Not to Long Ago

With all this machining and making parts as of late, got to me thinking about the places that used to do these things on the regular and how there disappearing. Soon we will only have ourselves and the cottage industry to rely on to keep the machines we love on the road. I ride by this now abandoned building every time I go down to the shop. Reminds me of a timeĀ about 12 years ago I had needed a carb serviced apon moving to the city. I asked around south philly where I was living at the time and the general consensus was North Philly’s Palacio Carburetor. This was an old clapped out 2 bbl on a 74 Plymouth Valiant. After riding about 60 blocks on my bicycle I was there. Despite all the windows on the side of the building when you entered it was like a cave in there. There were boxes of carb cores and ac compressors piled to the ceiling blocking off all light. I was told by the old guy behind the counter that it would be ready in a week or so. Week goes by and I get a call from them to pick it up. A half a day bicycle ride later I was there again. The old guy and I talked shop a while and I asked him a about the 100% engine tested on his sign. He gave me the old “come here kid” and we meandered through hallways with walls of parts and carbs to a back room with an old flathead 4 on a test stand. He asked me for my carb out of the box that he had just given back to me.
This intake manifold on the flatie had a big square sheet metal box on it where the carb would go. Looked to have been gas welded 100 years ago. He reached up to a wall of adapter plates made of mahogany and put the 2bbl one on and set my carb on top. There was some kind of quick action ratcheting lever arm to press down on the carb body to make a seal. He pushed on a fuel line and fires that old flathead 4 right up. Cool.
After that I brought it home and put it on the Valiant, It ran great after that, I can’t remember so well now but I think they re-bushed the shafts and changed out the jets and powervalve. It makes me wonder where all the industry has gone. Please feel free to share your stories in the comments below.

From when stuff was worth rebuilding

9th and Allegheny

One thought on “Not to Long Ago

  1. Reminds me of dependable auto electric in Commack ,N.Y.. No where near the size of that but I’ve gone there since about 1980. It’s still around but if/when it closes I think there’s only one more left on the Island. Use to be lots of good knowledgable mom and pop auto partss and hardware stores around before the big chains moved in. At least I have the memories of them ,kids born from the early ninties on have never known. Sad , they call it progress,but I beg to differ.


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