By on April 5, 2011

It just sat there. A car that so many enthusiasts could appreciate, a grey market 1978 Mercedes 350 SE, just collected springtime pollen on my driveway. I had a helluva deal on it. Back in 2008 I had bought it for only $325 already ‘restored’. A dealer in the North Georgia area didn’t know what to do with it and decided to clean out his inventory for the month end. That was the good news. In fact that was great news since I always wanted an old European gasser Mercedes. The bad news was that I just could not stand driving that thing.

I couldn’t figure it out at first. The outside looked exceptional in silver with the Euro headlight assembly and a thousand dollar paint job. The classic W116 even came with a top notch stereo system with built in speakers integrated into each one of it’s doors. The prior owner even kindly replaced the fluids, put on those wonderful wool seat covers that are given on old Benzes, and kept everything in tip-top shape except a small customary crack on the windshield. But when I drove it? It was a buggy and expensive bastard that had all the excitement of a plain-jane land barge from the pre-Reagan era.

All the needles on the dashboard were loose at first. That got fixed in a day. But then there was always something to do. For starters, it drove like a 1980’s Lincoln Town Car. Boring. Just dead-bone boring. The car smelled like horsehair because that’s what Mercedes put in the seats at the time. 30+ year old horsehair. The MPG’s were solidly in the teens at a time when gas was over $4.00 a gallon. Shocks had been replaced to improve the ride. But it didn’t matter. I kept the car as a driveway ornament and eventually sold it on Ebay.

Other unwanted cars have come my way. A de-clunkered 1985 Town Car with only 45,000 miles? The most boring vehicle I ever owned. Even went so far as to nickname it ‘Novacain Incarnate’. Mid-90’s Camry and Corolla models have always struck me as the bane of banal. Any other models? Pretty much any under-engineered compact sedan. The big three had dozens of them in the 1980’s. While those models found a bit of power by the 1990’s, their Japanese and Korean competitors were even worse. Fun? Hell, I’m just glad to see all those four wheeled refrigerators properly recycled in the crushers. Which brings on the questions. Did you ever have an unwanted car? Why did you dislike it so much?

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88 Comments on “Hammer Time: The Unwanted Car...”


  • avatar
    The CHZA

    1980 Chevrolet Citation. I need say nothing more.

  • avatar
    Acubra

    Only once – bought a 99 Grand-Prix 3.8 Coupe simply because I needed something to get me to office, the car was mechanically right and check all other right boxes, the price was low and it was a peak of the 2007 boom in Calgary and all decent offers would be usually gone by the time I got to see them.
    The car was quick and in very nice shape, but… Where do I start?
    The driver’s seat was terrible on long drives. Visibility was not great to navigate through tight spaces. Wipers controls and algorythm were atrocious. The V6 sounded 3-cylinder-burpy at full gas. Suspension was weird at best. 

    Still it was quick, economical, almost totally reliable for those few months I used it for commute before my 1992 Mercedes 400E (LHD, like new with 25 Kmiles) arrived from Japan.
    The second vehicle that came in the same shipment was a SAAB 900T16 in full Aero dress, that cost me mere 15,000 yen – cheapest I ever paid for a car, but that is a different story.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadInSideInc

      Tell us these stories of JDM Saab, the one we’d love to hear.

    • 0 avatar
      Acubra

      So what exactly you want to know?
      Bought for 155 CAD in pretty neglected state, although actual repairs were kept to minimal $$$. All it took was some cleaning, restoration of proper contacts, and replacement of a few switches and boost valve.
      Driving it alongside the Mercedes turned out to be too little fun, bordering on humiliation, actually. So half a year later I sold it to a local enthusiast for 3.5K. He bought it sight unseen, based on the pictures only. That was in 2007. A month ago noticed it on a local buy-sell board with a bit more mileage, but otherwise pretty much unchanged. The asking was 2K.

  • avatar
    mopar4wd

    1991 Eagle Summit sedan (read mitsu mirage) Bought with 68,000 miles not a mark on any of the body panels still looked like the day it was built had a 1.3L with a 4 speed auto never got below 30 mpg but man was it boring I put 30,000 miles plus a year for 3 years with that car and all I did was change a wheel bearing, but I just couldn’t take the boredom and sold it for a VW golf comments on that car on the link
    http://colinism.com/?p=77

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    My 1976 Mercedes 240D automatic had to go. The transmission blew up less than 48 hours after I  bought it. The rebuild took weeks and weeks and several failed delivery dates. Once it was ‘fixed,’ it never shifted as well as it had the day before it blew up. I couldn’t trust it and didn’t like the city bus style shift shocks. The car also had gallons of Bondo that revealed themselves whenever the temperature dropped below freezing. The Benz had some nice qualities too, but the perpetual sinking feeling meant that it had to go. Oddly enough, I sold it for a thousand more than I paid for it. It was the last automatic car I ever bought for myself. There’ve been company cars and cars I bought for other people to daily drive, but I still hate every moment spent driving a car with a slushbox.

  • avatar
    Motorhead10

    having always been something of a Pontiac fan –
    Married, no kids bought my wife a ’94 Grand Prix GTP with “white” pkg – I have a Firehawk and an Escort “station” car. First kid is born, the 2-door GTP gets traded in on a 2000 Grand Prix GT (4-doors) -easier to get the kid in and out of. 15-months later, kid #2 arrives. The Firehawk gets traded in on a Town & Country, the station car goes and I get the Grand Prix. I couldn’t sell that thing fast enough. It looked OK, but Holy Moly was that thing boring. We had a term as kids “tweener”. We always said, you want to either drive a total crapbox or something really cool. The Grand Prix was the ultimate ‘Tweener’. Not offensive in anyway. Not extraordinary in any way. It was like a Dementor sucking the life out of me. I sold that thing to the first person that could fog a mirror and bought myself a 96 Impala SS – the last version before those took over as the ultimate GM Tweener.

  • avatar

    1980 Mercedes 240D. I bought it to run it on vegetable oil. Which I did.
    But it was constantly problematic, and not due to beta carotene. Vacuum-operated central locking and HVAC vents along with more important features like the automatic transmission and fuel shutoff valve meant that a leak in any of the failure-prone-after-thirty-years (and expensive) door lock actuators would cause the car to shift HARD and the engine to not shut off.
    It was also painfully slow. Double-digit horsepower meant 140 km/h was its brand-new top speed, which is a time travel-worthy 88 mph… after a couple miles of foot-to-the-floor interstate highway torture test. A test on your tolerance for incredible levels of engine NVH, I mean, not on the car’s longevity: at that speed, you’ll kill yourself for want of silence before the engine pukes its three-types-of-oil-burning guts.
    I never did hit 88 with it, which was probably the top speed for stickshift models — I could barely manage 83. It rode comfortably, but I never had the gonads to try tail-out antics — only possible in the snow anyway. A school bus around town, a quiet cruiser at 55, a noise assault above 60. Thankfully, the fryer grease smell never overcame the horse hair.
    Never mind that obtaining and filtering veggie oil is a messy, time consuming, and difficult task, and diesel in these parts is at least 20% more than gas. I bought the car for $2400. I got the kit as a college graduation gift from my parents. I sold it for $1500 after about 20 thousand miles, and was glad to be rid of it.

    • 0 avatar
      MDAsay

      Couldn’t agree more on the ’80 240D.  Mine was the manny and the day is was stolen was a happy day.  Sad day was when it was recovered…the thief needed a quicker get-away car.
      When I first came to own it, it had 80K miles and was diaper-wiped daily…not a spot on this thing.  It was a brick house bought in Germany and then shipped to CA.  I moved to UT and the altitude just SUCKED the life outta this thing.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      You needed a 300D. The extra cylinder and hp make all the difference. Mine is certainly no rocket, but it is adequate and will do a comfortable 75mph until the sun goes nova.

      As to hated cars, hmmm, nope, never bought anything that I didn’t want. Can’t even imagine doing so – what would be the point?

  • avatar
    benzaholic

    I still can’t figure out how you could avoid falling in love with a W116 with the (relatively) higher compression 3.5 liter V8.
     
    Then again, I may not be unbiased in this.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Currently have a 93 F-150.  I want to get rid of it but there are so many niggling problems, along with dents and flaking paint,  I need a C4C deal to move it along.  The exhaust pipe gave out last week, another nickle and dime for that. It costs me 600 a year in insurance and i drive it maybe 2000 a year if I am lucky. Hard on gas, hard on the eyes.
    I’ve replaced everything on the front of the engine,  the belt tension-er three times. I would hope someone would steal it but I’d need comp to make out in the deal.

  • avatar
    texan01

    2000 Ford Contour base, 2.0 4 cylinder, automatic. I bought from a friend to help him out for $250 bucks. New timing belt, serpentine belt, valve cover gasket, plugs, a couple hoses and filters, and a new set of tires, fixed the drivers door handle, new front speakers, and recharged the A/C and it ran well. I bought it at the height of 4 dollar a gallon gas in 2008 and it was an ok commuter car, but it got no better mileage than my ‘gas guzzler’ 95 Explorer in town (17mpg in the Explorer, 19 for the Contour). It also got mediocre mileage on the highway and had a funny habit of dying on the way back on a road trip. It was uncomfortable, noisy, and cramped, along with the most boring car I’ve ever owned, more boring than even my Explorer.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      The automatic is the problem. My sister-in-law has the same car with the five-speed. I love taking that thing out on the back roads. Only real complaint is the lack of a tachometer.

      That’s Carol’s (the owner) only complaint, too.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      The V6 + 5-speed Contour was a nice car. The little 2.5 liter revved like a chainsaw and the shifter was pretty nice. I got to drive one a couple times in college when its owner was too trashed to drive home, and it was far better than the POS Volvo 940SE I drove at the time (story below).

    • 0 avatar
      texan01

      I liked them when they came out, and read all the reviews. Then I bought it when it was 8 years old.
      My girfriend even had the same complaints about it as I did, and she drives a 98 Saturn SL1, she’d borrow the Contour when her car needed work, and she loved the handling on the Ford but said it was too noisy. You had to yell to be overheard at highway speeds, and it had never been in a wreck, road noise was common complaint on the forums about these cars. The seats were uncomfortable after a while, and the goofy flipper armrest hit me wrong. It was reliable for the most part but I never got attached to it.
      I also had a guy come up and offer me 10x what I paid for it, it was an easy sell to let this car go. My Explorer, will not be when the time comes.
       
      The Zetec 2.0 is a great little 4 banger, and had it been equipped with the 5 speed, it really would have an entertaining car. But none of that could overcome the fact that I phsically did not fit that car, at 6’2″ it was cramped, and really a two passenger car with 4 doors, or the fact that road noise coursed through it like a speaker.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      My wife had a 95 Contour V6. That car was a joy to drive- it handled crisply for a non-sport package sedan. Not a lot of power, but it sounded sweet and revved out nicely. It was a way nicer drive than the Altima that replaced it.
      It had to go because of persistent fuel delivery problems that would leave it stalled in traffic, otherwise we still might have it.

    • 0 avatar
      texan01

      Mine had the fuel delivery problems as well. New fuel pump solved that issue, though it had been replaced a few times before by the previous owner. It had a bad habit of dying on return trips of greater than 300 miles. It also had the most consistent mileage on the highway, You were guaranteed 24mpg on the first all-highway tank, then 28mpg on the 2nd tank, and then 38 on the rest of the tanks. Then when you got home, it would do it’s consistent 19-20mpg. It rode well and had no wind noise which was minor considering the obscene amounts of road noise.
       
      It was also one of those former rental cars you hear about. The PO had it for 5 or 6 years and he put 50,000 miles on its 80,000 miles on it.
       
      It was a reliable, great handling little car, let down by a typical Ford transmission with lazy shifting, no real sound deadning, and funky ergonomics.

  • avatar
    twotone

    Mid-1960’s Plymouth Valiant with push-button automatic on the dash. I bought it for $75 and drove it for a year. It had what I termed “gyroscopic steering” — it wandered all over the road until about 45 MPH. At that speed, the steering “locked on” and it would hold a line.
    I lent it to a friend while I was in Europe traveling for seven months. He ran it out of oil and the engine blew. He paid me $75. I did not miss it.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    No.  If it runs and doesn’t cost me a lot of money to keep it running, I drive it happily.

    When I discover that I’ve mistakenly purchased a monster, I cut my losses and get rid of it, I don’t keep the unwanted car.

    Edit: Make that “fairly happily.” Sure, when I was driving a ’94 Ford crApspire, “happily” was a relative thing. But I did drive it and didn’t get hung up on not wanting it.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    I had a stripper S-10, purchased new.  The only option it had was a rear bumper.  After it stranded me any number of times the tranny finally gave up the ghost.  Again.  That’s right, it ate two trannys despite having no motor.  GM was gracious enough to purchase the vehicle and allow me to dispose of it in a manner of my choosing.  I drove that POS across the country (sans cruise, avec bench) several times, and now I need physical therapy.

  • avatar
    carve

    1998 Ford Contour GL.  My wife was just out of college (I was still in) and we needed a modern commuter car for her.  Ford’s new world car was highly regarded at the time, and I got a killer deal.  It was under one year old with 7500 miles and I paid about $7800!

    It had about 1 recall per month the whole time we had it, had VERY uncomfortable seats…hard shifting…hard to work on…cheap interior…awful stereo etc. 

    Always having things break, I didn’t want it out of warranty, so sold it for what I paid for it and got a 98 Accord which I still have.  Superior in every way.

    Both my grandmothers wanted to buy it, but I refused to sell them that POS.

    • 0 avatar
      MichiganRich

      weirdly ironic, I had always wondered if I should have tried a Contour when they were ‘hot’ as you well recall….  I wound up in a 98 V6 LX accord coupe and was probably the best car I ever owned, value for dollar wise… wish i still had it.  how’s the trans on yours?….  4 or 6?

    • 0 avatar
      sastexan

      Ford had some serious quality problems with the early production run of the 2nd gen Contour (98).  And I agree; the seats in the GL were atrocious and the automatic gearbox needed convincing to do anything.  Stereo I don’t think was that bad for its price point at that time, but wouldn’t win any awards.  That model is such a sharp contrast to my SVT it might as well not be the same family.  I had two or three as rentals, and those stripper models were hideous.
       
      By my car’s February 98 build date must have figured out the teething problems – but Ford’s decontenting was pretty pathetic and some of the hard plastic in the interior is cheesy.  But it has held up better than I expected, even creaking stopped after 2 years (and has stayed away for 11 years now).

  • avatar
    Verbal

    ’89 Honda Civic hatchback, the base model with 72 hp and a 4 speed.  It was part of my wife’s dowry when we married, and I wound up using it as a commuter for a couple years.  The engine sounded like a diesel on cold starts.  The suspension was mush; road irregularities made it flop all over the place.  The wide ratios made accelerating up an on ramp an exercise in patience and noise tolerance.

    The good thing about it was that, being a Honda, it held its value really well when we sold it.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Citroen AX with 1.4 diesel.
    An engine that redlined at 3500rpm, a top speed of 65mph, crap stereo, awful seats, bodywork like a tin can with absolutely no sound insulation. Its only saving grace was it didn’t drink much fuel and it was in mint condition we relatively low miles.
    I only bought the thing whilst I fixed my other car, and fortunately the day my other car was fixed, the sh*tty little Citroen blew its head gasket. Instead of fix the head gasket I hated the car so much that I called in a local scrap company who hoisted onto the back of their truck and bashed the roof in. A perfect end for an unlovable sh*tbucket.

    • 0 avatar
      Acubra

      Was once given a ride in a Pug-104 1.4 gas model (a sibling to an AX), so I really feel for you.

    • 0 avatar
      Sinistermisterman

      There are cars I feel sorry for when their ‘time’ comes – like my old Ford Sierra (Merkur XR4). It was getting long in the tooth, the front wheel bearings were worn – it needed new shocks and other suspension work and it drank like a fish – but I loved the car – it was comfortable and a hoot to drive. I feel better knowing that it lives on mechanically as the power train for a Lotus 7 based kit car. But the AX? Nothing but hate for it. It had NO redeeming features. A friend of mine also owned an AX briefly and he hated it so much that he ended up towing it around a field by a tractor before setting fire to it.

  • avatar

    1986 Ford Escort Pony – I bought it in 1991 and sold it without a backward glance in 1998. Usually I miss my cars when I finally sell them, but not this one. I bought it due to a sense of familiarity to replace an 82 Escort that I wrecked earlier that year and because the Civics and 323’s were too expensive. No options, four speed transmission and an annoying shift up arrow that lit up two seconds after shifting gears. Removing the bulb solved that problem but the car itself was boring, no fun to drive and falling apart after 160000 kms. Truly a disposable appliance. A car should have some sort of relationship between the driver and owner – such as in the Top Gear US special – and in seven years that Escort never did that for me. I sold it to some kid and bought a 86 Mazda 323 which was a great car, because of that relationship, and I still miss it.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    Wow, so much hate for the Contour!
    I have owned two of them, and am now driving a Mystique.
    Yeah, the ’97 was a lemon, but that suspension and 24 valve V6 was so intoxicating! So much so that I traded it for a…2000 Contour. Yeah, they were a pain to work on, and the stereo seemed to be an afterthought, but what a great driving car! It’s why when I was offered the 1995 Mystique for free from my grandparents I jumped at the chance. Perfect? No, but it still puts a smile on my face :)
     
    The car that left me cold? That would have been my stripper 1993 Corolla. Boring didn’t begin to describe that car! I only kept it for a year and a half and traded it for a rather loaded up 1995 Corolla DX. I liked that one better.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Once again, you don’t get one with an automatic. Buy the 5-speed stripper, and you get a real German Mondeo. And like you discovered, they handle wonderfully, even on the small, cheap tyres that come with the base version.

  • avatar
    pdieten

    Unwanted cars? Heck, do you want that list alphabetically or in order of importance?

    I made a mistake back in the summer of ’98, buying a nearly new Dakota 2WD pickup. In Wisconsin. Duh. I bought it because my then-girlfriend liked it, but I hated the thing almost from the moment I brought it home. In three months it was in the shop twice, was massively expensive to drive (hard on gas, expensive insurance) and was broken into once (not its fault, but a bad omen.) So I traded it in, at a huge loss. The only dealer who could get me into a vehicle sold me practically the opposite vehicle, a nearly new 1997 Pontiac Sunfire, because it was cheap but expensive enough to absorb the trade loss, and my finances were in bad shape at the time.

    I can’t say I really liked that car either. But I kept that little junker for no less than nine years, because that cheesy little 2.2 engine and 3-speed auto was so reliable and the car was so cheap to keep for my long freeway commute that I couldn’t justify getting rid of it until I’d well and truly driven the thing into the ground. Say what you want about a 4-door kiddie car, but it owed me nothing.

  • avatar
    dancote

    Almost embarrassed to admit it but here goes: Plymouth Horizon.  Hey, we needed to save gas back in the day. This little car was cute with a custom paint job, nice rims and a humungous canvas sunroof. It easily carried 3 adults and 2 kids and all of our luggage. Unfortunately it had an Achilles heel. The air conditioner. It worked great but leaked water all over the interior of the car. I sold it after the 4th (unsuccessful) repair.

    • 0 avatar
      zeus01

      Only one achilles heel? My Horizon was a ’79 TC-3 (a sh!tbox masqeurading as a fastback) that I picked up for $800 as a winter beater so that my ’81 RX7 wouldn’t have to be exposed to salted roads. At that price how could I lose?

       Here’s how: Manual transmission linkage that repeatedly jammed. A carb that iced up if I so much as sneezed. Door handles (both interior and exterior) that simply broke off thanks to sagging and mis-aligned doors for which no cure existed. (believe me, I tried). Clutch cables with the life expectancy of Justin Beiber in a biker bar. Ergonomics that were even worse that those of a Chevette. Handling that was almost as crisp as that of ’71 Lincoln town car with all four shocks removed. Seats that you sat on rather than in because there was no bolstering— at least until the first curve over 20 mph threw me into the door. Lights and electricals with more gremlins than the movie. Roll-up windows that rolled down but not up without jumping out of their tracks. Brakes that felt more like 1920’s cable-operated rather than hydraulic. But the horn worked.

      Dishonourable mention: A ’74 Pinto, a ’74 Capri and a ’74 Gremlin. Don’t even get me started.

    • 0 avatar
      Slocum

      We had an Omni of some early-mid 80s vintage, and it was really OK for the time.  Fairly reliable, and not terribly boring to drive with a 5-speed —  it had only around 100hp, but it only weighed a little over 2000#, so the power-to-weight was pretty close to what you get in a compact now.
       

    • 0 avatar
      Domestic Hearse

      Had the fastback Omni myself. In chick magnet yellow. Late high school, early college. Good little car. I killed a little on my own when I overheated/fried the VW sourced engine. Pulled a used motor out of a boneyard Rabbit, and was back on the road. My brother killed it dead when he rolled it coming home late from a keg party. Insult to injury: Being woken up at 3:00 in the morning by my brother, all bloody and dazed, then going out in Mom’s car to find the Omni upside down in my boss’s yard. After work, I borrowed the front end loader, flipped it on its wheels, towed it to the same boneyard. That weekend, resodded the boss’s lawn. RIP Omni.

    • 0 avatar
      Huntmaster

      I remember test driving the first gen Omnirizon looking for a car for my mom in the late 70s? It was so unsorted I brought it back and told the dealer the car had a problem. Then, after the second one felt the same we went over to the Honda dealer and got her a 76 Accord. Though the early Accords had hot start issues, they were decent fun to drive.

  • avatar
    stevejac

    Lexus es330. I’m still not sure why I bought it–talk about automotive novocain! Replaced it with a BMW.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    1980 Chrysler LeBaron two door. Pale yellow – sorta – beige?

    This car was given to us by my wife’s WW1 vet great uncle in 1988.

    It had factory air, crank windows, 226 slant six, torqueflite. The only problem was the entire driver’s side had been side-swiped by a semi he got too close to and never reported the damage. The trucker had no idea, either – didn’t even know it happened! Anyhow, we got the car right after he quit driving and I decided to call State Farm (his ins. co.). Well, they fixed it for only $50.00 deductable for $1,600.00 damage!

    Fine and dandy. Then I noticed the back end wobbling. Turned out the rear axle was bent from the accident. Went back to S. F. and they paid half. Cost me from Dodge $120.00. Then water pumps started failing. After the third one started leaking, I took it to my friend to look over as I was confused. Changing a water pump outside in January isn’t fun. Turned out it needed a fan clutch. Fixed. Twice the power, too! A/C worked so-so, but it worked. A year later, I slapped a “Batman” sticker on the left side of the deck lid and forever after, the kids called it the “Bat mobile”!

    I sold our 1981 Reliant shortly after taking ownership of this car.

    I sold the LeBaron in March 1990 upon taking delivery of our Plymouth Acclaim.

    I didn’t really want the car, but I managed to have some fun with it, as I regard certain cars as a blank canvas, just waiting to do something creative to. In this car’s case, it was the interior I had fun with. Not a bad car after all.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Ok, the oddest of the bunch so far.  Our family wandered into a ’74 AMC 4 door Matador.  An employee wanted it and at the time my father let employees have input into their company car with the caviat that they had to keep if for at least 100K miles.  The employee left and we as teenagers got this turd with 140K on the clock and a 304 V8.  Since we decided to kill it, I drove it for days in my friend’s 10 acre field.  The damn thing wouldn’t die, though it ran rather hot.  I finally ripped the exhaust off of it in the dirt.  Driving it home I went down a steep, long grade.  At 45 MPH, I put it in neutral, redlined it, and threw it into reverse.  The beast slowly came to a stop in a cloud of tire smoke and began to go up the hill backward. Did that five consecutive times, and drove it home.  What a horrible car.  Everybody hated it, so beating it to near death was a welcome alternative to keeping it.  A few days later, we drove to the junkyard who offered $50 for it.  My father wanted more, saying at least it had recent tires.  The junkyard guy looked at the tread and said no way, your down to the wearbars.  My dad looked at me and took the $50.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    Theres been quite a few… a Hyundai Excel, Ford Escort, a Dodge Grand Caravan.  But the worst one was a Daewoo Lanos Sport, I think it was a 2001… black with red leather, at least they said it was leather, I still had my doubts.  Actually, not a terrible car, had 15″ alloy rims, good tires, sporty 3-dr hatch.  I bought it with 50k miles on it in 2008 for $3k.  Drove it home, it didnt have much power, but it was supposed to be for my teenage daughter.  My mechanic recommended having the timing belt changes as these were prone to snap the instant the motor reached 50k miles.  $400 later, along with new gaskets and a water pump for good measure, we find out that the previous owner had already changed the TB, but routed it wrong!  When the new belt was in, routed properly through the tensioner, it was like a whole new car.  Kinda fun, decently peppy.

    My daughter who is simply too spoiled, refused to drive it.  A varsity cheerleader apparently cannot be seen driving a Daewoo.  Unfortunately, my wife (who is also too spoiled) agreed with her, and thought I should inherit the Daewoo as “the perfect commuter car”.  Well, during the 4 day arguement that ensued from that, the daughter wrecked the wife’s car… completely totalled it.  Well, that relegated her to the bus, my wife began driving our Explorer, and I did inherit the ‘Woo.  During the 3 months or so we shopped for a replacement for my wife’s car, I grew to hate that car.  It was embarrassing, I will admit it, I had too much foolish pride to drive a Daewoo, even the so-called Sport model.  My wife and I argued… hell, almost got divorced over it… she wanted a new car, I wanted a new car, she never wanted to drive the Daewoo, but she wanted me to drive it until we got a new car and then she wanted me back in the Explorer, etc etc.  Finally, we bought our MR2 Spyder, with the agreement we would share it.  2 months later, I had gotten to drive the mister two maybe twice.  I had enough of that… the Explorer was soon traded in on a GTI and it was all mine, no more sharing in my family.  The ‘Woo was sold to a super sweet and very grateful 16yo girl who was absolutely thrilled to get such a cool looking car with red leather and super low miles, I happily handed over the receipts and phone number of my mechanic so the new dad would know the maintenance I did was legit.  Got $3600 for it, broke even after about 8 months of use.  The wife has her MR2, I have my GTI, and my daughter got the $3600 plus some of her own money to buy a nice used car… a 240SX thats appropriately cool yet appropriately cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      hell, almost got divorced over it…  You’re a stronger man than me.  I did get divorced from a woman like that. 

    • 0 avatar

      I’m trying to visualize a situation where a man would tell his wife she has to drive the sh*tbox that he refuses to drive.  Then they buy a sports car that will be shared, but she never seems to get any time behind the wheel.
       
      Yeah, me neither. Notgonnahappen.
       
      Women think nothing of dictating their husbands’ behavior in a manner that if the roles were switched we’d be hearing all about paternalistic and patriarchal sexism.
       
      Dennis Prager once said that men, from the time they are little boys, are taught that their natural inclinations are things to be restrained and controlled, because males are naturally violent, competitive and promiscuous. Females, though, are rarely taught that they must constrain their natural inclinations to manipulate and control. Add feminist misandry to the mix and  we have a situation where men think it’s perfectly normal to have a mother telling them what to do instead of a wife. They have a boss, not a partner.
       
      So naturally, she gets the 2 seat sports car that was supposed to be “shared” and he is told he must drive the sh8tbox. Frankly, I’m surprised that she didn’t come up with some reason why “the family” needed to keep the Explorer.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      Dan — She is really, really hot… makes it worth putting up with a few issues… lol

      Ronnie — She is an amazing woman, she actually really just likes her car, not so much that she tries to control me.  She did have reasons we needed to keep the “family” car, she just didnt like driving the mommy mobile, thats why we got rid of the minivan after less than a year.  The Explorer was supposed to be “cool”, like our previous vehicle, Land Rover Discovery (yeah, that was a total POS but I loved it anyway!).  She didnt think it was as cool, and the mileage was attrocious for me to be driving it daily.  So after all this crap happened, thats why I got a 5-door GTI and not the Mustang GT I orginally wanted.  Good thing though, I would have ended up with a 2010 instead of the 2011 with the 5.0.  And I do love my GTI.

    • 0 avatar
      cfclark

      My wife has usually had the “better” (more comfortable, newer) car in the household, because I know that if I am driving on the freeway in an older, less-reliable vehicle, I am better able to handle a breakdown in a calm and resourceful way without going to pieces or driving a car until permanent damage results. As bright and talented as she is, she won’t pay attention to things like oil pressure warning lights–it’s just not in the scope of what she’s likely to be thinking about when going about her daily business. This is also why we live five minutes from her workplace and an hour from mine. My dad was the same way with my mom, and now with my stepmother. Perhaps there’s some misandry at work when she gets the car with 22,000 miles as her daily driver and I have an eight-year-old Subaru with 102,000 on the clock, but I’d rather have me be the one on the side of the 110 if something goes wrong than her. (Which is probably misogynistic, but so be it.)

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        Marriage is almost always a losing proposition for the husband. You’re not misogynistic, you’re “chivalrous”.
        Tying the knot is like buying a new Catera- it just seemed like a good idea at the time.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      Many years ago, we got a hand-me-down Cadillac De Ville from my grandfather… mint condition, just old.  The one time my wife drove it, the oil light came on.  She drove it 10 miles home like that… about a mile from our house it was literally smoking out the hood… bone dry.  Cracked block.  My first car donation to the Red Cross.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      You made me think of Tim Allen’s old routine about when the engine on his Buick Regal blew up with his wife driving it. He asked her (expecting her to lie): “Did the oil light come on?”  Her reply: “Well yeah but I wasn’t going to stop driving just because of a little light!”

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      At the time we lived way out in the country, and the entire 10 miles she drove was pretty desolate.  Her excuse was that she couldnt get cell signal and was afraid to stop and be completely stranded.  The block was probably already cracked from overheating, the oil light came on after the oil leaked out the crack… but still… she killed the car bigtime.

  • avatar
    eldard

    Our family’s 1983 Mitsubishi Colt and a late 80’s/early 90s Nissan double cab pick up (don’t know the model, small one) Both had no power steering and the stick shifts were hard.

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    A silver 1978 Buick Turbo Regal that I purchased new in July of ’78 and took on an inaugural trip to Lake Powell and parked it for a week (letting the paint protectant that I’d paid extra for deteriorate like a bad case of rosacea) while we seriously partied on a houseboat.
    That is the only fond memory I have of that car, but still managed to put 78K miles on it before I had to have the engine rebuilt and the turbocharger replaced in the Spring of 1981. I used it as a trade-in on a new ’81 Honda Accord hatchback, one of my favorite cars.
    The late 70’s were the days of extremely anemic cars and this Buick was no exception. To this day, I still remember the Saturday I jammed the pedal to the floor while taking the sweeping curve interchange from NB 57 in Orange County, Ca. onto the EB 91 and watched as a twin stick Dodge Colt swept by like I was standing still.
     
    The 857 pound doors on this toothless Carcharadon had those strap door handles, one of which I had to repair. As I removed the door panels to effect the repair, I was not amused to determine that where multiple bolts/nuts/screws by design were to be used, the drunken/drug addict UAW assemblers had gotten by with one wherever/whenever they could.
    This was the last General Motors car I ever bought.
     
     
     

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      “drunken/drug addict UAW assemblers”…with all due respect sir…you havn’t got a clue what your talking about.

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      Sorry, friend… I had a buddy who worked at the Ford assembly plant in SoCal (Pico Rivera, I think it was) and he told me all about the habits of the 1970’s-era auto worker… breaks and lunches where whatever could be smoked, shot, snorted or rubbed into one’s belly button – let alone alcohol – was ingested.
      Sad but true…
       

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      Well, okay, Mikey, why then did they use one fastener on assemblies meant to be multiply fastened? To keep the line going, perhaps….

    • 0 avatar
      MoppyMop

      We also have to remember that GM management at the time cared WAY more about spitting cars down the line as fast as possible than about whether the line workers got time to bolt them together properly.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      I can say in all honesty,with a few exceptions, I don’t know,or have witnessed anybody,knowingly not completing thier job assignment.

      But  I’m confident that some of the experts here at TTAC,that have never set foot in a modern auto assembly facility,may have a different opinion.

    • 0 avatar
      GeneralMalaise

      Didn’t mean to imply it was the rule, Mikey… truth be told and given the times, there was a lot of that in ALL walks of employment, except law enforcement and maybe the clergy… maybe.
      And my buddy had some funny stories, curl any unsuspecting car buyer’s hair. Auto assembly is just a particularly egregious area, lol… ranks near passenger jet category.
       

    • 0 avatar

      Mikey, he’s talking about the 1970s, not today. The UAW and management were at each others’ throats, and violence was not unheard of. I remember one Chrysler worker went postal, shot and killed his supervisor and other workers, and then blamed it on the “racism” in the plant. Cars would come off the line with debris deliberately left inside of kick panels and the like. My buddy’s folks had a Thunderbird. It was built out at Wixom on the same line as the Mark III and Mark IV. The T-Bird’s passenger side mirror had a Lincoln star on it.
       
      I know you want to defend your autoworker brothers but the sad truth is that in the 1970s and early 80s management and labor sucked. Anybody that had any pull at all with the Big 3 tried to get their cars scheduled for midweek assembly because on Monday the workers were hungover and on Friday they were already starting to party.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Apparently, there were interesting accounts of goings-on in auto plants back then. A friend  in the early 1970’s worked at the Fenton, Mo. Chrysler plant for a while, and they had some kind of “dead line” where cars that were assembled incorrectly were stored until they could be either junked or properly “made right”.

      Case #1: A coupe with a four-door solid front seat so you could not get in back.

      Case #2: A car with a column shift AND a floor shift. Had no idea which one, if any was hooked up.

      Case #3: A car with two transmissions; torqueflight was properly installed, a 4 speed was tossed into the engine compartment and the hood was slammed down, damaging lots of stuff.

      Case #4: A car with TWO engines! V8 properly installed, a slant six tossed in (see above)!

      Case #5: A guy selling stolen guns out of the trunk of his car (my buddy bought one, a Ruger .22 Bearcat).

      I’m sure this was not indicative of the industry as a whole, but there certainly were bad apples in the barrel, just as there probably are now.

    • 0 avatar
      william442

      The Lordstown Vega line around 1970 was equally bizarre, Williow Run was better, but I still saw Pontiacs with Buick emblems.

    • 0 avatar

      My all-time favorite Malaise-era domestic car tales come from my father, who suffered the crushing indignity of selling Dodges in the late 70s. Oil leaks on the showroom floor were commonplace, as were trucks that arrived to his dealership “pre-rusted.”

      The best stories, though, are of Aspen wagons with the roofs misaligned to the rest of the car. 

      In every case, a few (possibly) drunk and/or stoned UAWers had obviously and halfheartedly attempted to remedy the mistake by forcing the D pillars to match the roof. That inevitably meant one pillar that was nearly-vertical, with the opposite side contorted to an extreme angle to match. Of course the liftgate didn’t fit, and in one case the rear side glass apparently shattered from the strain of being forced to match the rather complex curvature of what was supposed to be a straight panel.

      Hard to believe these examples passed through Chrysler’s “quality assurance” process and were allowed on the truck; wait, no, it’s not hard to believe at all!

  • avatar

    1994 LeBaron convertible, in the fall of ’99. Because I had to have a convertible at the time. Traded in my ’94 “Homecoming” Saturn SL2 with pristine pearl white paint, a surprisingly comfortable interior, and 93,000 pampered miles. The Saturn also had a lifetime’s worth of bad memories and Karma, along with the smell of my ex-girlfriend’s cigarette smoke I could never fully exorcise from the headliner.
     
    The LeBaron had 68,000 miles when I got it, along with a new paint job in (non-Chrysler) dark green/black and a suspicious lean to starboard that the dealer could never correct. It was truly a piece… and I even knew that as I signed the papers for it, but I wanted a convertible and I Did Not Want The Saturn Anymore.
     
    When the end came almost three years later, it had 102,000 miles and peeling paint, and the Mitsu V6 leaked oil like a sieve. Despite it all, it was still a fairly comfortable and reliable (!) car… it was just a bad decision from the start. The top still went down, at least, but when the left-rear brake shoes refused to come unstuck by any repair I was willing to pay for, I traded the LeBaron — red-glowing brake drum and all — on a 2002 Focus ZX3 that proved to be a very smart buy.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Yeah….Well I think I may have more experience than your buddy. For sure, s—t as you described did indeed happen. But like most “stories/myths” it doesn’t lose nothing in the telling.

    Drugs, and alcohol were the exception, not the rule. If you think the same things don’t take place in the transplants,thats another misconception.

    • 0 avatar

      It wasn’t at an automaker but it was at a Tier 1 supplier: Rush order comes in. Foreman sends one guy to the party store to get a couple cases of beer, then gets a baggie of weed from his car. Puts the beer and pot on his desk, calls in his crew and tells them that they will party if the order was filled in time.

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    I’m happy to say I’ve never had a car I didn’t like. That apparently makes me somewhat unique here, or else I just have a low threshold of satisfaction.

  • avatar

    Never had a car I didn’t like. My best friend hated my old ’77 Corolla with the 1200 c engine. Way too noisy, he said, and he complained about the upholstery being torn. Me, I loved how the engine sang after I tuned the car, and how the damn thing was solid like a rock, and how I could floor the pedal and go redlinin’ (to be sure, I didn’t have a tach, but I beat hell out of the thng) and it never complained.
    I will say that I got damn tired and frustrated with my ffirst gen saturn, a lot of repairs towards the end, and plenty of NVH, but I did always like the way it handled, and I loved the driving position.
    Absolutely love the ’99 Accord 5speed.

  • avatar
    R_Key_Tech

    I’ve been reading this blog religiously for a year, and this post finally inspired me to venture a comment…  My least loved car I’ve ever owned was a 2005 Honda Accord LX sedan. It was that blue-gray color that all of them are, inside and out. Automatic with plastic wheel covers. I bought it new because I was trying to be thrifty and smart, and had never owned a Japanese car, but I remembered all the great Hondas from the 80s. 

    I had no reason – no reason – to hate it (except for the plastic chrome that flaked off the inside drivers door handle in shards and kept cutting me). It ran well. It was inexpensive to buy and operate. The engine was smooth. It was neither too large nor too small. The bustle-butt combined with the econo-car nose were a slightly awkward combination, but you couldn’t call it ugly. Not exactly.

    And it was the least soulful car I’ve ever owned. I kept praying for something to break so I would have an excuse to get rid of the thing. One day I was stopped at a light when I saw familiar looking headlights coming up way too fast behind me. I got rear-ended by a guy in another Accord. He popped me pretty hard, but apparently if one Accord hits another one, they cancel each other out. Neither had any damage (sigh, and eye-roll).

    I kept it for five l-o-n-g years and finally sold the thing to Carmax. 

  • avatar
    Spencercat

    My least-wanted car was a red 4-door 1980’s Pontiac Sunbird, which my in-laws had bought for my future wife to use in college.  They told her they were getting her a sport car, because the car was red and small.
    Years later, I was driving it and the temperature redlined, which I foolishly  blamed on a faulty gauge.  After that blew the head gasket (the car belonged to my sister-in-law at the time), my father in law made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, and the car became ours.  Slow, unreliable, small and not very economical.  But it did drive our firstborn home from the hospital.  I didn’t regret trading it in for a 1989 Jeep Cherokee, one of my all-time favorites.

  • avatar
    MoppyMop

    ’92 Chevy Beretta, bought by my dad as a beater for me and my brother to drive since he didn’t trust us not to hoon his new Geo Prizm to death.  It only had 30k miles when we got it but drove like it had 230k, and shed parts in the driveway on at least one occasion.
     
    The 3100 was an absolutely gutless lump and the 3-speed auto didn’t help; you pretty much had to keep the throttle mashed at all times to keep up with traffic.  The interior was the wretched ’80s/’90s GM burgundy with every single trim piece having its own unique shade that didn’t match any of the others.   Of course, all the other usual GM design motifs of the time applied here: rattle-tastic interior trim, styling only a rental fleet manager could love, ergonomics seemingly designed by a couple of guys throwing darts at a diagram of a dashboard.

    After driving this thing I understand completely why the gun people sued GM for dragging their good name through the mud.  Supposedly as part of the settlement, GM traded a brand new Beretta for a pair of shotguns.  If you ask me the Italians got the short end of the stick on that one.

  • avatar
    Sam P

    1991 Volvo 940SE.
     
    Hand me down from the parents in 2003 when I was an undergrad in college. It replaced their 1987 740 Turbo (another hand me down) that I had been driving. I accepted the 940SE grudgingly. Although it had ABS brakes, its extra weight (it was a Volvo 960 without the uber-unreliable 6 cylinder engine) made it feel weak compared to the 740T, and the suspension wasn’t nearly as tied down. Granted the 740T was no BMW, but the 940SE was a floaty barge by comparison.
     
    And it got worse. The sunroof motor broke (in the closed position) which wouldn’t have happened with the 740T’s manual sunroof. The automatic climate control refused to blow cold A/C when the throttle was more than halfway down. And the transmission started leaking profuse amounts of ATF.
     
    That car never stranded me, but every moving part besides the engine and the transmission was doing its best to fail. This in contrast to the previous Volvo, which was dead reliable despite being older and having more miles.
     
    When I got my first job out of college in 2004, I picked up a Subaru Outback with recently replaced head gaskets ($1500 that I didn’t have to spend) and a manual gearbox, then returned the Volvo to my parents. They sold it for a pittance and forwarded me the proceeds.

  • avatar

    I just had to post a counter point for all you guys hating on the W123s.
    I have owned many cars, but my 240d was my all time favorite. I bought it for $1000, the engine felt like it was about to explode and the brake booster (or the vacuum system) was on its way out, yikes. A couple of motor mounts fixed the vibration, never got around to fixing the brakes. I drove it a bit and sold it for profit. I still honestly almost tear up when I think about it. That car had more personality and soul than anything I’ve driven. It wouldn’t get you there fast, but you sure enjoyed the trip. Or maybe that was just the diesel fumes.

    http://nophotos.smugmug.com/Cars/1979-Mercedes-240d/DSC2983/1212521513_o5NV9-M.jpg

    As far as a car that I didn’t want. I had the bright idea of buying a very not clean, beat to hell E36 BMW one day. I quickly realized the err of my ways and sold it a few days later for a very small profit.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    Mine was was an ’03 Jeep Wrangler.  What a POS.  In the shop five times the first year for various ignition problems.  After a year it developed “death wobble.”  The dealer said the only solution was a new set of tires every 15-20K.  And he told me that with a straight face.  Right.  It looked new and still had a warranty so I traded it.  It was then that I realized Chrysler was just an excuse to scam an unwitting public.

  • avatar
    zeus01

    “Women think nothing of dictating their husbands’ behavior in a manner that if the roles were switched we’d be hearing all about paternalistic and patriarchal sexism.
     
    Dennis Prager once said that men, from the time they are little boys, are taught that their natural inclinations are things to be restrained and controlled, because males are naturally violent, competitive and promiscuous. Females, though, are rarely taught that they must constrain their natural inclinations to manipulate and control. Add feminist misandry to the mix and  we have a situation where men think it’s perfectly normal to have a mother telling them what to do instead of a wife. They have a boss, not a partner.”

    Wow, I don’t know where you go to find these particular women whose character is naturally predisposed to dictatorial control of the men in their lives, but my wife is the diametric opposite. In fact, she left a controlling, philandering jerk of a husband after 20 years with him over a year before we met. 

    Feminist misandry is an undesireable trait. But then again, so is misogyny. I used to work with a guy who had a butt-ugly gold ring on his right index finger. He said the gold came from the rings of all the women who had “done him wrong.” I told him that if he continued to treat women like garbage he’d soon have enough gold to make himself a humongous belt buckle.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      I love my wife, and I treat her like gold, shes a beautiful, intelligent woman and she loves me just as much.  Absolutely no misogyny on my part here.

      But that being said… if your wife is the diametric opposite, you got lucky…  :)

  • avatar
    william442

    Cars are like beer. They are all good, some are just better.

  • avatar

    ’02 Subaru Impreza WRX. I wanted to love it but I couldn’t. I sold it within six months.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I should have written this in place of the LeBaron related to above.

    My 1976 Chevy ¾ ton C-20 Fleetside Custom Deluxe pickup truck.

    I actually ordered this from the factory. Got to absolutely hate the thing real fast.

    I made the mistake of allowing a friend influence my decision to essentially spend my money for me. First and last time.

    That thing never got more than 13.5 mpg and was a beast to drive, but my arms got pretty strong. After I got married, my wife could not confidently drive it. Armstrong steering, unassisted brakes. It was pretty, though – fire-engine red with white cab roof. Step bumper. Saddle tan plaid-pattern design interior, rubber floor (I liked that). Full gauges, no A/C, no radio, HD sway bars, 292 6 cyl. 4 speed w/granny 1st. White front bumper.

    Chevy had to replace the short block 4 months in. All dash light bulb holders broke, the heater housing leaked causing rust on passenger floor – fixed that. A very annoying squeak developed that drove me crazy – imagine the interior completely stripped (seat, flooring, dash, driving while sitting on a milk crate with a friend trying to isolate the squeak rolling around on the floor!). Finally found the offending noise and a little yank with a very large screwdriver under a panel joint cured it.

    I sold the truck in 1977, exactly to the day two years after I bought it to a very grateful couple who lived on a farm for $3,500. I paid $4,200. Had enough money left over to pay off the loan, pay for a tranny for my wife’s 1970 Mustang, bought our ’76 Gremlin and paid off bills and put a little in the bank. Not so bad after all, but I DO NOT MISS THAT TRUCK!

  • avatar
    allythom

    When my beloved 1980 Austin Mini finally started to bite the dust in about ’93, I traded it for a 1981 VW Golf 1100. It was virtually indestructable, but it was slow, oh , so slow.  I hated it.
    After I moved to London in ’94, I no longer needed a car and gladly sold it. I went without a car for about a year before I got an unmissable deal on my parents’ old ’89 Vauxhall Astra,  itself a somewhat dull, but at least worthy, little car.
    In contrast to Kamil K. above, I love my ’02 WRX wagon.  However, after 9 years, it’s time for someone else to enjoy it, so it’s up for sale.  Horses for courses I guess.
     

  • avatar
    Junebug

    Mine was a 1975 Pontiac Ventura (Chevy Nova clone), it had a gutless 262 cu v8, did 0 to 65 in the quarter mile. The interior fell apart- yes really, damn door handle fell on the ground when I opened the door for my girlfriend, we laughed and picked it up, threw it in the trunk and went on. The heater core cracked and leaked antifreeze into to passenger side carpet. The seat belts caught the tin trim on the side of the seats and pulled it off. I did have one decent thing to say about this car, got laid for the first time in it. Other than that memory, it was the worst car I’ve ever had!

  • avatar
    brettc

    Not my personal car, but my parents owned a 1987 Chevy Celebrity with the 2.8 MPI engine. They bought it new. I’m not sure if the people at the St. Therese plant were permanently drunk and high or what exactly. But that thing had more problems than a Puebla VW built on Cinco de Mayo. Constantly blowing fuses for no reason and constantly at the local Chevy dealer while it was under warranty. One time the service guy at the dealer said “you might have hit a bump” as an explanation for the constant fuse problems. The automatic transmission eventually failed and my brother ended up having it replaced for a large chunk of money since he had sort of been given the car. (It was the gift that kept on giving massive headaches)
    My parents finally got rid of it in the mid 90s by selling it to a neighbour. Our neighbour was an auto shop teacher/mechanic. He managed to keep it running for a few more years but even he eventually had enough of it.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    78 Subaru Legacy wagon. It’s not that I didn’t want it — it was a hand-me-down from Mom upon my graduation from college — it’s just that it wouldn’t go away.

    When I got it, there were 80,000 hard mountain miles on it — most of those covered over road salt and sand. So where it wasn’t still blue, it was rust orange.

    But it ran perfectly. And ran and ran and ran. Eventually, I prayed for it to die. To come out in the morning to find all its bodily fluids poured out on the ground, and it would no longer start. But every morning, she cranked up with nary a complaint.

    I got married. The wife had the oil changed at Sears — I suppose this was at 150k-ish. She came home and said it smelled funny. I checked the dipstick (which came out smoking): bone dry. They forgot to refill it after it was drained, and she had driven the car about 10 miles with no engine oil in it at all. I ran to the store in our second car (how’s your Dodge Assbeen? — her parental hand-me-down), bought some oil, filled up the Subie, and drove it to Sears. It ran fine. In the end, they promised to replace the engine should the current one fail. Argh! But it kept right on trucking.

    A couple years later, with rust holes so big on the bottom of the doors you could see road, the wife became my ex and she drove off in my Subaru. Gone at last! Just not how I planned. And not as joyous an occasion as I’d hoped. In fact, it was downright sad.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I was in Florida for a week and ended up with a light blue Ford Tempo rental car.  It was only a rental but that week seemed like a year in that POS.  There really was not a single redeaming quality in that thing, ugly, dreadfully slow, recalcitrant transmission, mushy yet harsh suspension, uncomfortable seats, greasy plastic interior… seriously, who ever willfully bought one of these after test-driving anything else?

  • avatar
    Huntmaster

    I had a 94 Taurus that I inherited from my mother in law that was astoundingly boring. The woeful 3.0 was completely neutered by possibly the most inefficient automatic of all time. Passing gear meant lots of revs and engine racket accompanied by the acceleration of a 63 VW Beetle. My son’s high school car was a 91 Chevy Lumina that could boast a better power train than the Taurus, but everything else had fallen apart by 120K. The dash cracks could swallow sunglasses.

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