14-15 July: Quel Catastrophe!!!!

It was time to refuel the old beast in Fargo.  The de Ville would have done much further, but might as well fuel it up too.

Oh boy, as soon as we slowed down off of the freeway, I knew something was wrong with the ’57.  There was a loud engine knock, and she was idling very rough.  Oh, no.

Oh my word, what is that knocking sound?

Thinking it was an overheat problem, we fuelled up anyway, then went to eat.  Nope, still there.  Very loud, and seemingly deep in the engine.  Just like Bob had found at Seven Oaks a few days before, only this time it wasn’t going away.

Sigh – have to face up to the fact that Elizabeth won’t be making the trip under her own steam

We checked out local area storage facilities, but the offices were all closed on Sunday.  We stopped by a local shop that happened to be open, but they only did big semi trucks.  They suggested we try some Lucas Oil Modifier, which we did, and it did not help.  Double yikes.

I wondered if the proper Engine Oil Supplement (EOS) was added when the oil was changed the week before.  Doesn’t matter, whatever is done is done.

OK, so we have to stay the night in Fargo.  Oh well, I booked the hotel that I had stayed in when I was down on my TN visa trip, and we made our way to the hotel.  It was only 3 miles or so away, so I drove the ’57 over.  Ugh, it sounded horrible!  And, to get enough power to go up over the Interstate, it sounded even worse, and had no power!  Eric was behind me, and said it blew a nice shade of blue out the tailpipe.  Argh.  We got to the hotel and parked it.

If you know me, you know I was stressed about the whole thing.  What I did though, was just say, “I can’t do anything about it, so forget it.”  And, I did.  I actually slept well – perhaps due to the lack of sleep the night before, but it felt good.

We spent Monday morning, 15 July, zooming around looking for places to store the car.  A self storage facility couldn’t open its gates to us until after 5 PM, an RV centre with a large compound just said “no”, but a great little company right on the main street said they would think about it.  Friends in the antique auto club got to work and found a place nearby for the car.  We heard back from the little company, Roll-A-Ramp, that they would allow me to put it in their compound, mostly because the company owner had old cars and sympathized with me.   Not free of course – nothing is, in this life – but we had a safe place to put her.  Yay!

The rain let up just long enough to allow Eric and I to empty the contents of both cars onto the parking lot behind them, then rationalize it all down.  Some tote bins were innocuous and could be left in the ’57.  Some had liquids in them that really shouldn’t sit too long (could leak and damage upholstery – especially when loading / unloading onto a car carrier).  Some stuff was low value and was discarded.  In the end, we cut down to the bare minimum in the 2005 de Ville, and all the stuff I don’t need for a while into the ’57.

AAA couldn’t pick the car up for over 6 hours, ugh.  The contact from the club got us in touch with a local tow agency, and they moved the car almost immediately, yay.  Poor operator, though – he had to crawl under the car to hook it up, and got completely soaked.  We had to put wood down to ensure that the back end wouldn’t drag or hang up on the tow truck.  Good thing we did, we cleared by about 1/2 an inch. 

 So we put her under the shelter in the compound, covered her up, and finally got underway in the de Ville around 2 PM, only a full day behind schedule.

There Elizabeth sits – sadly – waiting for pickup some day soon
Oh my poor “little” Cadillac!

Let’s have a moment of silence for Elizabeth’s grand tour – planned but not completed…

Remarkably, once we were on the road again, I felt at peace.  We did what we could, all situation stable now, let’s get on with the trip.  Eric was driving, and we just rolled on down the Interstate.

We decided that, since we were in a well equipped modern car, we’d take a bit of a detour and go to Mount Rushmore.  Great idea!  So we headed west through South Dakota, to Rapid City.  There was a lot of construction on the Interstate, but then again, it was a nice open highway, and with the mountains in the far background, mmmmm.

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