Here’s a pro tip to make your, um, Morning Dumps a little bit more interesting: The next time you head to a junkyard, bring back an owner’s manual as a treat. You’ll have to check with your local wrecking yard on cost, but I’ve found that fairly often, owner’s manuals are free. Yes, free, for an incredible piece of automotive literature people charge like $30 for on the internet.
Back in college, a roommate of mine went on a junkyard excursion and brought me back the owner’s manual for a 1984 Pontiac Fiero, and let me tell you, they don’t make them like they used to. What would you expect to find in this owner’s manual? Perhaps a seat belt warning, maybe some information on basic controls? Wrong! Check out this Fiero-themed merchandise, mostly worn by models with incredible facial hair. I mean come on, isn’t that beret tight as shit?
What’s more, you know how finding detailed specs on a new car can be like pulling teeth? Not for this thing, baby. You’ve got your cooling system capacity, replacement spark plug part numbers, and bulb sizing right here in the DIY section.
Speaking of DIY, there are a ton of service procedures detailed in here, with various wrenches to show the level of difficulty. One wrench job? Probably a one beer job. Three wrench job? Don’t do it on the air, the FCC will not like that.
Of equal impressiveness, just the sheer quality of the owner’s manual itself. The quality of paper and binding are mad decent, and even though the embossed cover is falling apart, it still has a certain allure that the monotone, corporate owner’s manual covers of today just can’t match. I get it, Fiero is Italian for ‘proud’ and this is a manual to be proud of.
While this Fiero manual is particularly weird in the grand scheme of things, other owner’s manuals still hold gems. You can become the patron saint of obscure automotive trivia if you just bring home an owner’s manual from the junkyard every time as a treat. Teach friends the cool things their cars can do, memorize the bulbs your parents’ cars take, save someone’s day or wow them with the power of automotive knowledge. It’s fast, easy, and often free. Plus, with Google being stuffed with SEO-focused garbage and owner’s forums often being, um, wrong, why not get your info straight from the horse’s mouth?
(Photo credits: Thomas Hundal)
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