Thursday, September 22, 2005
I'm stealing this idea from Casey. Not the idea of listing cars I have owned, but rather, the idea of stealing the idea from Mark.
Anyway, here is a list of cars I've owned. Im going to have to steal pictures though. I don't have any actual pictures of the cars I used to own, which is too bad, really. It may appear that I might be 60 years old from the age of these cars, but I assure you I went to highschool from 83-87, and these cars were pretty old by then.
1961 Dodge Seneca -
I got this when I was a sophomore in High School. My dad bought it for like $200. Mine was nowhere near as nice as this one. Mine had a hundred different body-length ruts down the sides of the doors from where the original owner had trouble pulling into her carport. The one in the picture has a rare 413 engine with cross-ram 4 barrell carbs. Mine had a slant-6 that had like a million miles on it, and a push-button transmission. The first day I drove it to school, it was raining and I hit a big curve on the old, bald tires. I spun it 360 degrees in the middle of an intersection and came to a stop facing oncoming traffic. Then it wouldnt start. It finally did start, and when I got to school the battery had fallen out of its mount and onto the hot exhaust pipe. I opened the hood to investigate, and inhaled a cloud of acidic smoke that Im surprised didn't kill me. This car began a long relationship with triple-A. I eventually tried fixing it up with bondo and was going to get it painted and stuff, but on the 4th of July 1986 some jerk ran a stop sign and ran into my front left fender. I was lucky not to be hurt, but it wasn't much of a contest. That car was built like a brick shithouse.
1956 Plymouth Belvedere
This was my replacement car after the seneca was wrecked. My dad already owned this one and had painted it pretty nice. It was the reverse of the colors in the picture. It was a lot of fun to drive around in, but probably wasn't the best car for a 17-year old. It had a flathead 6 cylinder engine that you could actually climb into the engine compartment along with. My dad was pretty sure it was only a 2-owner car, and the second owner actually had been a priest. This car also had a pushbutton transmission and a big chrome handbrake. I shudder to think of how I did this now, but when parking lots were wet, I used to take this poor car out as fast as I could and power-brake it with the handbrake, forcing it into big 360 degree drifts. I finally killed the motor after I did a slick-50 treatment on it. It threw a rod. I guess I ended up cleaning out all the gunk that was probably holding the engine together. My dad actually had this brochure that the picture came from, as part of the memorabilia that came along with the car. It amused me somewhat to think they actually tried to sell the idea that their cars lines followed the design ethic of fighter jets.
1967 Barracuda Notchback
I bought this car for $600 from the daughter of my highschool biology teacher. It was dark blue with another slant-6 engine in it. It was a neat car and I did quite a bit to it. I had the upholstery redone, got slot mags for it, had it repainted and put a pretty good stereo in it. Nothing bad happened to it to while I had it. It was a good little car. But it wasn't fast and I wanted a fast car, so I traded it for the next one....
1968 Coronet R/T
This car was a bad idea, and again, this isn't a picture of the one I had. Mine was white, and rusty, and kind of junky. What I wanted it for was its hot-rod 440 engine. I drove way the hell out to zephyrhills to test-drive this car, which was being sold by a guy I ended up calling 'Billy-bob'. Billy-bob had set this car up for street racing, and that was it. There was a shotgun under the passenger seat for racers who didn't pay up (ostensibly after losing). I would later find out it didn't even have a proper electrical system in it, so the car would eat batteries at a rate of about 2 a week. It had baloney-skin tires. It had two huge holes cut in the front interior fenderwells where weird headers had been installed at one time. The rear quarter panels were completely rusted out. There was no trunk pan to speak of. Other than the engine and the R/T badges, the car was really kind of a basket case, but it was the fastest car I have ever driven, before or since, and thats what I wanted. I traded my barracuda and $500 for it. It turned out to be an especially dumb idea, since I was in my first year of college, and had to drive to clearwater on a daily basis. The coronet got like 7 mpg..if it was going downhill...with the wind behind it. I spent a fortune on gas. I have to admit, a little bit of Billy-bob crept into my personality when I drove it. I wore a Holley trucker hat and took to wearing a denim jacket. I smelled like gasoline all the time. I even drove it to Atlanta once, which is where I found out about the battery problem, and also the fact that the trunk leaked exhaust into the interior. I thought I was going to die that night. Eventually the starter went bad, and the various impracticalities of the car led me to trade it for a working vehicle, which was a....
1970/71 Dodge Challenger
do not click to enlarge
This car was a 1971, but had a 70 grille. It looked a little like the car from that movie Vanishing Point, which is the picture I put up for this one (complete with the movies antihero, Kowalski). A mopar collector/speed shop owner named Benny traded me this car for the Coronet, which seemed like a good deal at the time. My car was a gas-hog that wasn't running, the challenger was a simple 318 2-barrel car. No fancy speed equipment, new paint, nice interior. It ended up being a terrible deal for me, but a great deal for him. The 68 was collectible. This car wasn't. It had been some kind of rusted out basket case too, but Benny had cleaned it up and made it look presentable. Imagine my suprise when I opened the trunk to see if there was a spare, and found no trunk! It was completely rusted out. After about two months, extensive bondo-ing started showing itself. There was more bondo on the car than metal. I removed the vinyl top eventually, only to find enormous amounts of badly covered up rust repair. This car ran for a pretty long time, but it looked like shit by the time I finally ended up selling it and getting my grandmothers old car, which was a...
1979 Ford Fairmont
Im not going to bother looking for a picture of this car. It was a total piece of shit, even though it had relatively low miles and was driven by my grandmother. It was slow. It handled badly. It was ugly. The A/C stopped working. It was free, it was transportation, but it certainly wasn't worth talking about very much.
This brings us to about 1992. I'll continue with the rest later.