Cost of Doing Business 35 Years Later

Octagon Newsletter November 2000

By Alan Fraser

Long ago, in a time far away, I decided to have the engine of my recently purchased TC overhauled. I contacted Stu Taylor of H&S Royalite Service, next to the new A&W Drive-in on Oak Bay Avenue and he carried out the task.

Thirty-five years and 20,000 miles later, I again saw the need of a refit for the car in order to launch it into the second half of its century. Recently, I found the record of my earlier job to compare with the more recent effort. The difference in costs was startling to say the least!

In 1965 the cost of a set of rod bearings was $6.00 and the main bearing set was $9.00. In 1998, the costs were $62.00 and $110.00 respectively. A clutch plate cost $9.25, thirty-five years later it cost $128.00. A top-end gasket set was $8.00, much less than the $36.00 it now costs and a timing chain was $6.75 as opposed to the recent cost of $25.60. The cost of assembling and aligning the pistons was $4.00, ten times less than the recent cost.

Total labour charge was $106.00 (Mike Owen please note!) and the total engine job came to $209.69, a significant amount when I was receiving paycheques of $116.00 twice a month.

The most recent job entailed a great deal of machining at two different shops, spray welding, sleeving, balancing and re-assembly all under the watchful eye of Mike Owen who, as usual, did a wonderful job. The car is now well launched into its 6th decade and the engine is in better than original condition.

Although it pains me to think of the cost of the recent rebuild, I am quickly soothed by the realization that every two weeks I receive a paycheque of "slightly" more than $116.00.

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