Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nobody Wants a Girl Auto Mechanic! - Career Girl Romances #66 (December 1971)

Last week, KB over at Out of This World presented a nice post with some car-themed work by Alex Toth. One of the beautifully draw pieces by Toth featured a young woman working on a car -- much to the surprise of a few of the male characters. The Toth story reminded me of "Nobody Wants a Girl Auto Mechanic!" from Career Girl Romances #66 (December 1971).

Published six years after the Toth story, "Nobody Wants a Girl Auto Mechanic!" tells the story of bright Lisa, an aspiring car-fixer-upper looking for work. Lisa gets turned down by shop after shop without even having an opportunity to show her skills. Trying one more time at Chuck's Auto Repair, Lisa is greeted with the same response - a big fat no.

That's coffee he just spit up Exorcist-style.
I think. I hope.

Frustrated by the same response she is used to getting, Lisa makes a dash for it, accidentally leaving behind her tool kit. Chuck's sister, Mae first scolds Chuck for being such a "big man" and then promptly goes to return Lisa's tool box. When Mae goes to return Lisa's tools she apologizes for her brother's archaic behavior and conducts an impromptu interview with Lisa and her male family members, all who can vouch for her talent in fixing up their cars and motorcycles. Convinced that Lisa would be a great mechanic, Mae cooks up a plan to stage a protest outside of her brother's auto repair shop.

Mae and her crew of activists don't relent until Chuck gives in and hires Lisa, proving a costly move for the business. Though Chuck is willing to give a female mechanic a shot, his customers aren't. The business declines rapidly, and the customers stop rolling in.

Feeling responsible for losing Chuck's clientele, Lisa decides to leave the shop. Chuck won't have any of it though and declares, "Now this is my fight too..." and decides to take up the cause of women's lib.

Mae convinces the next customer, Ted Bosswell to let Lisa work on his car. Happy to prove her talent, Lisa gets to work.

The engine starts like a gem, and Ted tells Chuck he only wants Lisa working on it from there on out. Obviously impressed with her work, Chuck grabs Lisa and lays a big smooch on her -- and the rest, as they say, is history!

Not a bad story, wouldn't you say?! "Nobody Wants a Girl Auto Mechanic!" manages to incorporate the women's movement in a non superficial way and yet retain a believable romantic essence. There is just a certain sweetness to it -- and I am not gonna lie -- that jumpsuit is tops!

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