For the Wirter (57-58 Buick)

The coil wire is good, but obvious to anyone with a working knowledge of an engine. A better one is to remove the rotor from the distributor (the thing that spins to tell which cylinder fires). The coil wire attaches to it, you lift the distributor cap, remove the rotor, snap the cap back on, and nobody could tell from looking at it that something is obviously wrong. Also it fits into a purse easier and wouldn’t be messy, as it’s covered to keep engine crud out.

Oops, should’ve been an olds… same answer though.

Hey… wait… They didn’t have the 442 in '56.

Oh, yep I transposed characters, that should be writer.

What in the wild world of sports are you talkin about?

I hope she picks a 57 Olds, the 58 is kind of ugly, especially if its pink like my mothers was. My 57 was a beautiful car, one of my favorites.

The caller did say no tools and the olds did require a screwdriver to remove the distributor cap. The distributor is right at the front of the engine though so the coil wire is easy to get at.

Now if the caller was interested in a 59 Buick, then the heroine probably wouldn’t have to do anything. Very few people would know how to start one, even if they had the keys. That could be a nice twist. BTW, the starter switch is under the gas pedal, after turning the key to on, you press the gas to the floor to engage the starter.

Most cars with distributors have coil wires. I often switch the coil wire with one of the plug wires on the cap. Even an experienced mechanic doesn’t notice the swap in a quick check under the hood. And, of course, reconnecting is obvious.

Thanks for the laugh. Blazing Saddles is one of my favorite movies of all time.

I like your idea. Pulling the rotor could be a pain.

Actually, you didn’t have to press the accelerator to the floor on the 1959 Buick to engage the starter. The starter engaged when you pressed the accelerator about 1/3 of the way down. After the engine started, a vacuum switch shut off the power to the starter. If the engine was flooded, you depressed the pedal to the floor and held it until the engine fired. I had a 1954 Buick with this set-up. This starting system was used in the Buick from at least as far back as 1940 through the 1960 model year.

Our '51 Packard had a starting system something like that. My brother used it to confuse a friend of his one day.

It seems to me that the 1936 Chevrolet also used this system, but Chevrolet changed to starter pedal on the floor in 1937. The advantage of this system in the old carburetor days was that an engine started faster if you fed it a little gasoline by activating the accelerator pump. Therefore, activating the starter while you pushed the accelerator made sense. On my 1947 Pontiac, the starter pedal was above the accelerator. When you stepped on the starter pedal, it pressed the accelerator down partway. This wasn’t quite as convenient as the system on the Buick.