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Leader's Insight: Overhaulin'

Gordon MacDonald on rest for the high mileage believer.

From my journal: My first automobile, purchased as a college student for $200, was a 1949 Ford with a ten-year history and 100,000 miles on its odometer (in those years odometer mileage could be quite unreliable).

I would soon learn that the car had a way of presenting me with fresh problems every day … on a random basis. It seemed to taunt me like a fickle horse.

Starting the car was not dissimilar to rolling dice. Every sixth or seventh time, the starting motor yielded a series of clicks but no action. This tended to happen more frequently when I was in a desperate hurry. My solution was to park the car at the top of a hill near where I lived each evening so that, the next morning, I could push the car down the hill, getting it rolling fast enough to pop the clutch and coax the engine into motion. (Does anyone know what popping the clutch means today?)

The Ford's radiator was a slow leaker, meaning that I had to fill it with fresh water each morning and follow up with subsequent ...

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