As promised, I return this week to provide another installment for the…wait for it…carrrrrrs of yesssssteryeaaarrrrr.
This goes against a major dogma taught to us by Walt Disney—which is to say, keep moving forward. But on most mornings I find myself too scared to look further ahead than what might be coming in the afternoon, so for now, I place Uncle Walt’s multi-billion dollar advice on the shelf, and take down in its place an old photo of a little car that caused big headaches.
Car Number 3
The 1978 Ford Fiesta
My brother sold me this car, apparently after deciding that he’d been a complete idiot to purchase it in the first place. Was it any good off the showroom floor? I don’t know. My brother bought it 3rd hand and by then it already looked like a prop piece left over from one of the Terminator films.
The Fiesta looks much, much cooler today. If you don’t believe me go take a peek over at Wikipedia. My particular Fiesta barely ran at all. I can’t remember why I bought it (I was working at a grocery store on the north end of town in those days and had a pretty nice mountain bike to take me there), and I didn’t own it for long. There’s a reason for that. Death comes to us in many guises. For the Fiesta, it wore the face of a snowstorm.
I pushed the no longer running car to a parking spot opposite my house, nestling it snugly against a snow pile left by one of plows. And there it stayed until the end of its days. Or rather, until a policeman stopped by the following spring and asked me why the hell the car was parked so far away from the curb. That guy had a real attitude, let me tell you. In fact he was so mad the only way to describe it is to use another Terminator reference.
I tried to tell him that there’d once been a huge pile of snow on the curb, that I’d had no choice but to park it as it was. Needless to say, my excuse cut zero ice with Officer Friendly. He ordered me to push it somewhere else. Now. This order was given in between words of profanity not suitable for a family blog.
The 1978 Ford Fiesta/4-cylinder/4-speed manual/4 stars out of 10, as obviously this car likes that number a lot
Car Number 4
The 1972 (yes, I went backward in time for my next model) Dodge Dart Swinger
With a name like Swinger you’d think this car was a lot of fun. And it was. It carried the same non-killable slant 6 engine the
from my previous article had and seemed to like going places as much as I did
at the time. I changed out three
alternators on it (this is a notorious bug with pretty much any Dodge made
before 1980). I replaced the heater
hoses behind the dashboard. I drove it
in the rain, the snow, the sun, and the fog.
We were friends. Buddies. Chums.
Pares. Amigos. Whatever term you want to use.
Throughout all of these good times, however, my friend was dying. I applaud it today for keeping such a happy face throughout, as if it didn’t want me to be sad about…well, about the inevitable coming to an end.
This car’s previous owner had pasted a lot of bondo over major rust damage around doors (lift and pull, remember?). And as the years went by, the bondo fell off, revealing the material he’d used to achieve his patchwork. Some of this material consisted of newspaper comic strips, which was when I realized that Andy Capp, that drunken British lout, had been riding along with us during every trip we took in those days.
Around 1991 the car simply fell apart. It had to be towed off, with the engine still perfectly fine, and we never saw each other again.
I…I…I… *sniff*. OH GOD WHY???
All right I’m fine, actually. Also, I have more cars coming in a future installment. Stay tuned and stay cool. Oh and put your hat on your chest for just a few moments if you please. The car you once loved I’m certain deserves it.