Hurricane Ike

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
hurricane ike

Sometimes being a Pistonhead isn’t that wonderful. I’ve spent the last 24 hours securing or moving fourteen cherished automobiles to higher ground before Hurricane Ike hits the city of Houston. Its been crazy: one dead battery with an even deader alternator, a bleeding heater core and several trips to an elevated parking garage. By Thursday night, I had a (poorly chosen) escape pod for my evacuation: a 1972 Continental Mark IV. But, after a months-long slumber, I fired up the triple-black beauty and it instantly idled like a new car. Too bad I didn’t plan on the Mark’s quarter tank of gas. Or an eighth, depending on how cranky the gauge acted when you came to a stop. I waited in feed lines with SUVs, compacts, pickups and crossovers only to have pumps run dry, which was more than a little terrifying given the big Lincoln’s OPEC-inspired heyday. Can I make it to the suburbs on congested roads, in a 7.5 liter Lincoln that gets 9 MPG on a good day? Thankfully, there was no traffic this morning, so I gently wafted to safer territory on the Mark IV’s reassuring haunches. It was a throughly relaxing ride. And now I’m ready for this damn storm.

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  • Beetlebug Beetlebug on Sep 13, 2008

    And to think I was just bitching about how humid it is right now in southwestern VA. That Lincoln is a lovely car and now I don't feel so bad for wanting a 60's Imperial. Good luck Houstonians.

  • BigOldChryslers BigOldChryslers on Sep 13, 2008

    It may get lousy gas mileage, but you're certainly fleeing the storm in style! Hope you and your collection get through it unscathed. BTW, I also would be curious to know what other cars are in your fleet, and perhaps how they fared the storm.

  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Sep 17, 2008

    I just got power/internet at the folk's house, so a belated thanks to everyone. Except fotobits, that is. 1. fotobits: I planned everything for 14 cars, 2 houses and my apartment over the course of three days, so you'll have to forgive me if I think your comments are completely out of line. Sure, I didn't do a "gas inventory" for all cars before I started moving them. If you can juggle ten balls at the same time you are a better person than I. And if you read the blog, you'd see that the plan worked, I made it to my folk's place with no problem. 2. No I'm not listing the family's cars this time, but I sure wasn't gonna bait Ike with our Mercury Cyclone. That and it has a carb problem (sticky choke?) that I didn't have time to mess with. 3. lprocter1982: yeah, but you get snow and salt every year, without fail. At least from what I saw in Toronto. No thanks. :) Turns out the Mark's gas gauge was pretty accurate, maybe the sending unit was changed sometime after 1972. And all is well since gas stations are replenished on a daily basis. The city did a good job this time.

  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Sep 17, 2008

    And yes, all the Mehta's cars did just fine. Can't say the same for the 'rents house, but its pretty minor. Because the city all but shut down after Ike, the Mark IV got enough me-time to get polished/glazed/waxed. Now the neighbors have proof that I'm nuts.