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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greasy Harry

On Jennings Road, not far from my house on Dawson St., was Greasy Harry’s garage. It was a good place to hang around during one’s formative years. There was a lot to be learned from entrepreneur like Harry. Harry was quite boastful of the fact that he had taken advantage of virtually everyone that had entered his establishment. One day in 1959, a young man on his way from Arkansas to Chicago had the misfortune to stop for advice at Harry’s garage.

The traveler was driving a 1955 Ford putting out a fair amount of smoke from the tailpipe. He pulled on to Harry’s lot, and Harry went out to greet him. The young man asked if Harry could repair his car well enough so he could drive it for three hundred more miles. As was his manner, Harry asked, “How much money do you have?” The young man replied, “Two Hundred dollars.”

Having been around Harry for a while, I knew his modus operandi. He would leave the fellow with enough money to get to Chicago, but not enough to return. Harry told him to pull the car in the shop and he would look at it. The first thing Harry did was pull a spark plug and do a compression check on one cylinder. Someone cranked the engine while Harry inserted the gauge. “Here’s the problem” he said, “you have only 70 pounds of compression. If you look up at the tune-up chart on the wall, you will see that a 55 Ford, two barrel should have 140 pounds of compression.”

The guy had a kind of confused look on his face, so he asked, “What is compression?” Not being one to divulge too much in such a situation, Harry asked, “What do you mean?” The guy says, “How much a pound?”

You could see Harry’s pupils dilate while he quickly thought of an answer. “Well, it retails for $6.60 a pound, and wholesales for $4.40 a pound, but I’ve got a source that can get it for, uuhhh, $2.00 a pound.

The guy asks, “How long will it take?” Harry tells him to go across the street, have a hamburger and play the pinball machine for a while, and that should give him enough time to get it all filled up.

After he left, we cleaned his points and plugs, drained his oil and put some 40 weight in it, and Harry blew up the compression gauge with the air hose to read 140#.

As he came in the door, Harry was under the hood and someone was in the car cranking the engine. Harry pulled the gauge out and showed it to the customer, saying, “There you are! 140 pounds. That will be $140.”
 

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yeah, it's always funny to hear funny made up stories about a mechanic screwing over someone that doesn't know any better.
 

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yeah, it's always funny to hear funny made up stories about a mechanic screwing over someone that doesn't know any better.

I liked it. I've given many people a good deal and a break when fixing their cars in the past. The only ones I remember are those who took advantage of me, even though I gave them a great deal. Bottom line these days is, you want to save a whole lot of money, buck up and get the tools and knowledge to fix it yourself, or pay me what I ask, so I can apply my tools and knowledge to it. I've been watching the neighbor's "mechanic" working on the rear axle of his Previa van for going on 3 weeks now, almost nightly. I don't know exactly what he's doing to it, but it usually involves a hammer and some grinding for an hour or two. I hope he's payin' the guy by the job, not by the hour. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yeah, it's always funny to hear funny made up stories about a mechanic screwing over someone that doesn't know any better.
Well, it's not a made up story. I posted it to show how some people will take advantage of the unknowing, no matter how unscrupulous it may be. Greasy Harry once told me there were only two people that he could think of that he didn't screw, and I wasn't one of them.

There are con men in every venue. What prompted me to write this was the recent post about running your car on water. In the past three weeks, two of my friends have asked my opinion about that. I don't want them to fall prey to unscrupulous advertising. How many people bought into SplitFire, Nology, the $25 Pulse plug, most of the oil additives? Nology's claim that you can get 300 times more spark energy out of their wire than you put into it? THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE. But they still claimed it. (We should wire our houses with that stuff.) What bothers me is the magazines taking the advertising money. They should be held more accountable than Nology.
 
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