Here’s a story from the 1970s that is a family favorite. We were driving from Athens, GA to my Grandmother’s on the South side of Atlanta, probably via the old Winder Highway (8). The vehicle was our ’68 Country Squire LTD, which was loaded down in the back with numerous dried flower arrangements Mom was planning to sell at a craft show that weekend.
As we were winding our way through a more rural section of road, a guy in a Camaro passed us, waving Mom to pull over, quick!
When we got stopped, he ran back and told us to get away from the car, as he had seen flames shooting underneath… We beat a hasty retreat as black smoke began to roil out from under the hood. The guy tried raising the hood (bad move), and quickly slammed it shut.
As this was going on, a Semi stopped opposite the excitement, and the driver hopped out with a fire extinguisher. When he got close enough to the car to see how bad the fire was, he practically threw the extinguisher to the Camaro guy, and ran back to his truck!
Our Good Samaritan then opened the hood just a bit and emptied the extinguisher onto the fire, which thankfully put it out. About this time, a lady in a Datsun stopped and asked if we needed a ride, so Mom grabbed as many flower arrangements as could fit in the trunk, and we all squeezed in. Mom gave the lady her largest and best arrangement when we got to Granny’s house…
Dad had the car towed to a local mechanic, where the car was cleaned up and rewired. It had two large pink spots on the hood from the heat, and it stayed that way the rest of the time we owned the car.
The car pulled this stunt on us once more a few years later when I went out to start it up prior to Mom driving us to school. I heard a loud pop from up front, followed by smoke, so I ran back in and Dad grabbed the kitchen fire extinguisher and quickly put it out before any real damage was done.