors). There is a mono pod and tripod on the floorboard awaiting photographic duty. The trunk has a bucket of cleaning supplies. Surely one of those is the gremlin.

In my dreams!

A car guy knows his car. This was a different kind of rattle and it was not going away. We searched in vain for the culprit in a Walmart parking lot and then limped to the Memphis International Raceway and the Motor Medics from GM Performance. These guys are regulars on the Power Tour, helping stranded Long Haulers and  wrenching for free at every venue.

After borrowing a jack from the Motor Medics and with the tools and help from Steve (under the car) and Ken (unseen on the phone) we pulled and checked the shocks, examined the springs and the exhaust brackets, and pushed, pulled, and shook everything we could to isolate and correct the problem.

Discovering a minor shock issue, we tightened up everything and put the goat back on the road. Problem solved.

The willingness of the Motor Medics to come to our aid made us want to highlight this hospital on wheels and the fantastic guys that staff it.

It was Tuesday, just day four of the 2015 Hot Rod Power Tour, but already the Motor Medics had repaired ninety-six rides. Bud Pennington from GM Performance gave us an idea of some of the repairs these Grease Angels have made:

  • Replaced an air shock on a Mercury Cougar.
  • Repaired a faulty ignition switch on an Olds Cutlass.
  • Corrected a timing Issue on a '49 Chevy.
  • Fixed a clutch fork on a '33 pick-up.
  • Solved a braking issue on a '69 Acadian (Canadian version of Pontiac/Buick).
  • Welded a carrier bearing on a `62 Chevy.
  • Put brakes in working order on a runaway `69 AMX.

Shannan asked, "Do you happen to know what was the biggest thing you have had to repair thus far on the Tour?" Bud said, "Not off hand that I know of, but they are all big for the people we help out."

  • Had to weld back an exhaust system that broke off during the drive.
  • Put the wipe back in a bad wiper motor.
  • Changed several starters.
  • Put back on a couple of electric fuel pumps.

The days drama did not dampen our fun. Here are a few other pictures from the drive from Madison, Illinois to Memphis, Tennessee.

And then we have to talk about the world's largest burnout ... later.