Unfortunately formerly sensible companies like BMW are starting to feel
like they have to copy the overgadgetization of the Japanese (Idrive,
would be nice to be able to buy a good, basic, no-frills car with
excellent chassis dynamics and road feel, but those days are apparently
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
I don't remember the make, may have been a dodge "panel van" (cargo
van), maybe from the 50's or early 60's. That also had the start button
under the accelerator pedal. We were playing in the junk yard (those
WERE the DAYS!!!) looking for something we may be able to start and
drive. I hopped in my friends older brothers van, it had been sitting
for almost a year and I tried to start it just as a joke. Shit! One
pump, then one more pump as I went for the start button and it started
right up! I swear it never started that easy when he was driving it!
Kids today don't understand how starting cars was an art form. Even two
identical models had their own special way to start it. This one takes
2 pumps when cold then half throttle, this one takes one pump and NO
MORE or it will flood out.....
My 55 Chevy has a key lockable start switch. I don't know what else to
call it? Basically it's like a normal key switch, but if you remove the
key when it isn't in the "lock" position, it will stay unlocked and can
be started and stopped without the key.
I had forgotten that. The ignition switch even had little 'ears' to
make it ease to turn without the key. I had a 54 (don't recall if
that did it) and a 57 and I 'think' it did. Then there were the fords
with the switch on the wrong (left hand) side of the wheel. When did
they finally recognize that the vast majority of customers were right
Actually Porsche deliberately put the ignition switch on the left side
of the dash for years. Rationale was for "LeMans" style racing
starts, the driver could be in the seat, one hand on the shifter
selecting first gear while cranking the engine with the other hand.
Studebaker did the same thing, although my '55 has the key in a more
normal position (up high on the dash, just to the left of the radio) -
not sure if they had any particular rationale in mind, it seemed to
change from year to year, but it seemed that more often than not it
ended up on the left side (all Hawks had the key on the left, for
While taking my 55 bel air out for some air, the first time in over 15
years, out on a nice straightaway the throttle stuck. I was already
going faster than I should have been and yes I panicked. First I hit
the brakes as hard as possible and the pedal went to the floor. (sat so
long the master cylinder went bad but they worked until that point). I
stomped on the accelerator a few times to try and release it, no good.
Still gaining speed. Finally I came to my senses and turned off the
ignition, I also pumped the brakes and they started to work also. My
friend (way) behind me came running up taking off his jacket and
swatting under the car. With the stuck throttle and no ignition a lot
of gasoline came out of the open headers and things were hot enough so
it came out in flames. He told me that at first the flames were almost
long enough to look like the Batmobile. The main point is that I
panicked, and I didn't have an unfamiliar "off button" to deal with.
Better get the check straps installed oin the motor mounts, or the
new style mounts. When the engine mount fails under accelleration on
older chevies with mechanical throttle linkage, the engine lifts,
jamming the throttle wide open. No way to release it short of shutting
off the engine.
There was a company wide recall covering all affected models back in
about 1967 or '68.
I'm assuming this '55 has had a later model engine installed, using
the "block" type mounts rather than the original front-mount type.
Wow! People here are so nice! I should get rid of it because it
doesn't have those "posts" between the front and rear windows either. I
think it's called a 2 door hardtop, or the real name is a Bel Air Sport
Coupe. We'll keep in touch so I can get it out of my way. I'd like to
stack firewood in the garage where it is now sitting in my way.
But you didn't pull out your cell phone to call a clueless 911
operator who wouldn't be of help anyway.. I just don't get why a
former cop would bother making a phone call at that point... Maybe you
had the 'advantage' of being alone in the car. In his case 4 heads
couldn't come up with a solution, so they called someone else who was
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