A similar story: When I was working in Anchorage in the '80s a friend took me on Memorial Day weekend to the gold mine he and his brother ran in Dawson, Yukon Territory. We left Friday morning in another companion's Dodge van and drove all day, most of it over gravel roads. Late in the afternoon we got to Boundary Alaska near the Canadian border. We stopped for gas knowing that it would be more expensive in Canada. As we walked around the van stretching our legs, someone said "Uh oh!" There was a pencil-sized hole in the tank and a stream of gas was running out. A tire had kicked up a rock somewhere in the last few miles.
Boundary consisted of a service station/garage/general store/post office/bar, and about three houses. We were screwed. Even if there was a new tank in Anchorage it couldn't get to Boundary before Tuesday afternoon, and we all had to be back at work Tuesday morning. About that time an
came stumbling and shuffling out of the garage. He was the prototype of an Alaskan bush-dweller - big thick boots, dirty coveralls, heavy jacket with a plaid shirt collar hanging out, full beard stained with Beechnut dribble, a ruddy complexion, hunter's cap with the ear flaps flapping, and all surrounded by a haze of old booze fumes and stale tobacco smoke.
"Whasha matter?" he enquired. We showed him the stream of gasoline soaking into the gravel. "Peesh o' cake!" he slurred as he slowly straightened up and stumbled towards the garage. In a couple of minutes he was back with the biggest Tek screw I'd ever seen and a greasy ratchet. He jammed the screw into the hole, cranked the ratchet for a few seconds and slid back out from under. "Good f'rever!" he slurred, and shuffled back into the garage.
We finished the trip to Dawson, had a great time panning for gold - I collected over an ounce - went in to town on Saturday night, and drove home without incident Monday. Years later I asked my buddy about that screw. He said that it lasted three years until he traded the van in, and had never leaked.