By on March 20, 2017

1989 Lincoln Mark VII LSC

A couple of weeks ago, Steph asked about the one that got away. From Aussie coupes to strange French sedans — which, by the way, require such a deep love of all things Gallic that one must have garlic toothpaste in their medicine cabinet — the B&B had some great examples of forbidden fruit for which they yearn.

Thing is, though, all those examples were denied us by the manufacturers. This time, we’re going for something far more personal. What’s the one that got away … because you sold it?

We’re all gearheads here at TTAC, readers and writers alike, which is one of the main reasons I enjoy contributing to our little online automotive asylum. As such, we tend to get all misty-eyed and weepy when talking about certain cars, especially if they’re ones we thoroughly enjoyed but chose to dispose of either in a moment of financial weakness or during a particularly aggressive fleet reduction program.

Me? My reasoning was the former … tinged with more than a bit of panic. Fourteen years ago (holy crap, has it been that long?), I swaggered into the dimly lit living room of a man who was – by all accounts – well known to the local constabulary, dumped a sackful of tens and twenties on his coffee table, and walked out with the keys to his 1989 Lincoln Mark VII LSC. Come to think of it, that whole tale would make a good post; let our Managing Ed know in the comments if you want me to spill all the details in a long-form narrative.

Anyway, I enjoyed the Mark VII for six good years and intended to enjoy it for many more. However, while Canada fared better than our southern neighbors during the Great Recession, we were not left untouched, as evidenced by massive layoffs in many sectors. In short order, I found myself freshly unemployed.

Panicking, I embarked on an aggressive — and ultimately needless — fire sale of my possessions. Anything I deemed frivolous, from tools to my John Deere to my Mark VII, were all sold to create some sort of financial cushion for my family and I. It was all unnecessary, of course — the company had provided me with a decent severance package and finding work again was a relatively uncomplicated matter — but I certainly didn’t think so at the time.

Finding another Mark VII in the Great White North is proving to be tough. Most have either been hacked up for Mustang projects or returned themselves to the earth in the form of iron oxide. Most that remain are sticked at gonzo prices. I am bowed, however, and my Google Chrome search history remains littered with Mark VII inquiries. I will find another good one.

Sold, stolen, or wrecked (we’ll open up the criteria a bit there), just about every gearhead has a story of the one that got away. What’s yours? And if you see an ad for a good, clean, ’88 or ‘89 Mark VII LSC, fire me a DM on Instagram or Twitter. I can’t promise a finder’s fee … but I can promise a good story or two.

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187 Comments on “QOTD: Man, I Miss That Car...”


  • avatar

    Bronco.

  • avatar
    thats one fast cat

    1988 Honda CRX Si, AKA “the silver bullet.” I wonder how many low mileage un-tinkered with Si’s are left. Oh, I know. NONE.

    • 0 avatar
      Demon_Something

      It’s a shame, because there’s this 99% correlation between driving a CRX and delivering pizzas. That’ll thrash a car fast.

    • 0 avatar
      cdmoore1972

      In 1999, I sold my 1991 CRX HF for a 1990 CRX Si. The previous owner had kept the passenger side seatbelt fastened at all times so that the fasten seatbelt light wouldn’t go out (he was that kind of guy). The car was immaculate and I loved it and drove the hell out of it every day. We had a child, and the car went away.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    1972 Volkswagen Transporter panel van in almost-mint original condition with original inscriptions. Sadly totalled by an idiot in a Passat, and sold to a pal who is now busy restoring it (investing amounts of money and work that I could never have mustered). So, for the van it’s good I sold it, but man, do I miss that van.

  • avatar
    davewg

    ’92 Corrado G60. I know it was a ticking time bomb, but…

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    AT one time I had a ’94 Buick Roadmaster with 105k miles and a ’01 Grand Marquis with 70k miles.

    When it came time to trade one in on a used Honda Element, I picked the Roadmaster to go since it had the highest miles, was just beginning to rust in the rear quarters, and the front suspension was feeling the years.

    As much as I enjoyed the Marquis, it still was no Roadmaster. Now I wish I had kept the Buick, had the rust repaired, and the the front bits replaced. It was smoother and more powerful than the Marquis. Still one of my top 5 cars of all time.

  • avatar
    bluegoose

    1974 Volvo 142S manual. It was an oddball car that I worked two jobs to save…and a Chevy Pickup Truck barrelled into it during an ice storm.

  • avatar
    soberD

    2000 BMW M Coupe
    Drove it year round for 3 years all over northern Illinois and Wisconsin.
    Had to sell when my wife got pregnant with our first.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I have 2:

    95 Maxima handed down to me by my dad. Beautiful car. Black on black 5 speed. Tire blew out I’m guessing from dry rot prompting a crash, and I didn’t know enough at the time to get it fixed, so I foolishly sold it. I honestly feel like I would still have that car today.

    93 Accord, the car I replaced it with. That’s the car I learned how to wrench on, and built to my tastes. Different suspensions, different audio setups, a headlight “retrofit” (embarrassed to say what I even did there lol), maintenance etc. I hit a mondo pothole that banged the oil pan and a few weeks later the engine seized. I remember crying. A failed engine swap and saving for my first apartment prompted me to make a fire sale. I still smile thinking about 3rd gear pulls and the way that Koni/Neuspeed/Kuhmo setup danced through the corners. I have filled my modded Honda quota though.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    None. All cars rot.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      Especially my ’94 Cavalier, which by 1999 already was making that horrendous train engine chugging sound at idle. The car basically fell apart around me by 2004, but hey, it was my first car. Whenever I have a dream I’m driving, it’s often THAT car. Nostalgia is a powerful thing.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        Yep, I often dream of driving my ’66 Galaxie in bizarro circumstances like plowing through immaculately terraced lakefront backyards to get to the boat dock. o_O

        Squish-squish-squish *clunk-clunk* squish-squish-squish *clunk-clunk* squish….

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          Last night I had a nightmare.

          Inexplicably, I needed to borrow a car for a drive to my aunt’s new house atop a big hill. Both of my cars had vanished from the dream without explanation. A man at work let me borrow his 98 VW Beetle (bright yellow), which had a manifold issue and so “was down on power.”

          The dream went downhill from there.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Not as fast as my Galaxie did!

          • 0 avatar
            John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

            A couple of weeks ago I inexplicably dreamed that there was a Buick Lucerne in my yard. I’ve never owned, driven, or wanted one.

            Its bad enough that the stupid Pontiac is still here. I sure don’t need another mediocre big FWD GM car here.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    2004 Golf R32 in blue

  • avatar

    I had a Mk VII for a few years. Cost just $1200 and I sold it for $1000 so you could say the depreciation was insignificant :-)

    What I saved in depreciation I made up for in repairs. Air Suspension required new suspension components and its central controller. There were some other expenses but the one that prompted me to sell was when the car suddenly stopped making a spark, some sort of high tension component failure, while I was doing 70 on the interstate. The rush of unburnt fuel into the catalytic converter resulted in a fire. The fire was self contained and went out on its own, but that was enough to unnerve me and I sold it after it was fixed.

    Sold it on a tote the note lot. The sales lot paid to have the dash instruments replaced since the digital speedo had quit working some months prior. They reported the new owner was very happy with the vehicle.

  • avatar
    cirats

    1997 BMW M3 sedan – silver, 6MT, pretty darn good stereo I’d upgraded myself. Bought it in 2005 for $15.5k at 86k miles to compliment the wife’s minivan. Sold it in 2011 at about 140k because the driver’s seat was getting a bit ratty and it needed various new suspension components so I was looking at a few thousand dollars to keep it proper. Meanwhile, I was seeing all the gizmos that my friends’ new cars have (flashy screens, iPod integration, etc.) and thinking it would be fun to have a more up-to-date car. In retrospect, should have just sunk the extra $$ into it. With the amount I drive, it would still have well under 200k on it and probably still be going strong and saving me money.

    • 0 avatar

      I got to drive a friend’s four door version a few years back. It handled like a Miata on a longer wheelbase and had the right amount of power. Plus that inline 6 sounded incredible and pulled smoothly all the way to redline. My friend sold it because the repairs becoming too frequent and expensive and bought a Subaru BRZ.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    There isn’t any one car that I regret selling to the point my heart aches. I sold most for fairly reasonable reasons.

    I sold my ’99 Dakota R/T because it seemed to be developing significant motor problems that I wasn’t in the position to repair at the time.

    I sold my ’90 Maxima SE because I replaced it. I might have regretted that more except it apparently had an undiagnosed head gasket leak. It was a fantastic car though.

    I briefly had a ’00 Civic that was a great car too. I regret selling it because evidently 4 months after I sold it it was totaled. Made all the work I did and money I spent fixing it up seem worthless.

    The closest regret I have is my ’05 Scion tC which still stands as the best car and only new car I’ve ever owned. I’m presently looking at cars to bang around in and it would fit the bill perfectly.

    The ones I have now will ultimately lead to regret once I finally let them go though.

  • avatar
    ajla

    My ’98 Park Avenue. It was pretty much peak FWD Buick. I sold to someone needing a car only about 7 months after I bought it. It is still on the road but the condition has gotten a bit rough by now. I owned a Lucerne CXL later on but I liked the Park more.

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      I have fond memories of my ’91 Park Avenue. So cushy and smooth. Sold mine because of age – and the factory key/security system that kept fritzing out, making it impossible to start the car until you waited for a few minutes to reset.

  • avatar
    ScarecrowRepair

    86 MR2. 473K miles when the first engine died of old age — corroded freeze plugs, head gasket, and the tranny really needed a rebuild. Parts car engine lasted 60K miles, with two head gaskets and a connecting rod bearing knocking. Gave it to the mechanic who took such good care of it.

    I’d buy a factory new one today, if they still made them exactly the same.

  • avatar
    Saarinen

    1989 Shelby CSX, I drove the car through college in the late 90’s. It had the Recaro seat option, 5 speed, VNT turbo. I added a high flow cat, and straight pipe, along with an intake. Looking back I’m not sure I added any performance with those mod’s, however I thought it was the best car around. After college I purchased a 1995 Ranger 4X4 so I could preserve the CSX, but unfortunately salt had already done it’s worst to the undercarriage and floor pan of the car. Couple that with various vacuum lines starting to erode I decided the best course of action was to park the car behind my parents barn, for a future project. A year turned into 5, and the rust was way beyond anything I could handle at the time, I parted it out for a bit of cash in the end. I would love to track a clean one down in the future.

  • avatar
    th009

    1990 GTI 16V 2.0L. Bought it new, enjoyed it immensely. It looked great (in a Mk2 kind of way), handled well and was pretty quick (on the 1990s scale). Foolishly sold it to get a Passat VR6.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    “Panicking, I embarked on an aggressive — and ultimately needless — fire sale of my possessions. Anything I deemed frivolous, from tools to my John Deere to my Mark VII, were all sold to create some sort of financial cushion for my family and I.”

    #1 – good for you for realizing that assets are held until it is advantageous or necessary to sell them. Those are some great instincts.

    #2 – Never go back for it. It’s like seeing your old girlfriend after 10 years – you’ll thank God for having dodged the bullet. Let it live on in memory and get something nicer and newer. All those things that you put up with but have now been softened by time, distance, and the optimism of memory will just grind your gears if you try to get something similar back.

    • 0 avatar

      This – on both points. Better to sell to keep a roof over your family than live in the car.

      If you really want a MK VII, there are tons of them in the US, but you won’t be able to reclaim that experience. Enjoy the memories.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Good points; I can relate more to the second.

      The car I kick myself the most for is my 98 BMW 540. I guess I made the right choice selling that particular example. It had 196k miles, a little rust, and needed some work. I also grew to dislike the gray interior.

      That said, I missed it the day it was gone. I’ve been looking for another since fall of 2015, but they are all beat up pretty bad. They also feel old in a way that I don’t remember from when I owned one.

      You are another voice in the let it go and move forward camp.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    ’79 Trans Am – Special Edition, black on black w/hobnail cloth interior, W72(400 Pontiac/4Sp), WS6 handling package, T-roofs, AC, PW/PL. Pretty much the holy grail of any TA built in 1979. Just look at what a nice one sells for today. That car was soo much fun to drive!

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      You win.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        I’d like to get another ’79 TA at some point. I could live without the W72 & some of the other stuff but it has to have the WS6 and w/o t-tops it’s just not a Trans Am IMO.

    • 0 avatar
      MeJ

      Love that Smokey and the Bandit car!
      Mine was a 1969 White on Red Firebird with a BB350 with headers and bigger carb. It also had a TH400 tranny with a Stage 2 shift kit. I bought it is the early 90’s for $3000 Canadian.
      It was destroyed when a drunk idiot leaving the local titty bar ran a stop sign and wrote her off. Big, solid old girl only had lap belts and all I got was a sprained wrist.
      If only it could be like the movie Christine, where she could rebuild herself…

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Have written this here before and will repeat it ad nauseum.

    A white on white, one owner, Californian, 1959 Eldorado Biarritz convertible with complete service documentation.

    Flipped it almost immediately and used the money to buy a brand new Corvette ‘Stingray’.

    If I had kept the ‘Vette it would probably sell for a little more than what I paid for it.

    If I had kept the Caddy, which in my mind is the most beautiful of all American made production cars, it would now sell for about 20 times what I sold it for.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Fall of 2015 it was becoming increasingly evident , that I would need to place my wife into Long Term Memory Care. ( Early Onset Alzheimers)… And no, contrary to popular belief ,Health Care is a long ways from free in Canada.

    I needed to slash expenses. Unfortunately, the cost of Insurance, maintenance ,plates etc, for a vehicle that spend 5 months of the year parked in the garage was one of those expenses.

    My 2008 Mustang convertible needed tires, front brakes, an emission test, and possibly a brake calliper. So before i put the cover on , and prepared the Mustang for its long winter nap. I traded the Mustang, and the 14 Impala in, on a leftover 2015 Eco Boost Mustang.

    I was glad to see the back of the Impala. Parting with the Mustang ?? Not so much.

    I do really enjoy my 15 Mustang. However, while I know it was the right call..I still miss my 2008 Rag top.

    Ya do what ya gotta do eh ???

  • avatar
    Zackman

    On the surface, I still miss my old ’64 Chevy Impala SS convertible I owned over 40 years ago, but peeling back the years, I realize that the 2012 Impala I’m driving right now – regardless of not having the flash, presence and all-around coolness – this car is so much better in every single way, that letting go of that old car no longer hurts.

    If I did hang onto that ’64, I probably would have sold it for a rather princely sum by now, anyway. One can only keep old iron on the road so long before the law of diminishing returns catches up and leaves you in the dust, because I would have continued to drive that car into the ground!

    In any event, you cannot turn back the clock, so always look ahead and embrace the future.

  • avatar
    facelvega

    75 Volvo 164. Swedish touring green with tan leather.

  • avatar
    John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

    1992 Ford Tempo LX V-6

    100k miles I put on it were not enough. I was storing it on my parents property when they decided it needed to go. It had previously been at my friends place on Camano Island, Wa and the salty air had started to take its toll on the body. That and the barely functioning 3 speed auto were it’s major issues. I really, really REALLY regret getting rid of it. :(

    Some honorable mentions:
    1983 Mercury Zephyr GS I-6 sedan
    1978 Mercury Zephyr Z-7 I-6 coupe
    1991 Ford Tempo GLS 5mt coupe
    1986 Ford Taurus LX
    1999 Acura Integra GS-R (was a rebuild but I loved it)
    1994 Ford Aerostar XL Sport shorty
    1997 Mercury Sable GS (parents car but I drove it more than anyone)

    I was fortunate enough to find a car that is a decent successor to the ones I no longer have, but i still miss ’em.

    • 0 avatar
      tubacity

      Hi, John. I see Aerostar is on the list. What made it a special vehicle?
      Had an 89. Thought it was partly derived from Ranger but others might know more. Wikipedia says,”launch of the Ranger for 1983 allowed for the use of shared chassis, suspension, and power train components to cut development costs”
      Did not have repair or maintenance issues. The 3.0 Vulcan engine sort of grumbly and did not want to rev. Our trans always shifted normally. Van felt high and tippy when cornering. Never anything dangerous. Step up was high compared to front wheel drive vans. Access to engine poor with short hood. Turning circle large. Bad for tight parking structures. Overall was good. Took me and a crowd where I wanted to go.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        The Aerostar shared power train, but as far as the chassis items it was some brake parts and wheels. Of course they both drew from the same Ford parts bins for switch gear and the like.

      • 0 avatar
        John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

        Well, it wasn’t my only Aerostar.

        I had an 89 ex-length, that 94 Sport, a 94 XLT and before my current Taurus, a 1996 XLT.

        The ’94 stands out because it was really there for me in a difficult time in my life. I had made some bad decisions but it never left me anywhere, until I lost it to a fire in a freak incident. I consider it payback for those bad decisions. I scrapped it even though it was fixable. I would have needed a new wiring harness, windshield, and who knows what else. The trans was going out and it had a quarter million or so miles on it, so I made the right choice.

        Yes, access to the engine is why I sold my 1996, it had blown a head gasket after I overheated the $H¡T out of it months earlier. I was not going to attempt a head gasket on a V-6 crammed in there like that.

        I removed the doghouse to do tune ups and repairs to my Aerostars. I never had to swap a transmission but I’m sure it would be easier than it was on my dad’s old Ranger or my Isuzu Hombre (did clutch in both), because you could easily see and access the top transmission bolts with the Aerostars doghouse removed. In the pick up trucks, you had to “feel” them haha.

        I really wanted to do a 5 speed swap to my ’94 Sport. Being the Sport model, I wanted it to be a manual and I had bought it with a bad transmission. Well, it was going bad. Honestly after I did some easy work on it, it was fine even though it lacked 2nd gear.

        You had to accelerate, let off, let it shift, then gently apply throttle as its in 3rd now and you don’t want to provoke an attempted downshift or you will be revving to hell and looking stupid lol.

        Yes, the 3.0L OHV Vulcan is not a Honda in terms of revving quickly, but it is a good engine with low-end torque that will have you running away from a Honda from a stop…until he gets his revs up and gets you back lol.

        I have had the engine in all of my Aerostars, a Tempo, a Ranger and more Taurus and Sables than I can remember. Its one of my favorite engines, I’ve always gotten excellent service out of them.

        When the one in my Taurus gets rebuilt, I’ll use an 04-07 cam and some other forged internals I’ve found online. I just wish they made some stuff like that for the AX4N its connected to.

        • 0 avatar
          gearhead77

          I had a ’93 shorty Aerostar I bought in 2004 for a job I was doing. I needed a van cheap and this one was in decent shape with only 55k. A childhood friend’s father was an exec for Ford and had an Aerostar for a bit when they first came out, so I guess I was drawn to it for lots of reasons.( He also had a Merkur Scorpio very briefly, a car I still love.) Everything in the Aerostar worked. Everything worked in it, including the second row AM/FM repeater!

          Ran it for 10k miles in 6 months, which is a lot for an old car. Then the transmission died, common with the A4LD. Had it rebuilt and then decided that I could get by with a small wagon. Didn’t trust the Aerostar anymore, especially for the mileage I was doing. Held on to the Aerostar to recoup some of the money, but in the end, it was traded on an 06 Accord lease for the wife.

          If Ford sold a current Aerostar with RWD, I’d probably be there.

          • 0 avatar
            John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

            You and me both buddy. I guess a short-n-low Transit will have to be close enough.

            By 1996, the A4LD was better, and in 1997, they got electronic cruise so the damn thing will downshift to 3rd on hills instead of just slowly losing speed until it drops off. That annoyed the crap out of me in my 1996. I finally used the “OVERDRIVE OFF” button when it started to loose speed.

            My 1995 Taurus has a vacuum operated cruise servo and the same 3.0L engine, but it will downshift if necessary to maintain speed. Its not near as precise as newer electronic versions, but it works (all the time now, thanks to my tinkering), and I’m thankful. That and lumbar support really help me.

            I’ve always wanted to buy an Aerostar cargo van and convert it into a pick up. I want the cargo van because the rear barn doors will function as a tailgate that can be opened for loading and unloading cargo.

            I found out I wasn’t the only one with that idea as I discovered others on the internets. They were made out of passenger vans and had very crude tailgates.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @Zackman…i have to be one of the few, but I actually preferred my 2009 LTZ, over the 2014. Some will say the Epsilon Impala is a little prettier. I’m not one of them.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Mikey, I have to admit I really like the body style of the 2006-13 models, and wanted one as soon as I saw the ’06s arrive. While the front end could use a bit more styling, overall the design is very lean and neat.

      I have 112K on this car in less than 5 years, and I still love it. I retire in two weeks!

      • 0 avatar
        John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

        It is clean, but to me it looks like a refined and updated 2nd gen Lumina. The shape of the taillights and headlamps, I supppse, gives me that impression.

        I don’t mean it as a bad thing, like I said it looked refined and clean, I’d also add tasteful and comfortable to the description of its style.

        My dad, a diehard Ford guy, remarked that the Impala of that era didn’t look bad at all (this was in 2012). I suspect that had they not fell in love with the 2010-2012 Taurus, an Impala might have been on the table. Would have been my dad’s first Chevy (or any non-Ford/Mercury) since he traded in his garbage turbo Monte Carlo in 1985.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        Two Weeks to retirement : ) Enjoy it !

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        Two weeks! It seems like we’ve been talking about this forever… Good luck!

  • avatar
    threeer

    Easy…my 1974 BMW 2002 I sold after years of DD it. It was “the One.” This was the car I had dreamed of from an early age, having grown up in Germany and living in a household owned by a landlord that took us in as family when my father was deployed to Korea without us. That man was the most gentle soul and always had some variant of a four-door (used) BMW in his driveway. My first ride was at the age of 5, and I remember the white box on wheels he took me around in (likely a 1600 or 2000). My love for the marque was directly tied for my admiration of Herr Kuhn, and when I was finally able to, I bought the 2002, having sold my 1991 Sentra SE-R for the privilege of piloting my Baikal Blau 2002 around for several years. I tried to sell it the first time, and bawled at the thought just before I was to hand the keys over. I drove it for a few more years after that, but wound up selling it and instantly regretting the decision to do so. I still pine for a nice, solid 2002. That, and a 1979/80 Plymouth Fire Arrow (a true FA…with the 2.6).

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      “This was the car I had dreamed of from an early age, having grown up in Germany and living in a household owned by a landlord that took us in as family when my father was deployed to Korea without us.”

      Has anyone mentioned how interesting people on this site tend to be? It never ceases to amaze me. Not to mention how much of a picture can be painted in one sentence.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        Willyam…this man was one of the few I ever openly wept over when I learned he had passed. For the year we lived in his house (third floor “apartment”), he did everything he could to treat me as one of is own. There were endless days playing the yard-sized equivalent of pick-up sticks; moments spent sitting on his vintage BMW motorcycle; watching in amazement as his own father came to visit driving his Isetta; and yes, the first few rides in that white box on wheels that imprinted on me more than I cared to mention. We’d go back every few years to visit (sometimes decades apart) and his eyes always lit up when he saw me walking down his driveway.

        My last visit with him, I had my son with me (he was maybe 10 at the time). Herr Kuhn insisted on firing up his (then) E36 318i (white, five speed, of course…and well-used) and drove us to his Automotive/Motorcycle Car Club building, where he graciously gave my son several pieces of memorabilia from the club. The yard and house always looked exactly as I had remembered it from 1975, which was a tremendous comfort to me. I got the call while on station in Saudi Arabia a few years ago that this kind, gentle wisp of a man had quietly passed, and I just sat in my office and cried.

        BMW may not be what it once was anymore, but every old Bimmer I see still on the road instantly brings me back to long summer evenings in Knielingen, pick-up sticks and Herr Kuhn…

  • avatar
    MGS1995

    Saab 9000 CSE. The most exhilarating and most unreliable car I’ve ever owned.

  • avatar
    jeoff

    ’91 MR2. White 5spd with T-tops–loved the car. Wife hated it…

  • avatar
    seth1065

    John 95 ,
    Did you get drunk one night and buy the Acura , does not really fit your garage. And I vote for a long story on the Lincoln.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      No, my buddy’s were getting me into Hondas. It did make quite an impression, and I do love Hondas today, but I still don’t enjoy slamming it on the ground and installing a fart can muffler and a giant “wing” that would make a NASCAR car look ridiculously overdone. The boy-racer, riced out look is just not my style. To each their own.

      I liked the car a lot, and still want a teggy of that generation. Just a 3 door with a manual, doesn’t need to be a GS-R since its value has since skyrocketed. Especially for one that hasn’t been “tricked out” lol.

      Like I said, it was a rebuild so I wasn’t in it much at the time and it was a lot of fun.

      The only thing I really disliked about it was the ugly front clip. Decade or so later, I discovered the JDM Honda Integra had received a much better looking (IMO) restyling. I love how that car looks, and if I get a another Integra, I’ll have to do the conversion.

      I 2nd your amendment on the Lincoln story.

  • avatar
    sutherland555

    Go ahead, laugh if you want but my last car. 1999 almost base model Civic sedan. Even with the 4 speed auto, it was a very fun car to drive. Reliable as it gets and I would still have it if I had bothered rustproofing it. It’s probably in the hands of some 1st time teenage driver right now.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      Mine is a Ford Tempo, lol don’t think anyone will be laughing at your Civic. ;)

      Seriously, though, I don’t blame you. Some cars grow on you and it appears irrational from the outside looking in, but that doesn’t change how we feel, does it?

      • 0 avatar
        sutherland555

        I think it’s partially because it was my 1st real car. Up to then, I’d been driving a series of crappy 2nd hand cars my Dad would buy or have handed down from my Mom. Mom always got the new cars that I rarely got to drive so that was the 1st real quality car I got to DD.

        Ford Tempo huh? Sometimes affection really is irrational!

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          I’ve had several Tempos, and I specifically chose the LX at a Ford dealer when it was less than 10 years old.

          I had bought and sold beaters before that, but it was the first car I bought from a dealer, and so far, the only one I’ve ever financed.

          • 0 avatar
            gearhead77

            My grandmother had an 89 Tempo GL that was a dealer demo. Red with red interior, we inherited it after she passed. My sister drove it for four years to college 2 hours away in Ohio and then traded it on an 02 RSX.

            The Tempo had a charm or something. It was pretty trouble-free for us too, though I know many did not have that experience. It had a pretty good oil leak/burn by the time it left, my Dad wasn’t interested in fixing it.

          • 0 avatar
            John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

            Well, more often than not, Tempos were reliable. I’ve had many and they’ve always been good to me.

            Their mechanicals were pretty robust, cast iron block and head on the 2.3L and the 3.0L. The 2.3L was based on the old Inline 6, it was a very durable engine.

            You’re not the only one found them charming. Aside from myself, I know plenty of people who grew to love their Tempos and those who regretted selling to “upgrade”.

            I probably haven’t owned my last one.

          • 0 avatar
            DrSandman

            Tempos. Ha.

            I loved to mock them, but when I had a job as a security guard, we had a fleet. They never broke down, and we were NOT easy on them — speed bumps at 60mph to catch air, Rockford J-Turns, do-nuts on the gravel field… We left them running all night long on 83 octane (not a typo) gas with the keys locked inside so that they were warm when we got inside for the 4am patrol…

            Durable beasts, they were.

          • 0 avatar
            John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

            @doctorsandman

            Mr Sandman, (Yes?)
            bring me a drink!
            Make it the strongest drink that you’ve ever made

            Ok enough of that. I beat the holy $H¡T out of my Tempos. That V-6 car laid more rubber than a sailor on shoreleave. I spent far more time above 100 than any economy car has a right to. I’m not saying things never broke, but man, those cars can take abuse, you’re right about that.

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    1994 RAM2500 5.9 Cummins, standard cab, long box. It was in excellent condition when I bought it used in 2001. I maintained it compulsively, intending to basically keep it forever. The engine will certainly run forever as long as the truck around it is good, which it still is. Two years ago, due to a variety of factors, I bought a 2007 RAM2500 5.9 Cummins Megacab and sold the ’94 to my brother.

    In many ways, my former ’84 GMC passenger van with 6.2L diesel would be an even better fit for my life now than the Megacab is, but I can’t say I miss the van that much. Gutless, poor handling, uncomfortable for long distance driving due to the engine imposing into the footwells, always cold interior in the winter. Also, the Dodge required less upkeep at 20 years old than the GMC van had at 15 years old, and the pickup was easier to work on.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      I had a guy trade in a 1992 Chevy G20 on my 1998 Lumina. I agree with your impressions, it was awful to drive and NO foot room.
      The Astro minivan was simiar in that respect. I had no place to comfortably rest my size 12s. I know the Ford Aerostar wasn’t exactly great in that respect, either, but it was significantly better than the Astro or the full size pre-Expresss/Savanna GM vans IMO.

      • 0 avatar
        BigOldChryslers

        My family had a 1986 Aerostar when I was a kid. My dad wanted an Astro/Safari but the GM dealer wouldn’t do any discount off MSRP for a factory order, so they went across to the Ford dealer who was willing to deal. Unfortunately the Aerostar was a POS. Almost all I remember about it are the things that broke. Traded it about 5 years later when my grandma bought a Lumina, and we kept her ’86 Monte Carlo.

        The Monte Carlo was nothing special with the 3.8L V6 and TH200 (I think), but I liked driving that car when I got to borrow it, and was disappointed when it lunched the transmission and my dad decided it wasn’t worth fixing…. so there’s another car I miss (even though it wasn’t mine).

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          Yes, it probably had the awful 2.8L or the 2.3L I-4. Early Vulcan production was given to Taurus/Sable.

          How many times did your trans fail? Power steering pump? Head gasket? Lol 86-87 were the worst as far as reliability.

          • 0 avatar
            BigOldChryslers

            I’m sure the Aerostar had a V6 and it had the towing package. No way my dad would’ve bought one with an inline-4. The transmission cooler with the towing package may have saved the trans because we never had a failure. However, it had mechanical lifters which needed periodic adjustment, and very little room to work under the hood. My dad cursed that job! It was also unusual in having factory-installed headers instead of log-style cast iron exhaust manifolds. Ford was trying hard to wring as much HP as possible from that engine!

            One of the side windows leaked around the frame. it went back to the dealer multiple times under warranty before they fixed it properly.

            It had rear heat, and the lines to the rear heater core rotted out. Then the oil pan rotted out. Who would make an oil pan out of such thin/cheap steel that it rots out in the normal lifespan of the car, and in under 5 years at that!

            A vacuum line got contaminated with something, which caused a vacuum solenoid to fail, causing an erroneous sensor input to the ECU. The ECU went haywire, resulting in “unintended acceleration”. It spun-out while my mom was driving home from work in a snowstorm and almost went backwards down a 20′ embankment. Dad diagnosed and fixed the problem himself, then not long afterwards there was a recall to replace the same vacuum solenoid.

          • 0 avatar
            John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

            Yep, that certainly sounds like the Euro-sourced Cologne engine (2.8/2.9).

            I have avoided the Bronco II in the past because of that engine. The only version that was decent was the OHV 4.0L. The later SOHC is a timing chain nightmare. I have considered doing an OHV 4.0 swap on a Bronco II.

            Wow, that’s a crazy story about a vacuum issue causing all that trouble. I just thought my Mercedes-Benz 300D not shutting off when turned off because of vacuum issues was weird.

  • avatar

    1968 Olds Cutlass hardtop coupe. It was old and tired, rusty and smelled like mold and motor oil. It was almost 20 years old when I got it, but to my 17 year old self, it was a magic carpet.

    Back in college, I had the chance to buy a similar one. I owned an ’82 Celica and when I test drove the Cutlass, it was all wrong. It handled like a washtub half full of water and took a ridiculous amount of time to stop. I don’t regret passing up that car, but I still miss “my” Cutlass… Or maybe I just occasionally miss that feeling of being young and carefree, with no particular place to go, as Chuck Berry used to sing.

  • avatar
    7402

    1991 Volvo 740 Turbo wagon. Red with factory black (dark gray) window trim. Rear-facing third seat. Black leather. Stock except for IPD sway bars.

    Sold it at 260,000 miles in need of its third turbocharger. I bought it cheap and sold it well, so it was the least-expensive daily driver I’ve ever owned despite the turbos (only thing aside from consumables).

    Also, with the whole family up to 6 members and the youngest getting too big for that way back seat, it was time to get a minivan.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    This is an easy one for me.

    2003 Dodge Ram 2500 CC 4×4 5 sp w/ Cummins, SLT: cloth with power windows and mirrors. Pretty basic truck.

    DD for 5 years, then got a job with a company car and parked it for two. Ended up trading it along with my wife’s T&C for a used 2008 Suburban in in 2010. I still have the Suburban and love it. However, i really loved that truck for no strong reason other than it fit me perfectly.

    Plus, the old Dodge diesels don’t depreciate. I could sell it today for what I got for it in 2010 even if it had another 100k on the odo.

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    Y’all are gonna laugh at this one… an ’04 Saturn Vue V6… best car I ever owned. Quick, comfortable, and economical. The Honda 3.5L V6 was smooth as silk… powerful… efficient… and trouble-free. I bought it new, and sold it 9 years later with 85k miles on it. I was ready for something different. Was never as happy with anything that came after it.

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    1980 z28, needed a new transmission traded it on a 15k 1986 supra, got 4k for it, supra got stolen a few years later.

    The supra was competant, the z28 while in many ways a pos, inspired and was always a sense of ocasion.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    I still miss the 1984 CRX 1.5 five-speed that I bought new and kept for nearly 10 years. Delightful, endless, and thrifty fun. Sadly, it got stolen and trashed – one of the “perks” of living in Miami.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      I had one similar to that for a short time up in Washington. Unfortunately it needed a full engine rebuild or replacement, and I needed the money more than the car.

  • avatar
    285exp

    1978 Plymouth Arrow GT, 2 liter 5spd. 1st car.
    1979 Mercedes 300SD, bought from my dad.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      285…my first car was also a 1978 Arrow GT…burnt orange with the Arrow graphics, no less. But I really lusted after my best friend’s 1970 Fire Arrow with the 2.6!

      • 0 avatar
        285exp

        My GT was bright red, but without the graphics. I wanted one of those 2.6 Fire Arrows too, but I ended up replacing the Arrow with an ’81 Dodge Challenger with the 2.6. My father’s best friend was a Chrysler/Plymouth dealer, and he was originally going to get me a used ’74 Dodge Dart, but I managed to whine enough to let me get the Arrow instead. Other than the Challenger having an ac that actually worked, I liked the Arrow a lot better. That was a fun ride.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    1978 Malibu coupe with V8, 4-speed, bucket-seats tach, console, sport suspension. A smog-era car, but today you could drop an LS into it and a 5-speed so easily. Sold it for $900 with a fresh paint job on it. Now I’ve seen similar cars priced at $10K

    • 0 avatar
      doublechili

      I had an ’80 Malibu V8, and that was my 2nd choice for this thread (b/c not MT – the only auto transmission in my cars in the past 40 years since I was 17). Loved that car, especially the color-matching steel wheels with the chromed center cap – I added raised white letter tires and it looked like it was ready for Talladega. ;)

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      I saw an Olds Omega near Portland on craigslist this morning. Coupe, says he has a Buick 350 and a Olds 350 plus “a transmission” (so I’m guessing automatic) to go with.

      I’d like to have the Olds 350 now that i learned its the engine I need for my Olds B-body while I was in the Principle’s office for talking too much.

  • avatar
    Thorshammer_gp

    Although it wasn’t too hard to justify parting with it, I definitely miss the red ’93 Honda del Sol I bought from my best friend in high school. At the time, my family was down to just our Grand Prix which my mom needed pretty much full-time as she was student-teaching and finishing her master’s degree. So for $250 plus minimal insurance and registration costs, I spent a happy year tearing around town with the roof off and spending weekends working on it with my friend (who had acquired two more, one to drive and one as a parts car) and just generally having a blast with it. Mom eventually got a 2005 G6 for her own use, freeing up the Grand Prix for me to drive (which I certainly had no issue with- 3800 series II for life!), so I ended up selling it back to my friend’s brother for the same price. I’d love to find one that hasn’t been riced to destruction, as it was a wonderfully mischievous little runabout of a car, but needless to say, that ain’t easy.

    • 0 avatar
      sutherland555

      My neighbour has one as her DD. From afar, it looks like it’s bone stock and in pretty good shape considering it’s age.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      I saw a del Soul with a 1996-00 Civic front clip before. It didn’t look bad at all. If we could post pics, I think I have it somewhere.

      I drove a del Soul a couple times, not a bad car. It was fun like small Hondas ought to be.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        I liked the DelSol and the Paseo. Especially the revised later Paseo which you never see.

        • 0 avatar
          John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

          Well, it was the simple Tercel coupe of the era that embodied what Toyotas should be. Cheap, ridiculously long lasting, plain-but-tastefully styled, stellar MPG.

          Make mine a 4 speed stick, with vinyl seats and PLEASE make sure the steelies are silver.

          If I want sporty Japanese FWD, its gonna have an [H].

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            I should find one and buy it. I have not owned a coupe yet.

            I want automatic, with t-tops.

          • 0 avatar
            John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

            Make it into a Honda El Camino.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            I should have said sunroof, as I don’t think the Paseo had t-top option. In theory it’ll be much easier to find an un-ruined Paseo, as it’s much more boring and not all VTEC and vapes yo.

          • 0 avatar
            John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

            Oh hell I thought you meant the del Soul.

            Seriously, take the decklid off a del Soul, put some bigger wheels/tires but don’t lower It. Tell me it doesn’t look like some bizzaro 1990s Honda coupe utility.

            LMFAO Corey, get outta my head! Someone I talk to vapes and drives an Accord. Seems pretty passionate (better word escapes me) about both. I haven’t seen it or him in person, but yeah Sheesh lol way to pick em out my friend.

            As for the Paseo, put T tops in it. Your imagination is the limit. My funding (or lack thereof) is my limit or I would have my RWD Delta 88 Royale Braughm coupe with a removable glass panel over the front seats (very similar in concept to the del Soul).

  • avatar
    countymountie

    2 cars for me…

    1. 1979 AMC Concord sedan with a 304. Brown and tan paint combo. Was my grandma’s car and I have many fond memories riding around with her, including cooking my legs on the vinyl seats where the folded Walmart rag rugs didn’t quite cover the bottom cushion. The car wasn’t worth a dime but memories make it priceless. I hold out hope that it survived.

    2. 1952 Chrysler Windsor Deluxe. It sat for 40 some years and I got it running and driving again without too much effort. In decent original condition overall but far from a show car. I loved the super light power steering, semi-automatic transmission and plaid interior. Found it again after a subsequent owner trashed the flathead six. He wanted about 3 times what I sold it for as a running car. Even memories have a price point where reality has to set in.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    Two cars I have owned haunt me in my dreams.

    The first is the ’69 Charger. I sold it in well-worn-out condition back in ’77 for $375 to help finance my cross-country motorcycle journey. the second is the Triumph GT-6+ that I allowed to languish in unspeakable ways.

    I have recurring dreams where I get a second chance to rescue them.

  • avatar
    suburbanokie

    2006 Chevy Monte Carlo 2LT, 3.9L V6. First car I bought myself (right after college).

  • avatar
    Corco

    I had a 1990 Dodge Colt for two years in college in the mid-2000s. Four on the floor, no power steering, no radio – bought it from a curbstoner for $600 who insisted it only had 93000 miles on it but the Carfax said 218,000 which seemed about right.

    The thing was a real beater but it was a great car – like driving a go-cart. I drove it all around the Pacific Northwest with only an alternator failure.

    Sold it three years later for $800, having put maybe $400 into the car over 30,000 miles, making it by far the cheapest car I’d ever owned on a per mile basis.

    I only sold it because I moved to Wyoming and had more money, but man, I miss that car.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I miss all of ’em: the smart car, the S2000, the Isuzu pickup, the Accent, even the (ridiculously generous interior room of the) Citation. I would miss the Sentra sedan, but the beater Sport Coupe I picked up later on covers that.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    1993 Oldsmobile Achieva SCX W41

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    90 Volvo 245dl, I don’t miss it for being a great car. I miss it because after putting way too much work into it I made a crappy $700 car somewhat decent. I don’t miss the oil leaks though, the trim that would randomly fall off, nor the rough ride.

    Aside from that one, I can’t say I really miss my other cars. My Hondas in particular, I was quite happy to be rid of my ’94.

  • avatar
    roverv8i

    89 Subaru XT6

    At the time, 1995, I was given the opportunity of a new car that just required selling this one. So it was a no brainer at the financially speaking. I loved the uniqueness of that car and had some good mild offroading memories in it. They are hard to find now but if I come across one in reasonable condition I would definitely consider purchasing.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    As far as cars I’ve actually owned go, there hasn’t really been anything unique or special enough that I can’t get a similar experience out of something I could go out and buy this afternoon. That said, my grandparents had an ’86 LTD Crown Victoria LX, first car I ever loved. My grandma got rid of it in ’06 with 85k on it (I think she sold it to a wreckers) – I found out about a month later, and remarked how I dug that car. She tells me then if she knew I wanted it, she would’ve just given it to me.

    I also had a project ’76 CB750 that I never quite got running, and had to get rid of to free up school funds (and garage space for my parents). I’m sure I would’ve been just as over my head now as I was then, but I’d love to have it back.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    When I wrecked my 72 240z it was pretty worn out and in no way original (the 351W was just the beginning) but it’s the one. Dangerous, unreliable, unbalanced and over endowed; who wouldn’t pine for its good days. I’m lucky to have survived. If it was still in the garage and drivable, I’d do it again.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    2004 Acura TSX 6MT, one of the first off the boat. I sold it because I was going to law school. I needed the money, and I wouldn’t have had any place to park it in school-supplied housing.

    But I had bought it new (my first-ever new car), it was in basically perfect condition, and it was so sweet to drive. I would have kept that car a long time if my life had stayed the same. Today, first-gen TSXes are all beat to he!!. It’s not a car anyone babies.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I know it was you, C3. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!

  • avatar
    geozinger

    My 1987 Dodge Lancer ES turbo. I had that car for 11 years and they were probably the most important 11 years of my life. I bought it as a commuter, but also brought home my two daughters in that car. When the kids were little and my wife and I worked different shifts, I would pick up the kids from daycare and we would have fun just doing mundane things like going to the grocery store. I worked a lot of hours back then, so those times were golden for me.

    In year 11, she started leaking from the rear main seal and was slowly losing compression. Unannounced to my kids, I traded it for a Dodge Dakota pickup truck. My older girl cried, when I didn’t come home with that car.

    I’ve run across some of my other cars (same models) and tried driving them one more time; like Tom Wolfe said, you can’t go home again. I guess what I really miss is that time of my life, younger and stronger, maybe clearer eyed. The car just symbolizes it for me.

    I don’t plan on getting another one.

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      That is a sweet story, and I like those cars, too.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      A friend of mine had one of those and he drove the living daylights out of it. Doggone 4 door sports car! So much fun the couple of times he took me for a ride.

      Occasionally, Chrysler did do something right, long-term reliability notwithstanding, but most everyone else was in the same boat. I’m not sure Toyotas and Hondas were any better.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Likewise, I’m nostalgic for my 85 LeBaron GTS (non-turbo, stick), owned 1988-2000, during my early family years.

      It was a great car, and still holds my record for highest miles when sold – 206k. It had more utility than most cars available today.

      But it rusted out faster than I could keep up. Those H-body cars are exceptionally rare today.

  • avatar
    doublechili

    1991 Audi 200 Turbo Quattro (with the 5 cylinder turbo that was later in the similarly big-bodied S4 and S6).

    I just love the looks of that car. So freakin’ angular and with the long front. And it was a big “luxury” sedan but it had a MT. That car felt incredibly planted – like it weighed 10 tons, but in a good way. I later had a ’95 S6, but I liked the 200 way more. Funny thing to remember, but the hinges on the trunk looked like they came from a bank vault door.

  • avatar
    Caboose

    1990 Caprice, white on tan. Last of the square bodies. I had such plans.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      Was it the fully loaded LS?

      • 0 avatar
        Caboose

        No, indeed. It was an Ace of Base. It had cruise control and A/C and that was about it. AM/FM (I forget whether it had a cassette player). Power steering and brakes but manual windows and locks. No trunk liner.

        The front bench had two seat rails, so you kinda needed a passenger to adjust the seat fore or aft.

        I bought it in 2000 from my aunt and uncle for $1,500. A year-and-a-half-later, it was stolen from the Mall parking garage. I had just come back from the pistol range and also still had my mother’s blue parking hang-tag in the car from driving her around the prior weekend.

        e used to joke that whoever stole the car got the Gangster Starter Package: hooptie, gun, and a handicap parking tag to get right up close to the 7-Eleven when knocking it over.

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          My Deville came with a still-valid handicap hanger. I always felt too guilty to try and use it.

          Sometimes, it’s almost like I’m Catholic or something.

  • avatar
    friedclams

    1970 Olds Cutlass with metallic teal paint and white vinyl top. Even old and used up, it was a glorious car. I still miss it. From the same time in my life, I also miss my 1982 Toyota Starlet… the ultimate fun beater.

  • avatar
    Mn12Fanatic

    I completely understand why you would miss your Mark VII. I had a 94 Cougar XR7 for 4 years that was an excellent car even though it had been thoroughly abused before I found it for the right price, as evidenced by the interior. I had already replace all of the ball joints and other misc suspension parts, and was planning to do much more with it. The 4.6 wasn’t fantastically powerful but it had just enough to break it loose and was hilarious to drive on ice. Unfortunately, an elderly woman in a 2014 Impala decided I didn’t need it anymore and turned left across traffic, and the front of my car, right in front of me. I haven’t been able to find another in the price range my wife has allowed me so I have been tooling around in a normacore 97 Camry 4 banger… It’s just not the same..

  • avatar
    zamoti

    2005 S55 AMG. Yes it was a horrible piece of German junk, yes it was constantly broken. It did have presence in it’s own special way. It was a boring tan/champagne/greige color, but it was just a little lower, and a LOT louder than a standard S-class. Nobody knew what it was until you hit the loud pedal and hauled ass in a glorious wail of supercharged fury.
    The interior was nothing special, but it certainly was a pleasant place to be. It was quiet, the seats were a delight, visibility was fantastic. Sadly, the active body control system (full hydraulic suspension) was broken a lot and while I did repair almost all of it (rear started sagging after pump and front valve block repairs), I just couldn’t keep up on it. I did all the work myself and it was time consuming for a novice such as I and wifey got sick of me being under that thing every weekend. In all honesty, I should not have ever purchased it as it doesn’t fit our family very well but man do I miss it. It was loud, the supercharger pulley was rough as could be, but when that pulley clutch dropped and the blower started going, it was magical. Sailing past unsuspecting motorists in grampa’s Mercedes was always a treat. I also miss how silent the thing was. No door chime, no key in ignition chime, no chimes at all. ABC leaked out all the fluid, just a message in the display. Out of gas (like 0 miles to empty), not a peep. If you were going to do something dumb, it was more than happy to let you, if you ignore the message center, that’s on you.
    However, I don’t miss the delaminated glass in the rear doors, the gauge cluster that would buzz hearlding it’s impending light failure (you can’t see it unless the light is on, even in daylight), the radio with the display that had growing dead zones, the lack of bluetooth and lack of ability to add it. The flimsy sun visors that were perpetually broken, the dead seat heaters that required the seat to be skinned to replace. As a 3rd car, that would have been a treat, but I could not convince my better half to keep it; on trade for a Navigator it was sent packing and that’s the last I saw of it. :(

  • avatar
    Garrett

    1984 Porsche 911 Carrera.

    Although I lived in fear of what potential repair bills or service costs I might encounter, it was a great daily driver.

    Went hot into a corner once and lifted off the throttle. That was an exciting experience, and thankfully I was back on the gas in time to save it.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    I’m probably about to make one of these decisions, next month. I miss every car I ever sold. This time it’s my E39 M5. I could store it for two years while I lease something else, but with 129k, a valve cover gasket leak, and a tan interior that’s showing its age despite a respray, it’s a tough call.

    Why is a car the only material possession that’s difficult to part with?

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      They’re personal (to us hobbyists, at least).

      My daughter is about to experience this pain. To her credit, she really fell in love with a car (and NOT a phone…although she has one of them as well).

      She HAD to have a 2005+ Mustang, and paid us back herself (yes, we offered a Corolla-equivalent gratis…but no thanks).

      At 110k miles, it’s not really the kind of thing you want your kid driving long distance, and it’s in good enough shape to have plenty of value to another kid just getting their license. There is a really tough decision coming.

  • avatar
    philipwitak

    neither a man of means for most of my life, nor any sort of auto mechanic and yet, i have enjoyed owning and operating many cars over my 67 years on this planet and three remain among my very favorites, listed below in order of appearance:

    my 1966 series one e-type jaguar coupé – which i owned for three years [1969 – 1971]. drove it only during the summertime. cost me three grand when i purchased it and another three in never-ending maintenance issues. but it was so much fun to drive.

    my 1970 porsche 911t coupé – which i owned for eleven years [1972 – 1983]. plan was to drive it only during summers in michigan but i ended up driving it through a couple of winters too and the rust that resulted eventually necessitated its sale. i spent $5250 to purchase this delightful automobile. it was so much fun to drive.

    and finally, my 1964 porsche 356c cabriolet – which i owned for nine years [1980 – 1989]. drove it across country in ’82 when my wife and i relocated from port huron, michigan, to san diego. drove it only during the summers while i was still living in michigan. became my daily driver from 1983 on. sold it for double what i paid and used those funds as the primary source for our down payment on the canyon-side home we still own today. and yes, [one might detect a pattern developing here] it was so much fun to drive.

    .
    .
    .

    postscript: SO MUCH FUN TO DRIVE. that’s pretty much always been the key for me, and the primary reason why i am keeping the boxster i purchased new in 1997, and the cayman i purchased new ten years later, until death do we part [theirs or mine]. cannot afford any more mistakes.

  • avatar
    Willyam

    I miss both my Wranglers with the rose-tinted glasses usually associated with crazy exes. However, the ’89 ranks number one.

    In the early nineties I worked as a Service Writer, and we took in a one-owner Wrangler on trade. Hard and soft tops, full doors, 4.2 I6 (yes, that 4-point-slow did start out as an even more agricultural motor, see “AMC” for reference). It was black and chrome, and had the column auto and A/C (which never worked anyway). I had driven the 2.5 liter base Wranglers on the lot, but this was very different. Both my Grandmothers loved it. One had me drive her around town with the doors off because it reminded her of cars of the twenties and thirties. The other bought me a fake plate with my name on it for the front. A particularly musclecar-obsessed but shy friend of mine could not understand why I’d traded the Trans Am, so I took him to a drive up eatery (like a Sonic) where the first words out of the waitresses mouth were “Nice Jeep!”. Any questions?

    Well, like many good things, marriage ended it. I realized the stalling, sputtering, flooding, 12mpg tractor was not going to commute to a real job paying for her grad school bills. I traded it, but couldn’t get the license plate off the front. Leaving it on the used lot for a little Nissan truck physically hurt.

    Nowadays, Wranglers are priced per pound on the gold exchange, but I still sit in their airbag-safe interiors and think maybe.

  • avatar
    thelastdriver

    1990 Camry wagon DX. After several accidents it was finally totalled with plenty of life left in 2015.

    So I bought another! This one is a 1989 LE V6 wagon with 90k on it! Still rusty as hell but it has all the shit my Dad was to cheap to buy new!

    • 0 avatar
      John-95_Taurus_3.0_AX4N

      How would you like a rust-free 1989 sedan with 150k?

      https://montgomery.craigslist.org/cto/6042235959.html

      Sweet Home Alabama has your loved vintage Camry lol.

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    how about the one that got away b/c i did not buy it?

    1966 pontiac bonneville convertible. 389 4bbl dark blue with black top and black leather interior. my dad talked me out of it b/c i was 15 at the time – almost 16. i had the money for the purchase and we could have stored it, albeit outside, no garage for us.

    lovely lines, very nice shape, ran well, a helluva boulevard cruiser. instead i waited and about a year later bought a ’68 firebird 400 convertible. that car was fun but the bonne was in far better shape.

    after a while even my dad said it was poor advice. geez, i guess we al make mistakes. sigh.

    • 0 avatar
      philipwitak

      my best friend in high school had access to his older brother’s 1965 pontiac catalina convertible [389 4bbl, positraction, dual exhausts, a big bench seat in the front and a factory-installed, floor-mounted hurst 4-speed manual transmission].

      this car was the first one that ever really appealed to me.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I wish I still had my Yamaha YZF1000.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The only times I’ve missed a car is when the replacement car is troublesome, such as:

    96 Grand Voyager (good) –> 05 Odyssey (bad)

    But I’ve never owned a ‘cool’ car, and I’ve never regretted moving on. As Old Man Pants said, they all eventually rust and break down.

  • avatar
    vanalstine

    1979 Malibu wagon. I think it had a 3.3 litre v6. It was my first car. My dad only paid $400 for it. The seller thought there was something wrong with a bearing or something, but my dad could tell by the sound the engine was making that there was nothing wrong with it. As a teenager I drove it hard for two years and had no problems with it. When i was upgraded to an ’81 Impala my grandfather ended up with it. The Malibu was a wonderful example of bland but practical Americana. Good times

  • avatar
    4drSedan

    1977 Ford Bronco. The last year of the original body style. Red with a white hardtop and uncut fenders, nearly identical to the one that sometimes shows up on the banner articles at the top of the TTAC homepage. Came factory with the large bearing Ford 9″ rear end and Dana 30 up front. Had the engine rebuilt and ran just fine. Leaked of course, thats how you know Broncos (and Jeeps) have fluid in them.

    It was never, ever “done”. You know what I mean? There was always a project, or something else to do, or fuss over but man it was fun. Probably sold it because I moved from Colorado to Florida ’cause, what’s the point? Talk about a vehicle you could sell by the pound on the commodities market…I’ll never not regret that to some degree.

  • avatar
    krieger56

    Two cars I miss are my 65 Chevy II Nova wagon with the 283. Great car for a kid going to University in the early 70’s. And my 2005 GTO truly fun car that I kick myself for selling.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    This just makes me melancholic. I miss so many of my cars.
    The first one I bought with my own money. The first car I drove. The first car I drove legally. The first car I bought and registered and drove legally. The first quick car, the first one I restored, the ‘cool’ wagon, the rare one that gost wrecked, the one I traded for a POS that looked like the rare one I wrecked, the one that was totalled. So many memories, so many stories.

    And still I want more cars that I can miss in the future.

  • avatar
    Polishdon

    There are two cars I really miss. My 1987 Chrysler Fifth Avenue. Wonderful car. Drove great, very dependable. Put a CRAP load of miles on that car. And once I got rid of the terrible Goodyear tires and put on Michelin, it was a cruiser. (Till my brother locked up the 318 by running it out of oil because HE failed to tighten the oil filter – was trying to due me a favor)

    The other car was my beloved 2007 Dodge Magnum SXT. I abused the crap out of that car. Towed loaded F-150’s full of scrap metal (all scrap metal if you count the F-150 itself!) 8×16 enclosed trailer over 500 miles in one day, Moved furniture one day and a trailer full of junk the next. Traveled around down south with it as well. Never stranded me in over 7 years and 140K miles. Finally, the starter gave out (along with a gas tank replacement due to a cracked fitting) my wife made me trade it in on a P.O.S. Jeep Patriot 4×4. The dealer stole it from me for $3K and sold it less then 2 weeks later for over $7K. I stuck my wife with the Patriot and drive a Chrysler 200s now. Not a perfect car, but it’s 1,000,000,000,000 times better then that P.O.S. Jeep !

  • avatar
    peeryog

    All my air-cooled 911s

    71
    77
    78
    83
    86
    and
    92

    Primarily for what they are worth now (SOB)

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    There’s more than a few cars that I regret selling:
    ’91 Galant VR-4
    ’90 Eclipse GSX
    ’91 Sentra SE-R

    But my biggest regret goes to the 1991 Honda CRX Si that I sold. That was by far, the most fun car I’ve ever had. The Sentra came close in the handling department, the Eclipse was overboosted to the point that mashing the gas pushed me into my seat like I was being held there by the hand of God himself, and the Galant was just a wicked sleeper that people swore up and down as the product of some kind of engine swap. But the CRX was The One. It was light, it was peppy, it was so flickable that I could do things with that car that would’ve had the other cars I had eating a guardrail or a curb.

    Sadly, I was foolishly bitten by the AWD bug and convinced myself that this car was too small and traded it in for a Subaru. I don’t regret selling the Subie because to be honest, that car was cursed. Wrecked twice, and hit a pothole so bad that it bent the oil pan and pickup and spun a bearing, that was one that was never meant to be.

    But I sure miss that Honda.

  • avatar
    Moparmann

    My 1973 340 Challenger. I found this car in a junkyard, paid $600 for it, thinking that I could sell the engine and get my money back, and put another engine into the car and make money. Found out that it was all original, decided that it was a keeper. Got it running, and even w/ a couple of burned valves it was SCARY fast! Ordered (and still have lots of OEM parts) for the restoration. Drove it for several years, but when the transmission starting leaking copious amounts of fluid, I parked it. Alas, after 10+ years and no restoration started, (plus I really needed to downsize my collection of cars), I reluctantly sold it two years ago on Ebay!

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    Put me in the “I’ll always miss them all in some way” camp.

    I will always regret wrecking the pristine low mileage (55K) ’89 Acura Legend L I replaced my ’84 Eldorado with circa 1998. Young and stupid (with road rage!), I changed lanes on Grand Prix I was trying to get in front of. I clipped him enough( I think he sped up) to broadside a guardrail.

    Ripped off the front bumper, blew the airbag and did tons of damage to the left side. Car was a total loss since the damage exceeded its worth. Somehow, I paid less for the car than it was worth and actually came out ahead on the deal with the insurance company by $1500.

    Went to a Ford dealer and found an off lease 1995 Contour LX V6 with a 5 spd. Loved it, more so than the fully loaded 1995 Cougar XR7 V8 I initially went to look at. Drove the Contour home fairly spiritedly and it developed a tick, which turned out to be a bad valve or something. Gave it back to the dealer and got the Cougar for a decent deal ( I think, I was young and the internet wasn’t a thing)

    Had the Cougar for 3 years. Pearl white, it had every option including the “fancy” luggage rack and the cross-lace BBS knockoffs Ford used on many offerings in the 90’s. Sold it when money got tight. Never saw another one exactly like it ever. I don’t miss it as much as I miss the Legend (and I wish the Contour had worked out too.)

    I sold my 04 Jetta GLS 1.8T wagon because I was offered a car for free. I was able to save some money, but I hated that damn base Pontiac G6 every day for two years.

    I also have a thing for the Mark VII LSC.

  • avatar
    theonewhogotaway

    ’71 914-6 sold to pay college bills in the late 80s

  • avatar

    Mentioned this one before – kinda like Arthur’s mention – but I would enjoy having a 1984 Shelby Charger again. I bought one used in 85 and truly enjoyed driving the car. No turbo and nothing fancy about it, silver on “garnet” red. Took good care of it mechanically and (at first) cosmetically. As it got into the high 300ks the rust was making itself painfully apparent. The right side front wheel well had rusted through enough that water was “thrown” into the interior when driving in rain or snow. Did a quick and dirty patch, literally, before a 3+ hour trip to Minneapolis in Winter that year so the interior would stay dry (it did).

    At around the 400k mark it became even more evident that if I was in a collision the Charger would probably disintegrate into a pile of rust. It was still running good, used a quart of oil every 2k, got around 35 mpg. The original clutch was starting to slip a bit at that point and the exhaust needed replacing. Put the car up at ebay. A gentleman from Illinois, who was not the winning bidder, purchased the vehicle – for around the $200 mark. The sale almost didn’t happen.

    The winning bidder was going to pick the car up when travelling through on a delivery. He had a flat bed and was going to use that to transport the Charger. I patiently waited a couple of weeks, IIRC, and he kept putting me off with excuses of not being able to get to my area. I started getting the impression the buyer didn’t really want the car. I forced his hand, so to speak, and he relinquished his claim.

    I had no contact info on the guy who ended up with the car, just a entry in the bid history. I somehow ascertained his city of residence – been too long ago to remember – and put an ad in what I hoped was his local paper letting him know the Charger was still available. I got two calls, one of which “felt” right and seemed to match what had took place on ebay.

    He arrived at 8am on Saturday the week of the sale. The Charger had been sitting for about 3 months at that point as I had already bought another vehicle. The Charger started on the second try and he (loudly) drove off into the morning. He told me he was going to use it for parts toward restoring a Dodge Rampage he owned. I still miss that car. Thomas’ article from a few years back – when he bought a similar car – is what got me here to TTAC.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    I adored my 1997 Volvo 850 T5. Black on black and about the only missing option was heated rear seats. A joy to drive but the repair bills were awful, culminating in a shot A/C that would have cost more than the value of the car to replace at a time when I didn’t have the credit let alone cash.

    If I didn’t have my ’65 Wildcat I’d probably be watching eBay for an 850 for the weekends — at least I could put car seats in it.

    I’ll make an honorary mention of the 1985 VW Golf I sort-of owned. My aunt bought it new and when she wanted something different my dad bought it to be my first car until my mom got cold feet about its size (which is how I wound up with the Wildcat to begin with). Manual everything, no A/C, only option was a tape deck. But it was fun to drive!

  • avatar
    modemjunki

    My (second-hand in 1982) 1978 Ford Fiesta US-spec, which had features such as being orange on orange, equipped with 12 inch rims, non-air conditioned 1.6L 4-speed, vent windows, rear defrost, and single-speaker AM radio. More power than it needed for it’s sub-1800 lb curb weight and still got around 29 MPG.

    After obtaining the optional drivers side speaker bracket and installing a bargain basement six-speaker sound system replete with Sparkomatic booster/equalizer and farmers market grade speakers, I took that car into the woods and used it as a surrogate for a Jeep, hauled kegs of beer, took many road trips, and in general had a lot of youthful fun with it. It drove extremely well, punching well above it’s weight in handling and acceleration for it’s time.

    The tin worm was getting to it though it could have been fixed. I wish now I had some way to have kept it mothballed, it would be a fun project to graft a 1.6l turbo from a modern Ford into it.

    Traded it for a brand new ’85 Escort L 5-speed (also without air conditioning) that soldiered on for a dozen or so years. Much more comfortable but terribly boring to drive.


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