Sunday, June 5, 2011

On the road

WARNING...this is one long ferking post. Please try to stay awake. I know that is asking a lot from Mr. C and El Puncho, but...

I got this idea from Old Buzzard's World View, last week. Being the kind of old fart guy dude I am...I promptly absconded with the idea. He was reminiscing about all the cars he had owned in his life....with appropriate photos. I think it was a total of 21. Of course I am old enough to do that reminiscing thing, as well.

My total is nineteen, but I excluded a few that were third cars, and not around for very long. Not worth mentioning.

The total is nineteen, but keep in mind that we were a two car family, so some of these were in our lives two at a time.

Now just to get you in the mood for this post, here is a short (1 minute) commercial from the epitome of used car dealers...Cal Worthington of Long Beach, California. A blast from my past when I lived in
Southern Cal:

But back to my cars (none bought from Cal). Finding these cars on line was a pain in the ass. In many cases, I couldn't even find the same model, not to mention color...and with some...not even the year. Strange. Also, my old guy brain fartness lost track of exactly what year some of these were. Just guessing with much of it.

In all but three cases, I bought these cars used. The interesting thing is I realized that with the exception of the Toyotas, every one of these cars gave me trouble...some more than others...but trouble nonetheless. I can't say enough positive about Toyota...just damn good vehicles...or have been for me at least. One can't kill the bastards...which is probably the reason they are the pickups of choice for radical terrorist groups...just sayin'.

One other note---as I got into this thing, it got more and more windy, because every damned one of them had a story. Finally after the first six I realized that this was turning into the longest fucking blog post ever. So, be glad to know that after that number, I tried to restrict myself to minimal comment.

My first car...a '52 Dodge humpback Doggie (my term). It was purchased for me by my grandfather (I paid him back in installments). It's not the car I wanted, but he was afraid I would kill myself in the car I really wanted...a lowered, '50 Ford Coupe with dual glass pack mufflers...and it was the same price as the Doggie, which was two years newer...if that tells you something. The Doggie smelled like brake fluid...and there was a ate master brake the dozens. It was my introduction to home auto maintenance....and cold-sweat fear at traffic lights. It also consumed generators, as well. The upside is, I learned how to dodge parallel traffic without being T-boned and smeared up and down the pavement of major streets in and around Jacksonville, Florida. I still possess this skill here on the plain Plains. Oh, and, I learned about re-built auto parts...they are cheaper.

My second car, a '50 Buick tudor, Ut was purchased after I returned from Army Basic and Advance Training. My grandfather sold the Doggie while I was away. I bought this from a friend's neighbor who had it parked in an empty lot, with lots of Spanish Moss laden Oak trees, between their houses. $300 was the going price. I was proud to own this classic beast and to have wheels once again in my life. Mobility gave me, well...romantical follow-up ability.

Soon after arriving at a Drive-In Theater on my first date in this beauty, my soon to be ex-friend began screaming..."roaches, roaches, roaches!" It seems there was a nest of them in each window panel...on the march...across the dashboard. Literally, I had to take her home immediately, and at the same time I was trying to keep control of the car as we were trying to squish the sumbitches. Fortunately, she lived close by. Not a stellar first impression, which turned out to be a last impression. I can't remember her name now.

The next day I took out the door panels, and indeed they were infested with what we called Palmetto Bugs in Florida. Besides being slightly less than the size of the Buick, they stink like bad ass tennis shoe socks, when you stomp 'em. Seriously...very foul. I bombed this bunch with insect killer shit, but they never really went away entirely. I ended up junking the car. I got 50 bucks for it I think. It wasn't so much that the car was a mechanical problem, as much as being a varmint problem.

No, this is not how my next car actually looked. Rather, it was dented in on the driver's side. This is the same model however. A 1956 Ford something or other. The biggest annoyance was...I had to exit the vehicle on the passenger's side, after one week of mine and the bank's ownership. I was T-boned in a parking lot one night. And as young fellows dudes are wont to do...or not wont to do...neither of us had insurance on our car.

I don't recall if there were mind-altering substances involved with the whole affair, or not. We did call the police in a effort to straighten the mess out, and to do the right thing, but since it was technically on private property, there wasn't much they could do...except...give us a summons for not having insurance...they did not mention anything about mind-altering substances, however. As a result, I lost my driver's license. Shit happens...and that is another tale to be told. The bottom line was (as they say in the halls of collar white places), I couldn't get the ferking thing fixed, because I had no insurance. Oh, and being the ignoramus that I was at the time...I keep driving...sans permit...exiting on the passenger side. Again...that is another tale.

A '61 Valiant. My first convertible. I bought this baby from the same friend whose neighbor had the Roach Buick in the empty, Oak Tree, roach infested lot. Fortunately this one had no roaches or other creepy least that got loose,...that I know of. In all fairness to my friend, who moved from this to a Renault limp shift, Franchie thingy, he did go over it's idiosyncrasies with me. The biggest one being that it would jam in first gear. You had to get out, lift the hood, and bang on the linkage (I think that's what it was) with a hammer, and then you could change into second and beyond.

As to why my friend bought a Renault...I can only say that he was a practicing Roman Catholic. This was the only reason I could ever come up with.

And now...and now...the car that still gives me, dreaming pleasure. My beautiful 1963 MGB Roadster. God I loved that car. I got more speeding tickets with this car than all of my other vehicles combined. Yazzir.

It's peculiarity also involved a hammer. The starter would stick, and I'd have to get underneath and bang on it with a hammer. Then it would start.

I owned this puppy for a year or so, and while I was off at OCS, my first wife was involved in a collision with it (God rest her soul...she was a good person, whose life I am glad to have been a part of). It wasn't her fault, but it was beyond repair.

C'est la vie, baby.

And we bought,  NEW, a classic, wet-dream delight, which cost...$2,500. A 1966 Mustang Convertible. The photo is the exact car. My first wife keep this car when we got  a divorce. 20 years later she sold it for $25, 000. I'm not bitter, but that was the pristine care we gave this car...and she keep it up. However, while it was a fun car to drive, and a head turner, it gave us problems almost from the start. We were constantly taking this thing to the shop. I had a couple of friends who had one also, and they had the same experience. Hot car. Bad experience.

Please, no questions regards this 197something Duschelander abomination. Please, just don't go there. Uber alles, my ass.
10,000 miles into this Detroit-fuck-the-American-auto-consumer-in-the-ass-with-our-arrogance, this bastard blew a water pump on Interstate 95 near Palm Beach, and said water pump went through the radiator. We were approximately 300 miles from home at the time. In other words...large amounts dollars were required to remedy the situation. Of course it was one month beyond the piss ant warranty, and Dodge passed on fixing the problem. I think this thing was a 1972. I won't even go into the added on airconditioning that was SUPPOSED to be factory air. I won't even go into that.

Another over-rated German joke. This story would be soooooooo long, I'd have to start another blog to finish it. A '73 I believe, and we bought it new. Basically I decided after this one and the Opel, that we really ought to look into re-instigating the Nuremberg trials. A piece of 5-Star monkey shit!
 1977? Pinto Wagon. I thought this car had some bad press because of the rear-end collision explosion reported in the press. But that actually it wasn't a bad little car. It got great gas mileage, was peppy, never gave me one bit of trouble and I keep it for 3 or 4 years. It had a tendency to rust in northern climes...but what vehicle doesn't. I traded it when I moved to California for a real California car...a Volvo.

1982 Volvo Wagon. Good car. My significant other got this one when we decided to move in different directions, and I bought a

1981 Toyota SR5 Special Package Sports Car in Disquise...pickup. The one pictured is very similar but lacks the moon roof that mine had. The best vehicle I have ever owned. When I bought it, it had 6,000 miles. When I got rid of it, it was pushing 300,000. I drove the piss out of this truck all over Southern California and South Florida. It just wouldn't die.

1976? Saab. Second car. Liked it. No real problems with this car.

Another Volvo. We put 200,000 on this one, starting at 50,000 when we got it. Love this car. was a slow dog until you got up to Interstate speed. Comfy, but slooooooooooooow. It was also hard on fuel pumps, of which it had two...the reason for which I never understood. Maybe walkingman can shed some light on that one for me. Just askin'.

This was a compromise, better-than-nothing car. Lots of problems. Nothing else to say. 199something Escort Wagon.
1994 Camry Sedan. We bought this from a friend and it had almost a 100,000 miles on it at the time. We put another 100,000 on it. Great and beautiful car. Leather seats, V-6. Smooth.
Second car doggy doo. I hated this mother fucker. Smelled like leaking gas, was leaking gas from the pipe to the tank. I keep thinking, one of these days I was going to go up in a ball of flame. It also hated alternators. The four-wheel drive was for shit in snow. Had a slipping automatic transmission from second to third. And worst of about 12 mpg. OK, it was a $1,000 car, what can I say.
One of our current cars, 2003 Camry. Totally awesome vehicle. We've put 70,000 on it thus far, having started with 30,000.
OK, we have children, so I gave up my pickup for this. 2006 KIA Sedona Minivan. No more to say. Nor do I want to. I look at this, and dream about the MGB. Oh well, enjoy what you have...and have had is what my friend Punch says. I think it was him that said that...or not.



intelliwench said...

My dad had a formula for how long he could expect to own a car; 1 month per $100 spent. This generally meant that as soon as he had about $1500 saved up, it was time to buy a "new" car.

Theoretically, that means I should be able to drive my car 14 years. This also means it'll have at least 320,000 miles on it by that time. Good thing it's not a Dodge....

You're quite the dude, dude. The Roach Coach must have been quite the ride, too.

jadedj said...

intell---You actually read this mess of a post? I am impressed.

Your dad was a wise man, methinks. My yardstick involves mostly emergencies...does that smell seem long can I avoid a 911 call...are there snakes in the tirewell? Stuff like that.

AS to the roach incident...are you telling me we would have had a second drive-in experience had that been you?

intelliwench said...

Not at all. I would have been too young then for even a first date.

jadedj said...

Oh, yeah...that. Ouch.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I drive a Toyota and they truly are the best vehicles. Too bad about their current troubles, though.

Punch said...

Great post. I would never have put you in a 52 Dodge. Buicks are the coolest.

Ol'Buzzard said...

Loved this post - Today cars are just transportation - when I was young cars were my steeds that I rode to charged windmills.
the Ol'Buzzard

Kulkuri said...

The Pinto station wagon was safer than the sedans. If Ford would have put in a part that cost a few dollars, the cars would have been much safer, but then they couldn't have sold them for $1999.00 and still made a healthy profit.

Kulkuri said...

Had a '94 Escort wagon. It had 100K on it when I bought it and I put 160K on it in 6 years before it died. The reason it died was it overheated on a 108 degree day in Omaha because the fan switch had died. Drove it for another 8 months before it finally quit.

jadedj said...

DSWS---True about their problems, but I still stand by them.

Punch---Yes, as cruel a thing as ever done to a young lad with roaring hormones...the Dodge, I mean.

As to the Buick...I would love to have that car back...sans roaches. As I recall, the dashboard on the thing was pure chrome...not that damned sprayed like chrome plastic shit of today...CHROME, by God CHROME.

Ol'B---Oh yeah...steeds...and fair maidens. BTW, thanks for the idea :)

Kulkuri---Well there you go. Dollars won over deaths. Gotta love the corporate mind...or not.

Kulkuri---At first I thought, damn, that might have been my old Escort he bought. But then I realized you had no problems with it. I will say this, I still see a lot of older ones running around. So...

Mr. Charleston said...

Heysus Christos! Longest blog ever? 7 paragraphs before you even get started. I'll come back tonight with a beer.

jadedj said...

Mr. C---I am all for justifications to have a brew..or two. Just remember...patience is a virtue not to be snoffed at, nor slurred upon.


you owned a valiant? ...a ...valiant?


jadedj said...

YD G---Well it was all right except for that. OK, there was the first gear thing.

Chimp said...

My buddy in the Army, in Texas, had a 59 red MGA convertible. That was a fun car to open-up in the back Texas roads. My third car was a 60-something Valiant. The guy who sold it to me was a mechanic and he had put a V-8 in it with 4 on the floor. Did it go! My first was a 59 yellow Beetle convertible - it was my dune buggy. My second, a 59 Chevy convertible (automatic). If you went over 50 MPH, the wings in the back would make it take off: UP! The back end flew! Thanks for this trip down memory lane.

Doug said...

I tallied up 20, only three that were new, including my '10 Cobalt coupe. None were cool, and I learned a lot abour fixing cars over 30 years.

jadedj said...

Chimp---Yeah, I liked every model of MG...MGTD, MGA, and MGB. They were what driving should be

A Valiant with a V-8. There is something wrong with that...just wrong.

Doug---20! Wow, and I thought I was an auto ho.

Btw, I am so out of the loop with current cars I admit I had to look up the Cobalt.

Chimp said...

The Valiant with the V8 was like a mouse that roared! Vroom, Vroom!

Mr. Charleston said...

Finally got back to this most excellent post JJ. I'll have to do something similar sometime, although I can't match the roach coach.

jadedj said...

Mr. C---I am glad you made it back, and glad you enjoyed the post.

Shucks, I was looking forward to a tale of moccasins, lurking about in the engine of one of your vehicles. Seeing as how you live near the river and all that.

I have a river rat story from when I lived half a block from the river. It involves cats, not automobiles, however.

I love hearing about people's transportation and related stories. We all have them. It is definitely a common American story. Not to sure that is true regards river rats, though.

squatlo said...

JJ: your Mustang looks so much like mine did! I had a '69, same color yellow, with a black vinyl top, 302 4 barrel, California Special. Had a roll-top compartment at the front of the console on the dash, a third pedal for making the wipers do a two-swipe pass over the windshield (hands free!) map lights on a panel in the headliner, a door ajar light, fuel indicator light, a lot of bells and whistles that didn't come along until much later in most models. Bought it used in '74 with only 16K original miles on it. I promptly put about fifty thousand miles on her, then traded for a new Datsun 280Z... what a colossal screw-up on my part! If I had put that car in a garage the day I bought it, it would be worth more than this house today, easily. Ah, misspent youth!
Great post! (BTW, somehow your blog was deleted from my blogroll, and I apologize for that mistake...don't know how long you've been missing, but I've corrected that error... mea culpa!)

jadedj said...

squatlo...oh man, you had the real deal. Mine was a puny 289, 2 barrel, 3 on the floor. Good gas mileage, though. No goo-ga's, not even A/C. Basic radio...AM. No FM at that point in time. It did have an 8 track tape deck, however.

My brother had the same Datsun Z car...drove the fucker in the ground, and like the Mustang, should have hung on to it for his future financial well-being...I'm loving me some hindsight.

No problem with the deletion...possibly the Rapture had something to do with it. Although, we probably got raptured in reverse...I hope.