Carli Santo finished putting on the new brake shoes. “Hey, Julio, we got a decent set of hub caps for this car?”
“We got a pile of ‘em out back. Pick a set out and I’ll snap ‘em on.”
Santo selected a set of four polished chrome rims with spinners on the hubs.
“You want locks on ‘em? They’re classy covers.”
“Yeah, put locks on the hub caps. Did you wire up the rear speakers for the radio?”
“I did it afta I got the headers and dual exhausts on. I put the heavy suspension on from that ’55 Olds we chopped up two-months ago.” Julio never graduated high school but was an ace with cars. His primary job was in the “chop shop” but he also excelled in putting a car together from scrap parts.
Santo popped the hood while Julio put the hubcaps on. “The engine is a tight fit. I hope nothing is bent in here.”
“Everything fit perfect. This is a ’52 Chevy and they weren’t designed for a V-8 just a straight six. I used a V-8 from a Buick Century at Pauleo’s Car Grave Yard. He gave it to Sal for free on account of all the favors he owes us.”
“What year Buick is this from? The engine looks brand new.” Santo noticed the absence of any grease stains or dirt anywhere on the engine.
“It’s from a ’56. Brand new–255 horse power–and it only has 2300 miles on it. It got rear-ended and was declared a total wreck by the insurance company.”
“The gas mileage should be a lot better on the light weight Chevy frame than the Buick it was made for.” Santo closed the hood and got behind the wheel. “I’m gonna start it up, Julio.” He pushed the button on the dashboard and the engine fired up with a roar. “Wow, those glass-pack mufflers are something. Get in. Let’s try it out. I have to have it ready by tomorrow night.”
“What about plates and registration?” Julio planted his squat two-hundred pounds next to Santo.
“We’re using Sal’s dealer’s plates and insurance until Michael gets the title transfer.”
The pale yellow 1952 Chevrolet convertible moved from the garage with a low bass rumble. Santo looked at the gearshift. “Michael should adapt pretty quick to the floor shifter. He’s been driving his father’s ’54 Chevy with a column 3-speed. This transmission’s a 4-speed.”
“Yeah, it’s pretty smooth and there’s no whining between gears like in the usual Chevys.” Julio watched as Santo put it into first after going through all the gears with the clutch in neutral.
“Okay, here we go.” Santo went from first to second with a roar from the glass-packs and was in third gear in just a few seconds. “I think we need a highway to get it into fourth. We’re already at 45 miles an hour.” They drove for about five-miles and drove back to the shop. Santo pressed the button for the flawless black convertible top to go down. “Perfect. We just need to wash and polish it.
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