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Car Stories: What Cars Do You Miss?


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I've had a number of vehicles over the years, at one point owning as many as four at a time.  The only "new" vehicle was a 2004 Mustang GT dealer sample, while most have been older models.  Here I'll share a few memories of some I miss.


1983 Chevette Scooter: my first car, bought for $350 from my Driver's Ed teacher when I was 16.  I had some friends that were graffiti artists so I let them add artwork to the car.  Needless to say, it stood out.  Overall, pretty solid car, but it say for a while in need of a master cylinder and I finally sold it for $25.


1973 BMW 3.0: a nice and fairly uncommon car (the smaller 2002 was far more common in my area).  Unfortunately, I through a rod through the engine block trying to race it.  It sat on the roadside for a few days while I dealt with unrelated issues before being broken into and impounded shortly afterward.  


1989 Mercedes 560SEC: a true sleeper of a car and like the BMW a fairly uncommon model in my area.  This car was fast for its time and might have been driven at speeds in excess of 140 mph a few times.  The local Mercedes dealership hooked me up with a wholesale account as I had been dispatched to their parts department as a forklift mechanic, so I put a little bit of money into the car each paycheck.  I left it with the wife and father-in-law after joining the Army, warning that it needed a quart of transmission fluid every couple of months.  Getting back from Iraq in 2004, they told me the transmission was slipping...yep, no fluid had been added for well over a year and it was five or six quarts low.  The car was never the same afterward, and got some water damage after sitting for a few months with the sunroof partially open, leading to a horrendous phantom drain killing new batteries within a day or so.  We ended up selling it for about $450 and I'm pretty certain it was scrapped.


1960 Willy's DJ3A: the 2wd Dispatch Jeep, the best known DJs are the DJ5 Postal Jeeps.  Mine was a hardtop, but the top was long gone.  This meant a fixed windshield and no floor tubs--the floor panels were flat and anything placed down there was easy to fling out.  Also, no seatbelts, making this thing scary when taking a sharp curve.  Four wheel drum brakes, with a left front bias making it possible to do a 180 at 20 mph or so if you stomped on the brake pedal.  The 3-speed column shifter was a bit iffy as the linkage needed repair, but she'd go.  I sold the Jeep before moving to Georgia in 2012.


Those are a few of the cars I've owned, I've had a number more and driven quite a few more, sometimes acting the fool in my younger years but fortunately never getting in trouble.  Anyone else want to share some stories or comment on those above?


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What cars do I miss?  Great question and I know I am going off track because I am sure you are looking for a specific car but I really miss the old muscle cars and the cars that had style.  I am not saying the cars today don't have style but some Hondas look like Mercedes and so forth.  Yes, I can appreciate the battery power cars with the power and technology but I still love hearing and feeling an engine when I take off.  I love how older cars had style and you could tell them a part.  I could go on and on but I know you are looking for specific vehicles.

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I started the thread thinking about cars we've owned or driven, but I welcome discussion on this topic as well.  Malaise Era vehicles kept some of the design cues of their predecessors while suffering from a lack of performance.  In the '80s some cars were easily distinguishable from each other, though there were a lot of badge swaps.  Now it seems that crossover SUVs are all the rage, with the major exterior differences being the front clip and rear end.


I've never owned a classic muscle car, but as a mechanic I knew some people who restored and/or raced them.  At the Caddy dealership we had an open bay shop with doors at each end.  An extremely loud car came in one day, and come to find out it was the transmission tech's '67 Camaro SS drag car.  Needless to say, a lot of us gathered around it to get a closer look.  One of my dad's friends had a trophy winning '73 Corvette Stingray that he crashed and burned in back in the '90s.  I wouldn't mind buying something older one day.  When my dad moved in the mid-2000s he had to get rid of most of his cars.  He offered me the '78 Cordoba with t-tops but I didn't have a place to put it and couldn't get there before he had to get rid of it.  


I did have two other '78s, though.  The first was a '78 K5 Blazer with a 350 and 4-bbl carburetor.  I was young and dumb and thought it looked good with its 9" lift and 36" Super Swampers.  The price was decent enough but after I drove it for a while and researched lifted trucks, I realized that it was not quite a steal.  The floor boards seemed solid, but when I did a deep clean one time and lifted the carpet I saw that they had been replaced with road signs, while the lift consisted of a 3" body lift and 6" suspension lift.  The suspension lift had been done with two 3" blocks on each side, though, and the two-piece driveshaft was never extended, which I found out when it flew apart one night.  The other '78 was an F-250 pickup.  It had a heavy duty ladder rack and a steel lip bolted where the tailgate was supposed to be.  Supposedly it had lived one of its lives as a roofing truck.  The truck was given to me and after I replaced the master cylinder and brake booster it was a decent runner until it hit a bump.  I needed to replace the gas tank as it had rust or dirt in it that would clog the fuel filter and stall the engine.  Easy fix, pull the filter and blow it clean, but still annoying.  



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