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January 13, 2007

Comments

craig

might i suggest next car be a volvo wagon, wrapped in bubble foam and filled with packing peanuts?

that, or take the 'HIT ME' bumper sticker off the car.......

bob

A lot of us at FMU recall the Jeep Wrangler. I rode in it when it was driving pretty (Get outta the way, fools!) & a couple of times when you had to call up supernatural spirits to bring it to life just so we could go a few blocks in East Orange for burgers or beer.

Dale Hazelton

My first car was a 1974 AMC Hornet. It was three years old when I got it and it began to rust out imediately. Serious rust holes in the tops of the fenders and in the rear quarters. It was my summer ritual to buy a gallon of cheap bondo at the Twin Fair department store and give it a half-assed paint job. The front shock towers rusted so badly it was unsafe to drive, and I could only make left hand turns without the tires grinding into the finder lips. It went through a couple of starters, exhaust systems, alternators, shocks, new springs, I rebuilt the carberator a few times etc. I think it was just good old American union-mentality craftsmanship, both at the car companies and at the aftermarket parts companies. It was all junk, and no one cared. Still, it was my car through college, so I have a lot of memories of it.

My next car was a 63 Mercury Colony Park station wagon I paid $600 for, presently in my garage awaiting some restoration. It has a 390 cid and could go like hell on the Parkway, but like you point out, pray you don't have to stop in a hurry.

Then I had an 88 Wrangler for, yes, 14 years! Great for parking where I lived in Brooklyn. The long stroke six was a great motor, but the Ford Motorcraft ignition system was crap and needed constant troubleshooting (I still remember jiggling ignition wires on the side of the Prospect Expressway at 5 am in 20 degree weather), the vacuum hoses were routed on top of the exhaust manifold and burned out constantly making it run rougher than a cob, the windshield leaked horribly requiring copious amounts of silicone. With the soft top on the flapping sound was deafening at highway speed. I finally got tired of spending every other Saturday at the auto parts store and by 2003 when I got rid of it the frame was just starting to rust out. I recently spotted it locally, with probably about 3 grand worth of tires, wheels and jacked up suspension, but they never bothered to repair the frame.

Now my 47 year old ass is happy in (gasp!) a Chrysler Town & Country minivan. Don't gag until you try one. There are tons of them out there so they are pretty cheap preowned, they're quiet, comfortable, safe, fairly fuel-efficient, and pull out the third seat and you have a ton of room for camping, flea marketing, whatever.

Chris, too bad none of us had time machines, now your big block family cruisers are starting to command good money in Hemmings Motor News. But at the time, they were just "wheels" , and a means to get out and find some fun.

detroitsuperfly

My 1st car was a 1969 Mercury Cyclone with a 428 Cobra Jet. I only drove it for a year until I took it up to 145 MPH on a 4 land h-way in Detroit. At 145, the intense torque of the motor cracked the transmission off the bell housing and engine, filling the car with smoke and locking the rear wheels. Lucky for me, it was a posi-traction rear end and skidded straight to a stop. I got out of the car to assess the damage. As soon as I got out of the car, my Dad drive by. He saw the whole thing and screamed a whole in my head. I had the car for 5 more years stored in the garage with no motor or trans. I ended up selling it to a midget in Quelph Ontario through Hemmings motor news for $2000 more than I paid for it.

My next car was a 76 Cougar that I had for a week before I drove to to and from Toledo to Detroit to get fireworks... with no oil.

detroitsuperfly

My 1st car was a 1969 Mercury Cyclone with a 428 Cobra Jet. I only drove it for a year until I took it up to 145 MPH on a 4 lane h-way in Detroit. At 145, the intense torque of the motor cracked the transmission off the bell housing and engine, filling the car with smoke and locking the rear wheels. Lucky for me, it was a posi-traction rear end and skidded straight to a stop. I got out of the car to assess the damage. As soon as I got out of the car, my Dad drive by. He saw the whole thing and screamed a hole in my head. I had the car for 5 more years stored in the garage with no motor or trans. I ended up selling it to a midget in Quelph Ontario through Hemmings motor news for $2000 more than I paid for it.

My next car was a 76 Cougar that I had for a week before I drove to to and from Toledo to Detroit to get fireworks... with no oil.

yaw eno

a friend of ours had a Checker Marathon, they were built to go a zillion miles & of pretty thick gauge sheet metal, which is certainly a factor in why it mushed your car so bad. when my buddy would pick us up in that thing, to bust balls we'd only sit in the back & bark out adresses or NYC landmarks.
my first car was a '67 GTO, 8 miles a gallon of leaded hi-test just in time for the 70's gas shortages. sold it for $100 bucks, which wasn't the only stupid thing i did with it, there was the dramatic 120-ish m.p.h. front tire blow-out. plenty exciting!
working for a large company(think monopoly), i've had the pleasure to beat the piss out of many vehicles as a form of revenge against my employer. K-cars & Omni's fell apart so fast, it wasn't even fun, on the other hand you couldn't kill some vans or pick-ups.
Okay, liked the car love/hate stories, later

EmD

My first car was a '92 Geo Prizm, a real fighter that I nicknamed Dennis. It took untold amounts of abuse. Once, I didn't slam the hood hard enough, and it flew up on I-40, covering the windshield. Another time, I busted a grape in traffic and pounded the horn so hard that it stuck. For months, it fired at unpredictable intervals until I finally got it fixed. (One one occasion, as I was crusing 'cross the countryside, I passed a police car, and the horn toot-tooted without provocation. I was pulled over and searched.) After five long years, Dennis finally crapped out on I-85 outside Atlanta, belching black smoke. I got $50 for his remains.

The next and only other car was a silver Toyota with a better engine, better features and lot less character. I owned it for a little over two years and sold it to finance a trip to Europe. When I got back, I moved to Chicago. Despite the profound shittiness of the CTA, I've enjoyed not having a car.

Dale Hazelton

The "drywall" thread garnered more interest than this (!). Don't people have a relationship with their cars anymore?

OK, here's one -- my wife's first, and only car was a 1980 Chevy Monza named "Flipper", after the band. It also went fast and fishtailed, hence another"flipper" reference...It had been handed down from her brothers and pretty much used up by then - the hood had been run over by the tailgate of her father's moving truck and the rear quarter was damaged from a hit-and-run in her High School parking lot. I remember her picking me up in it to drive to Buffalo to see an Elvis Hitler concert. There was a "Beware of Dog" sign on the dashboard and handcuffs hanging from the rearview window.
The headliner was hanging down and grazing the top of my head and it, the dashboard, and doors had been written on in chalk with song lyrics and crazy punk phrases. She had various band stickers on the dash pad and rear fender, and a few skulls and crossbones here and there....The suspension was shot and it sat pretty low. I remember keeping the window open so the exhaust gasses wouldn't get the better of me. I was petrified . She loved it.

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