My Life In Cars

In honor of the 2007 car show this weekend, I found this on Rambling along in life…with a Stern point of view and found it interesting enough that I thought I would do it myself. If I can find pictures, I will get them posted later.

1. 1971 Ford Maverick: This car had grown up in Kansas where they used salt on their roads. I was originally supposed to get our 1969 convertible Camaro when I turned 16, but we had to sell it to pay for my cat’s surgery. So, instead, when I turned 16, my mom found this car through a friend of her’s. It was so rusted from it’s winters in Kansas that it had a 1′ x 2′ hole on either side of the trunk, as well as along the whole bottom of the car. I was seriously afraid that it would separate from the bottom of the car everytime I put on the brakes! I had this for the summer I worked at summer camp. It became nicknamed “The Grabber” by my fellow bunkmates because they thought it looked like the car a child molester would drive, driving by and grabbing kids as they passed. A little disturbing, I know! That car didn’t last more than 9 months, and by then, my mom had bought a truck that she really liked, so I ended up with her car.

2. 1980 Honda Accord: This was a great car, spent half of my Senior year of high school with this one. I named this one Herbie! I think it had close to 200k miles on it when I took it over in 1989. My mom decided I needed reliable transportation since I had to be in charge of taking my brother to appointments and what not. This one didn’t last very long as well, as in December that year, I was at a party for my summer camp. I was coming down the mountain, and hit a patch of sand that hadn’t been cleaned up from the last snow storm. I lost complete control (around, as I found out later, affectionately called “Dead Man’s Curb”) on Hwy 285. I totalled the car and would have been dead through the windshield and down a 200 ft cliff if I hadn’t had my seat belt on.

3. 1980 Ford Courier Pickup: Upon wrecking the Accord, my mom decided she wanted to get herself a new vehicle as she wasn’t as enamoured with the pickup as she had been. So she let me have her truck, and she got herself a newer car. She had it painted for me as it had come from the Humane Society and was in bad shape, had a lot of dents all over, most notably the one on the roof from where a Mt. Lion had decided to make home once. I had this one as I started college, and was great for getting back and forth. I had the bench taken out, and put in bucket seats from an old camaro. It was interesting to say the least. I really liked the truck, but it started having problems with the rotor that set of the sparks, and would missfire, so I had to have a stock of them to get back and forth from Colorado to Nebraska. Eventually, it was too difficult to maintain, so I gave the truck to my mom and she let my brother have it to drive.

4. 1980 Diesel Rabbit: I ended up buying myself this car for $300. It ended up being a great car for six months. I put 22k miles on it in that time. Many road trips during college to different states around Nebraska, as well as many trips back home. The main problem it had was that the glow plugs didn’t work well, so I had to usually jump start it. I still remember the day the running team decided to help me (I always tried to park at the top of the hill so I could just coast it). This time, I couldn’t get my spot so I had a long way to go to get to it. So the running team pushed me to get it going, that was the last time they offered as I left them in a huge plume of nasty black diesel smoke. There was also the time coming back from Kansas, that the end of the car was near, I was driving back at night, and the car wasn’t keeping much of a charge anymore, so the lights kept getting dimmer and dimmer till I got back to campus. The next morning, I tried to start it and the timing chain snapped. That was the end of that car!

5. 1979 Honda Civic CVCC Hatchback: This one I bought for $750 from a family friend. It was a very tiny, but solid car. Anyone who’s seen these knows how small they are. If you remeber the Yugo, this was still smaller. Even today’s mini coopers’s are bigger. This car had it’s little oddities mainly the fact that the only way to lock the drivers side was to lock it from the inside and get out on the passenger side. As a result, the previous owner had rigged an alarm that would set off the airhorn he put in the car if you opened the door when the alarm was active, with a switch behind the gas tank door to turn it on or off. It was also old enough that it still had a primer switch to start it on cold mornings. Outside of that, it was such a joy to drive! I loved the car, it was so small, I could go just about anywhere and fit in parking spots that nobody else could. I had this for 2 years, and was sad to part with it, but I sold it as my mom had given me a newer car for graduation… a year early. So I sold it for $500.

6. 1986 Datsun/Nissan Stanza: Once again, my mom’s former car when she decided to go for the more sportier Nissan Pulsar, I got a bit of an upgrade with this car. I had four doors again, and for the first time, all the power accessories you could possibly want! It had the special 50th Anniversary badge on the front, and was labeled as both a Datsun and a Nissan as it was the in-between years as they transitioned names for the brand. For me it was the height of a luxury car! And boy did it go fast! I remember many times driving between the little towns around my college and getting up to like 115-120 mph! Not a lot of cops in that area. πŸ™‚ I had this car for about 2 years till it started having engine problems. I then decided it was time for a new car!

7. 1994 Plymouth Neon: I absolutely loved these cars, they were so ahead of their time when they first came out design wise! I got a lot of head turns at first when I got the car as they were very hard to get, and nobody new what it was yet. Unfortunately 2 weeks after buying it, Denver got hit with a severe hail storm that did $3000k worth of body damage to it. His name was Nermal because he reminded me of Garfield’s little buddy in the comic strip. It was a greyish purple. I had a bunch of transmission problems that finally resulted in them having to replace the transmission after only 2 years. Apparently the early ones had problems with the engine mount bolts falling out. So I finally traded it in… And what did I get?

8. 1996 Plymouth Neon: After all the problems I had, I still traded in Nermal for a new Neon. What was I thinking? This one was definitely a much better car, many of the bugs had been worked out. This one was flame red, and as a result, his name was Nelly, because he was a real flamer! By this time they had become overly popular, and I was not as excited with it as I was my first one. I got a new job that involved a lot of highway driving and there was a lot of construction, so after 3 years I traded it in for something that helped me see more of what was going on on the interstate.

9. 1995 Chevy Blazer S-10 4×4 2 Door: I decided to butch it up a little I guess. It was very nice to sit high enough to see what was going on ahead of me. It was a big change over anything I had driven to date. A very comfortable ride! But alas, it was 4×4 and required a lot of maintenance. I was spending around $1000 every three months keeping it going, and the gas… whew, that was costly! And more importantly, I never took it off road, so what was the point? And I guess I wasn’t thoroughly attached as it never got named.

10. 1998 Nissan Altima: The distant cousin of my old Stanza, this was a much bigger car, and even more power accessories. I traded the Blazer in for this much more fuel efficent car. He was named Attila. I had been transfered and was only working 10 minutes from home, so I no longer had the need to drive on the interstate. This car saw me through a few road trips to California, and was also to date the longest I owned a car, almost 4 years. In that four years I think I spent as much on maintenance as 3 months of owning the Blazer. Much better on my pocket book. Alas though, now as a homeowner, it was not very practical. So I sold it last July.

11. 1999 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner: And now to present day. I now have Taco. I have been very happy with it, and it has made getting stuff to work on the house much easier! Although, being 2WD and rear wheel drive, it was a challenge to get used to over this past winter, and got stuck a couple times. But the snow we got this past year was not very normal! But I learned a lot and driving should go better next winter!

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2 comments on “My Life In Cars

  1. YOU do a car post? Oh, I am sooooo shocked! And in case you didn’t know, THAT was sarcasm.

    (And that last line was from Billy & Mandy) πŸ˜€

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