Villanova: Pete’s Car

We took Pete’s ’40 Ford
(blue coupe, ’48 Merc flathead)
to a house outside of Camarillo
(friend of Pete’s, what’s-is-name?)
to install three double-barrel carbs.

Pete and what’s-is-name
worked on the installation
while I watched

What’s-is-name had to leave for paid work
at the Foster’s Freeze in Ventura
leaving Pete far from finished.

“Bet you won’t make it in by the time I quit.”

I knew
and still know
nothing about cars.
The carburetors had 
some kind of linkage
and the installation
required a hole to be cut in the firewall
which required relocating
the fuel pump (? and/or block? something)
and a lot of new hoses.
And a lot of beer.

Pete couldn’t stop the gas from leaking.
“Well shit it’s good enough.
If we don’t go now we’ll never make it by midnight.”

We were flying along a county road
just arriving at some little town
when whatever that linkage was got stuck
so we couldn’t slow down below seventy
but the town was asleep
and we got through.

The gas fumes were so heavy 
I thought we’d both get sick
and we wondered would it be okay to smoke.
We lit up and (obviously)
didn’t get blown up.

And we made it 
to the Foster Freeze
just before midnight
and what’s-is-name’s eyes popped “No shit!”
and Pete beat up a Mexican.

I remember:
the linkage was “progressive.”