This car had sat in a field in the California sun for four years. She was delivered to me on a trailer and pushed onto my drive with 4 flat tires and almost opaque windows from the grime of static age. Long strands of grass grew up through the engine bay and the remains of a squirrel's lunch was scattered across the exhaust manifold.
I attached a battery to utterly rotten, green and brown cables.
I opened the filler cap and poured 2 gallons of premium and injector cleaner into the tank.
I checked the brake fluid, power steering and the radiator. I found no fluid in the master cylinders and no water in the radiator. I filled them all.
I checked the vacuum hoses and re-cut them.
I checked the engine oil. It was black and thick and right on the max line.
I got in and turned the key to accessories. The dash lights flickered on just like in a movie.
I tried the indicators and after the third or fourth switch they started to flash.
I worked my way through every switch and function in this way, coaxing her back to life and, to my increasing delight, found that EVERY switch and function worked, every bulb lit and the radio crackled like a WWII wireless.
I turned the key to 'on' and watched more dash lights flicker on.
I held my breath and turned the key one stage further.
My eyes became slits as my mind raced over the possible reasons for the failure. I jumped out and ran round to the battery cables where I could see that the corrosion on the cables was inhibiting the flow of power. I cleaned those contacts with a furious and urgent energy and then sprang back into the leather cockpit.
I turned the key once again and a miracle happened...
My Z roared to life, belching and spluttering, the revs wandered up and down searching for a steady place to rest.
She sat on my drive and hummed like an old smoker, defying time and weather to beat her yet.
She now has all new cables, leads, plugs and fluids. She's been gapped, greased and tidied up ready for a fresh coat of paint.