On this particular trip, it was agreed my father would pay me a dime for every new black '47 Ford that I saw while out of state—you know, like in the 1940s "There's a Ford in your future" ads with the crystal ball. By the end of the four garage door remote parts and while en route home, I had a pretty fair stash that I was happily counting in the back seat. Thinking the rear-seat cigarette lighter might be a good place to stash some cash, I shoved a couple of dimes into it.
While doing so I saw some sparks and eased my anxiety by sliding across the back seat to the opposite side. About five minutes later, as we came into a small town in upstate New York, smoke began pouring from the dome light and radio speaker. My quick-thinking father wheeled into a gas station and shouted, "We have a fire here!" I bailed out of the left-side rear door and announced, "I think there's a dime in the cigarette lighter!" The service garage door remote parts attendant came to the rescue with a two gallon watering can sloshing water down the defroster ducts while my father dived into the back seat and yanked the lighter out. In less than a minute the emergency was over.
The rest of the trip home was a mixture of "deep freeze" and lectures about using one's common sense. In 1951, my father had the Zephyr's V-12 rebuilt for the astronomical sum of $500; this at a time when you could buy a rebuilt Mercury flathead out of a Sears catalogue for $ About five years later, it developed a main-bearing problem, and when he took it to a Lincoln-Mercury dealer in Brockton, Massachusetts, they persuaded him to trade it for a clean 1950 Mercury two-door on the used car lot. About a year later, he had the Mercury back to the dealer for a tune-up when the service manager informed him that a week earlier his Lincoln-Zephyr had been totaled at an intersection, and scrapped due to being of a unitized body construction. My father saw the black Mercury as conservative, dependable, economical transportation and was amazed that my high school buddies and I were so impressed with the car. My father clearly did not garage door remote parts who James Dean was! All I knew was that my father always kept his cars for a very long time and that one day, that black Mercury would be mine.