I remember hearing a very loud bang. Not sure what it was, we immediately pulled over (there wasn’t much mountain road shoulder to negotiate) and a quick look around the car showed all was well. Next, up went the hood and in the darkening evening skies it was our sense of smell that gave us our clue of what we would eventually find long before our eyes adjusted to the darkness and we would see. Boston baked beans smell really good. Unfortunately, an exploded can of beans while emitting the same delightful scent was now mixed with the smell of oil, gasoline, and antifreeze, yielding an unusual aroma when spread over a cast-iron block, wiring, and firewall. Additionally, the buttered corn was thoroughly burned while the tinfoil did retain an amazing amount of heat immediately sensed by the touch of youthful fingers. Damn that hurt! As for the bread, the best that I can say is it was reminiscent of badly burned toast, and just as coarse to the taste! As for the coffee, well, it was hot, really freaking hot.

It took us months to get the baked-on beans off the small-block. As for the firewall and wiring harness I wouldn’t be surprised if that ol’ Chevy still has a carbohydrate-enriched smell. No matter where we went in my buddy’s Chevy, from that memorable night forward we always endured the ever-present smell of Boston baked beans. And so goes my desire to ever clean another hot rod. Clearly my delicate and youthful psyche was scarred for life. I will forever rebel against cleaning cars, although I do have a constant craving for baked beans!.