As at least some of the readership is aware, Mr Fuzzy motors into town many Sunday mornings to meet friends for breakfast at The Blue Ridge Cafe, in bucolic, scenic downtown Floyd. Today was no exception.
Climbing into the 1940 Ford DeLuxe Coupe about 7:45 a.m. the trip began as every other, down the dirt driveway, on to the dirt county road thence turning onto the state highway. About 400 yards down the highway, the ampere gauge pegged to the positive side, indicating the alternator was charging at its absolute maximum. Hmmm, what could cause that? Before ten brain cells could engage fully, there was a distinct odor of smoke. Then wisps of smoke. Then smoke beginning to fill the passenger compartment.
It was a long 300-400 yards into a large pullout...
Once stopped and the ignition turned off, the next move was to grab the fire extinguisher in the trunk... which was locked... back into the now smokier car... finally unlocked, the trunk hood raised and - - - the battery was on fire (the battery is in the trunk on many hot rods) and the upholstery behind the back seat had ignited. Step #1 was to pull the large spare tire away from the battery so the rubber would not catch fire, step #2 was pull the fire extinguisher pin and douse the fire. Given the amount of flame, it was surprising that one quick release of fire powder completely stopped the fire. Oh my.
Next, call the fire department & police on the cell phone in case of a flare up... that would have been a good plan but not with a dead phone... fortunately a good Samaritan pulled up and asked if I needed help - she phoned the authorities for me. A county deputy arrived in a couple of minutes, then a second and then a fireman.
The deputy called a tow truck, and now Betty Boop is parked in front of her mechanic's shop awaiting his expert eyes on the morrow.
The damage from fire, smoke and battery acid appears to be relatively confined - it was maybe a minute or less from catching the (full) gas tank on fire, which would have been very interesting.
It seems to often be the case in Mr Fuzzy's life that things could always have been worse. The car could have burned up - and its driver. Ye old lungs still can feel the hot battery acid infused smoke and after two washings, beard & moustache still reek of it, gentle reminders of the unusual beginning of the day.