By on May 15, 2012


The fellow had spent nearly three hours on the road. Just to drive a 10 year old Isuzu SUV.

Traffic cones. Construction. Stalls and accidents. By the time he got to my lot he was already emotionally spent, and it was only 10:00 A.M.

Then he saw it.

The front passenger tire was flatter than a Ford Festiva going through the crusher. I was at the bank when he called. Hadn’t even opened the lot yet. Finally when I got there I noticed that an old Lincoln Mark VIII had two tires flat as well.

It wasn’t a coincidence.

Last Friday I had authorized my first repossession of the year. All the usual things were done to avoid this step. Plenty of calls. Plenty of broken promises. Finally, one broken promise too many meant that I would get my vehicle back. It was done within a matter of hours.

Except the hour in question was 4:00 A.M. and the person in question had just got out of jail. More times than not, I regret financing someone else’s kid… or grandkid. It never works out no matter the goodwill of the guardian in question.

The usual scenario goes like this.

Young fellow is cleaned up enough to look presentable. The parent/grandparent/uncle/aunt is sick and tired of driving the fellow around, or worse, having them abuse their vehicle on a regular basis.

They come to my lot on the hope that I will let their entitled progeny abuse one of my cars. I say no… and that is usually it.

Except when it comes to certain vehicles I have which can take abuse and aren’t worth all that much. A 1995 Lincoln Town Car that had already been repo’d once fit the bill perfectly. Nobody wants a 17 year old, full-sized V8 car with 175k  that was designed with a ruler. More times than not an old Panther like this will be financed to someone’s kid. I have the parent or guardian co-sign on the vehicle. The payments must be directly deposited, and if the insurance is dropped or changed, they get my voice on their phone.

Sometimes you can have the parent make the deposits. Other times it’s the kid. The parents desperately want to teach the kid responsibility. But in real life the deal usually is doomed from the start. Drugs, alcohol, laziness, stupidity, sass and self-destructive behavior invariably lead to several missed payments after five to seven months.

The guy had missed eight weekly payments at this point. A phone that only worked when I dialed it from another number, and every excuse in the world when I had our all too brief conversations. Sometimes a repo can snap someone back to the reality of paying for what is not yet their own.

But when they are on drugs… forget it. You will only get a long list of excuses until you get back your car, and maybe one or two calls from the parent or guardian explaining how it will never happen again.

They’re right. It won’t.

When I got to the lot I saw the damage. I explained to the customer what took place. We worked together on putting the full-sized spare on the car. He drove it. Liked it. Paid for it. To be frank, I was almost misty eyed to deal with such nice folks after having my property violated. It was the third time in four years my property got hit (having a pawn shop adjacent to my lot doesn’t help) and dealing with genuinely nice and helpful souls is what makes any career worth doing.

I still had to repair the damage on the Mark VIII. So i turned off the air suspension. Put two jack stands onto the tires that needed to be removed, and went down the street to a used tire place owned by a fellow named Miles who is from Cameroon. I bought 2 Michelin Harmony’s with about 50% tread on them for $80. Went back to the lot, and three other cars with customers were waiting there for me.

One helped me put the tires back on while the other two went on test drives. The first financed a Saturn. The second financed a Buick the next day, and the other fellow who helped me with the tires is waiting for me to find a true contradiction in terms. A good old Saab.

I used to get into a near ‘Falling Down’ state of mind whenever someone had violated my property. It happened two other times. Though I’m pretty sure neither one involved a customer.  The first time they took a couple of crappy aftermarket CD players and probably did me a favor. The second time they stole a Chinese scooter from a storage unit I had in the back and… did me an even bigger favor.

This time it wasn’t a favor. It was a moment that made me think of Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction talking about someone who had keyed his old 1964 Chevy Malibu.

“Boy, I wish I could’ve caught him doing it. I’d have given anything to catch that asshole doing it. It’d been worth him doing it just so I could’ve caught him doing it.”

Go to 2:13 for the Vincent Vega moment.

Well, I didn’t catch him doing it. But at this point in my life I wouldn’t want to catch him. I have too much to lose and nothing to gain from random acts of bullshit machismo. I’ll leave that to the movies.

How about you though? Did anyone ever vandalize your car? If so, did you have the chance to make your feelings known?





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95 Comments on “Hammer Time: Vandalism...”

  • avatar

    Vincent’s Malibu was a ’64.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      Semi-freudian slip there. One of my ex’s had a 79′. Change made.

    • 0 avatar

      FWIW, it’s generally accepted the guy who keyed Vincent’s Malibu was none other than Butch (Bruce Willis), and it was done shortly after they had their altercation in the bar where Vincent acts about as condescending and insulting as he possibly can towards Butch.

      Not saying it was justified, but it exemplifies the possible repercussions of what can happen when you act like a shithead towards someone for no apparent reason.

      Of course, besides having keyed his car, Butch really gets his revenge when he wastes Vincent with a MAC-10 as Vincent exits the toilet in Butch’s apartment later.

  • avatar

    I sure hate that for you Steve.

    About as close as I can get was back in 1993. I had a new Toyota Corolla. There was this guy I went to high school with. He started coming to my church (I think because he wanted to date my best friend’s sister). For some reason, he never liked me. One day he put two younger kids up to completely covering the windows of my car with that fake-snow-in-a-can. Let me tell you, that stuff does NOT wash off! I had to take the car to a detail shop and they had to get out the good chemicals to remove it. My dad was livid, and told me to tell this person to pay for the damages. He laughed at me. Dad got even madder (if that is even a word). He went to where the guy worked. I don’t know what Dad told him, but I got my money back for having the car cleaned up.

    He really, really didn’t like me after that.

    As far as I am concerned though, I got my final “revenge” when at the wedding of him and my friend’s sister (I tried to warn her about him, she had to learn the hard way), I caught the garter and kept it on my rear view mirror for him to see :)

  • avatar

    I dumped my ex-girlfriend and later that night she carved in nice big letters the unabbreviated version of FU into my car’s paint.

    I’ve never hit a woman, but I sure came close to paying her a visit the next day and doing so.

    • 0 avatar

      Did you just get it repainted? I’m impressed if you didn’t try to get back at her in any way.

      • 0 avatar

        Ya, I got it repainted. My insurance covered it, minus the deductible.

        I called the police, but they couldn’t do anything because there was no evidence that my ex did it. I didn’t see her do it, but I know she did it. I didn’t exact any revenge, because I figured that it wasn’t worth getting a criminal record.

  • avatar

    Yes. Some dude put a nice X-shaped slash in my convertible top’s C pillar area on my 1964 Chevy when I was in the air force.

    I fixed it by buying some epoxy glue, the kind where you mix two tubes, bought some Mystic tape (remember that?) and some satin black model enamel. The white mystic tape I applied to the inside, as the inside of the black top was white cloth-back, mixed the glue and applied it to the tear area as neatly in a beaded pattern as I could, waited for it to dry and carefully painted the glued area. The paint blended very well and the repair held up ’til I sold the car a year later.

    Man, was I fit to be tied!

  • avatar

    Yes, back in 1985, someone put sugar, or tried to anyway, down the gas filler neck of my then ’78 Chevy Nova.

    The car ran OK despite the attempt (there looked to be sugar around the back of the plate where the filler neck was).

    That poor Nova was not meant for this world, especially to a young, 20 YO who was at the time, a driver for Domino’s Pizza back when the 30 minute guarantee was still in effect and it ended up being garbage by 1987, smoked badly whenever the temps reached over 70-75 (very whitish gray IIRC) sold it for I think $200 and it was replaced by a ’78 Ford Fairmont, not much better to drive but in infinitely better shape though.

  • avatar

    Hopefully they’ll promptly get a full set of new tires as rolling on directional and non-directional tires can make for some weird handling characteristics.

  • avatar

    I had just gotten my excellent condition, rust free E30 cabrio on the road. Being naive and extremely proud, I parked it in my school’s parking lot away from the other cars. As I was leaving, I put the top down and noticed what I thought was just a scratch. When I got home, I walked by the car and saw another scratch… and another. It looked like someone had made several passes with a key. Though I never found who did it, I (semi) joked that if I found the guy, there’d be more damage on the front of my car from me mowing him down than from the keying. I learned my lesson and haven’t parked away from the other cars since. I’ve even got the door dings to prove it.

    Six weeks later, however, I remember seeing a silver G35 with the front plate built into the bumper on the other side of the road. I just so happened to have caught two digits of his plate before I passed. Not even two seconds later, my head is plastered to the drivers side window as he left-turned into my E30. Not wanting to mess with a broken driver’s door in the middle of 35mph traffic, I pulled over and he took off. Having only liability insurance and a $5,000 damage estimate, my father parked by the scene and waited for him to drive by. In the mean time, I learned way too much about G35s and narrowed it down to either an ’03 or an ’04. By some stroke of luck, a pizza place across the street had 15 cameras around their property, one of which clearly showed the crash. One morning about six weeks later, my father called me to tell me that one ’04 G35 with front end damage had driven right by him and that one call to the insurance company yielded a check. It was probably the most satisfying phone call I had ever received. I’m not sure what I’d do to him if I ever met him, but it would probably end with me in jail. For now, however, we got the check and my BMW still has a clean title so it’s all good.

    • 0 avatar

      Reminds me of something that happened to me a few years back. I was working as a field service technician and it was December 22, 2008. I was on my way home from a call. I was in the left hand lane of the highway and there was a white Dodge Sprinter van in the right hand lane. Out of nowhere, he suddenly turned into me. In my efforts to avoid being shoved into the median by this big huge white wall slamming into me, he accelerated and I ended up losing control of my car – leading me to do a 90 degree right turn at 65 mph – launching me up a hill and into trees. He fled the scene. The damage – some back pain from a flat panel monitor slamming me in the middle of my back, a $4000 tow & storage bill, and $9000 worth of body work to be done to my car. At the scene of the crash – nobody believed me about the other vehicle. The cop, my wife, and my insurance agent all thought I was lying about being hit by a white 2007+ Dodge Sprinter cargo van with no windows.

      Six weeks later, I get my car back. While on a call, I make a wrong turn and stumble across the van that hit me. Black marks from my car all down the driver’s side. I parked my car next to it and went wild taking pictures proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that there was, in fact another vehicle. I get the license plate, the Vehicle Identification Number, the courier company information, and pictures showing how my car lined up with the damage on the van. I brought the photos to the State Police, my insurance company, and showed my wife. I called the courier company who says “Yeah, there was an accident, but my driver said the other guy fled. How much to make you go away?” I told him that he’d be hearing from the state police and my insurance company. The following day, I get three calls. The State Police calls me to apologize for doubting me and congratulating me for being the first motorist they’d ever encountered to find a hit and run driver. My insurance company called to say that this accident will not be held against me as I am no longer at fault and that they will be taken care of by the other insurance company. The courier’s insurance company then calls me to try and get a statement from me. I told them that they could get in touch with my insurer for that information.

      All tolled, the guilty party was found, the driver lost his license and job as a courier. My car got fixed, and I didn’t end up with the charges of the wreck being charged against me.

  • avatar

    Happened to me three times.

    First time I’d parked in a neighborhood and was walking around distributing flyers and the driver’s window was busted out my VW Fox and my stereo taken. Never got all the crumbs of glass out of the door so you’d hear them rattle like a shaker every time you closed the door. A few minutes at the import junkyard and I scored a replacement window for way less than my deductible.

    The second time I left my Volvo 740 parked in my brother’s store parking lot overnight and someone busted out the little rear side window – they didn’t take anything so I guess they were just busting out windows for fun – I think there were some other cars hit too that night in the vicinity.

    The third time, someone egged my Mustang on a Friday or Saturday night and I was sick and didn’t get out of bed all weekend so I didn’t notice until late Sunday by which time the sun had well baked it onto the clear coat. Some heavy duty chemicals finally did get all the egg white off but there’s some staining where it was – not too noticeable with a good coat of either wax or filth and it’s not bad enough to make me want to spend real money to get it resprayed yet.

    I filed police reports for both of the first two incidences but nothing ever came of it. I don’t know why I never reported the egging though – I probably could have gotten that covered by insurance.

    • 0 avatar

      A brand new CD head unit was taken from my pickup the same way as your Fox. This was at night, but in a wealthy area of town. Just a crime of opportunity as it was parked on a busy street. I put the old Delco cassette back in. A local glass shop put in a used window, so I didnt file an insurance claim. Crumbs of glass appeared randomly for a couple of years.

    • 0 avatar

      Old dealership trick- after replacing a shattered window & vacuuming & all other things are tried, undercoat the remainder in place. Since it may be your own car, make sure the drain holes still drain.

  • avatar

    I’ve spent 6 years in rental cars and have seen my fair share of damage done to cars. The worst was probably a ’10 Camry belonging to a competitor. The renter was well past the due-back date and after several increasingly threatening phone calls to him from the rental agency, the car finally showed back up overnight with 10 or so baseball bat-induced dents in the body work, a flat tire, two missing wheelcovers, a completely shattered windshield, and the best part – a partially-inflated blow-up sex doll in the driver’s seat, who even had her hands taped to the steering wheel. The total damage was over $9 grand, enough for the company to total out the car to a salvage company.

    We’ve also had wheels and tires stolen off a brand new Explorer (replaced by ’01-vintage steelies and bald Michelins with cords showing – the car itself having a whopping 1300 miles), a silver G6 with a spray-painted front bumper and a missing “Chrome Tech” alloy, a Charger with holes in both front and rear bumpers and a newly non-latching trunk, a different G6 with a baseball bat-modified windshield and melted crayons in the rear perforated leather, a stolen Taurus (an ’07 old bodystyle, no less) that ended up sans trunk, hood, doors and wheels, sitting on blocks in rural Vermont, and a few others I’ve probably forgotten.

    The best was another ’07 Taurus we had when I worked at Hertz. Bench seat, column shifter, hideous maroon paint, and the cheapest wheelcovers ever. Literally the cheapest Taurus fleet sedan you could buy in ’07. I cleaned it and rented it, it came back a few days later, and I went to clean it again. I noticed that there was now a stock AM/FM/Cassette head unit in the car, hooked up, displaying the correct time on the clock, and working perfectly. The previous renter had stolen the ’07’s factory CD player for, presumably, their own Oval Insanity-body Taurus and had lovingly replaced the rental car’s with their old cassette unit. I let it go – figured if they were that brazen and creative, why not? Hertz would never know. Hell, the CD as a storage medium was already in deep decline at that point (mid-’08). I figured it’d be one of the last “new” cars rolling with a cassette (realizing, of course, the ’06-09 Kia Optima and last-gen Lexus SC were both the last cars available from the factory equipped as such, at least to my knowledge).

    • 0 avatar

      Here’s an addendum:

      A friend of mine in high school had an ’83 or ’84 Toyota Tercel. It did not have a radio (not sure if it was built without one or it had been removed), but at any rate, he installed a small boom box he’d bought at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store with me present for $1, and hooked it to some hilariously oversized old-computer-beige 2.1 computer speakers from the early ’90s that were taped to the top of the dash. One morning he went to get in to head to school and discovered that the driver’s window had been busted out and the boom box – but not the speakers – had been stolen. We ribbed him about it for a good long time. The window was replaced by tape for upwards of 6 months until he finally found a replacement.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      The old Taurus head units are very easy to remove if you know the trick to release the spring locaed hold down clips through the four holes on the panel. Someone could swap one in 10 mimutes or less since the electrical connector would be identical on both units.
      Given the popularity of Ipods over CDs, it’s better to have the cassette deck that you can use with a cassette adapter and the Ipod.

    • 0 avatar

      I spent my early adult years with Enterprise, washing cars while going to school and your stories bring back memories. The location I worked for was in a decent part of town, but it serviced the not so nice portion of town as well. I remember picking up an Olds Acheiva (remember those?) from an impound yard in the not nice part of town.

      The exterior wasn’t too bad, besides being filthy (the car was rented for a month, I don’t know how long it was at the impound yard) but the inside was just trashed. I opened the door and was greeted with the smell of weed, soured milk and something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. It was on fumes gas-wise and down 2 quarts of oil.

      I attempted to clean it and the windows were brown from the weed/cigarette/cigar smoke. There was small milk container overturned on the carpet and a dirty diaper or two under the passengers seat. We sent it out to be cleaned, since it was beyond the equipment we had and the time I had.

    • 0 avatar

      Love the “Confessions of a Rental Agency”

    • 0 avatar

      Sounds like that Camry was used in a ‘Hangover’ sequel.

    • 0 avatar

      First time my family went to Hawaii, we rented a station wagon. The guy at the desk was careful to explain that I needed to mark down everywhere it’s damaged. There’s a car diagram included in the rental agreement. I thought that was odd until we walked out to the lot. Most of the cars had damage on the sides. Turns out, Honolulu has a lot of parking garages and drivers that aren’t used to them. I was glad I noted all the dings, because I sure added a few myself.

    • 0 avatar

      Would Enterprise have noticed a hard plastic shift knob in place of the nice smooth leather covered on a ’12 Impala?

      While having an older W-body repaired I was using a rental Imp and man, that shift knob was so soft and hey — all it takes is a phillips driver to swap it out..

      I left it alone – ended up buying a leather one online.

  • avatar

    I have a curse that operates as follows: no matter what I’m driving or where I live, someone smashes in my passenger window every 2 years or so. The first time I was beside myself, and seriously considered setting some sort of trap, with an expensive laptop sitting in plain-view while the car is parked at the very end of my driveway, near the street. In this fever dream, I’m up all night clutching a rifle with an infrared scope to, uh, “catch” the perp red handed.

    The second time it happened, I was pissed, but also somewhat amused that after rifling through my glove box and arm-rest, and passing over my stereo, an expensive radar detector, and a checkbook, the thief only took a handful of twizzlers from a bag sitting in my glove-box. Not the whole bag, mind you, just a few.

    Nowadays its just an inconvenience (that must be all it is, because the police around here don’t see to GAF about such minor infractions). when it happens, I start wondering if its a good excuse to start on that autonomous surveillance drone project I keep daydreaming about.

    • 0 avatar

      “after rifling through my glove box and arm-rest, and passing over my stereo, an expensive radar detector, and a checkbook…”

      Of course he didn’t take your checkbook – he just recorded your checking account number and has been hitting your account for years!

  • avatar

    I have lights and DVR video cameras trained on my outside cars. Reasonably decent resolution cameras are cheap insurance anymore.

    Not that I live in the ghetto, but bored lower middle class teens are as prone to vandalism and theft as crack fiends. Losing an iPod taught my fiance that.

    Wax your car in your driveway? Egged overnight. Showing any outward pride or care in your possessions is offensive elitism to Gen Z.

  • avatar

    It was a semi accident, but there is a dumbass kid who lives next door whose parents act like he doesn’t exist while they lavish attention on his older sister. Part of me feels sorry for the kid because his actions are the result of inattention and the fact that genetics were not in his favor (Mom is utterly oblivious, Dad is a complete dumbass himself)

    Anyway, he likes to walk around twirling a rod like its a bo staff in a kung fu movie.

    Within a week of buying a brand new car he put a dent in the hood while walking by it. Not a big deal but, dammit, I had the car for less than a week!

    I was pretty calm when I pointed it out to him. He tried to deny it but I did the math for him. Brand new car + kid walking by twirling a very big stick = dent on the hood. That’s not something you can get from a door ding, not on the top!

    Overall I don’t feel there is much I could do. This same kid crawls up on the roof of the house and gets stuck all the time. His Dad has even had him go up there with a leaf blower. Tragically, I think Darwinism will catch up with this family in time.

  • avatar

    That’s truly awful, especially since the apparently under-loved Mark VIII is one of my favorite cars. I don’t care how pissed you are or how you were wronged, you don’t mess with a mans car, especially if it’s his livelihood! But I guess drugs or being brought up with zero respect ( or both) will fog some peoples minds,huh?

  • avatar

    When in college I was getting sick of the old Sony Discman cassette tape adaptor so I went to Best Buy and got the cheapest aftermarket CD head unit available. About $100 or so w/free install. This was big money to a broke college kid too. Anyway, about a week after having this installed I walk out to my car one morning to a busted drivers window. Yup, CD player gone, but without the detachable face, which I took inside every night. WTF? They also smashed out the dome light, figures, swiped a CD case that was all CD-R’s, jokes on them, and stole a college text from the back seat. The text book pissed me off because the college book store would buy that back for at least $50. CD player w/out face?!? What chapped my ass the most is that at this time the local PD was paying officers OT to bust college parties for underage drinking. Apparently that was the biggest crime in this college town, while theft and vandalism is acceptable. I reported the crime and the police literally said “sorry, but we can’t patrol for all petty crime.” But a 20 year old having a beer, oh $hit, that’s high crime!

    • 0 avatar

      Similar thing happened to me in the car I described above: I bought a very nice Panasonic 8-track deck that fit in a locking cradle under the dash (in 1972) complete with an FM stereo cartridge. Someone stole the unit from my barracks room. The goofball should have known that without the cradle, the unit couldn’t be used, at least without considerable difficulty, because the wiring and the unique plug was contained in the mounting cradle! At least I didn’t leave it in the car.

      The USAF reimbursed me and I bought another one. Nicest 8-track ever!

      • 0 avatar

        That takes me back, had a nice quadrophonic 8 track unit hidden under the seat of my VW Manta Ray Beach Buggy.

        I commuted in this thing to college in the middle of a UK winter.Had one of those USAF WW2 flying jackets to keep me warm.

        Last day of finals, early in the morning cylinder 3 dropped a valve .Made it down the motorway off-ramp. Saw the big hole in the block so I abandoned the buggy and I hitched a ride to college. About 7 hours later after the exam, I retrieved the buggy and the 8 track, speakers and tapes were all gone.

        Good times! Never leave anything valuable in my car.

  • avatar

    Vandalism of any kind is something that just makes my blood boil, be it a car, a sign, or a bathroom stall. It is just so offensive on so many levels to randomly deface something that is not yours. Singapore has the right idea here – public lashings.

    I have been lucky though, my only personal experience was when I parked my car under a bathroom window in college, and found it covered in frozen wet toilet paper. Which was no fun to get off in the middle of winter in Maine, but did no permanent damage.

  • avatar

    Went out with a couple of girls back in the eighties in an Atlanta suburb. Someone started following us, driving through people’s yards to keep up. They didn’t stop until we pulled into a police station. When I looked at my dad’s car the next morining it was buried with dirt and shrubs from our yard. My father was convinced that we were chased down because the girls were not “white” (Indian and Korean). More likely and ex-boyfriend. Still, the place was pretty redneck then– it was a time that Jews still “had horns” and used the “blood of Christian children to bake Matzah”…yeah, really.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Did the vandal simply let the air out, or did he puncture the tires? I couldn’t tell from the photo.

    “I have too much to lose and nothing to gain from random acts of bullshit machismo.”–Wise words to live by.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang


    • 0 avatar

      Could that statement, “I have too much to lose and nothing to gain from random acts of bull(butter) machismo,” also apply to a young 20-something who really doesn’t care for a run in with the law and hardcore meat heads?

      If so, that’s me.

      • 0 avatar
        Secret Hi5

        “Too much to lose” could mean different things. For you, it probably means a bright promising future. I would imagine that most crimes are committed by sociopaths and by people with nothing to lose.

  • avatar

    Lived in a condo development near Smithville NJ around 2005. I parked my VRX Diamante in a row of unassigned spots, while my Ranger was in my assigned spot. Pulled out one day with my ranger and saw the Diamante had what i thought was a flat. Then saw all my neighbor’s cars were also ‘flat’. Found the knife stab mark right in the sidewell on each driver’s side tire.

    Called the police and they took the report. The cop that actually took the report lived in the development across the street. The local suburban gangsters were using tire stabbing (not slashing, they would use a cigarette lighter to heat up the knife and stab the sidewall)as an initiatation rite. His development, including his 2-week old Mustang, also got hit.

    Amazing how fast they caught the kids (12 year and 13 year old) when the cops car got hit. Farkin kids hit 40 cars over 2 nights and did $7K worth of damage. So of course they get sent to juvie for a timeout and some hugs and ‘treatment’, we the people got squat.

    • 0 avatar

      Please tell me this was in Corpus Christi, TX.

      I lived outside the main gate of the base there while I was in Navy flight training for a little under a year (never live right outside a base, they’re generally crapholes).

      My car was accosted 3 times while living there, and has not been touched anywhere else I’ve lived no matter how good/bad.

      The first time was someone attempted to cut through the glass near the passenger side lock. It left a nice large upside-down U scratched right around where you could see the lock through the window. I eventually found a used window to replace it.

      The second was a parking mishap while I was out of town for 2 weeks, just scraping and slightly denting where the rear bumper and quarter panel came together. I conveniently (no, really!) got rear-ended at low speed making a right hand turn a year later and got the offending area fixed at the expense of someone else’s insurance.

      The third was exactly as you describe above. Some punk kids went through the apartment complex stabbing one tire per car on something like half the complex. I used it as an excuse to get myself some super-sticky autocross tires, since my current ones were nearing the cords anyway. Had to pony up for a tire on my wife’s car too.

  • avatar

    Had a window smashed in my driveway a few years ago. Nothing taken, just for the fun of breaking stuff. A dozen other cars in the (really pretty good) neighborhood were hit the same night. $190.

    Had a car egged in the same driveway on Halloween a few years before that. Wouldn’t be a big deal but I wasn’t home for a couple of days and it had really dried on by that time and was a bitch to clean.

    Had 2 doors, rear quarter panel, trunk keyed badly in a strip mall parking lot. Only time I’ve ever been keyed and it happened 9 days after I put my W04 bumper sticker on. Imagine that. $500 deductible.

    There’s nothing about entitled children that couldn’t have been solved early with heavier and more frequent beatings. Thanks a lot, Dr. Spock.

    • 0 avatar

      “Thanks a lot, Dr. Spock.”

      In my case, I’m thankful my parents and later, me, never listened to that so-and-so…

    • 0 avatar

      That’s a good reason not to have bumper stickers. You don’t want to make yourself for the stupid/aggrieved/enraged. Sad that expressing your opinion can cost you a paint job.

      Purely anecdotal but I remember when I was younger a group was talking about a car getting keyed. The young females in the group seemed to think that was a perfectly reasonable thing to do to somebody who pissed you off. They guys did not agree, and I remember how opposite and strongly held the opinions were. I suppose some people would find it perfectly reasonable to vandalize the property of people who disagree with them.

  • avatar

    1. Vandalism: Someone ripped the outside mirror off my Datsun 510 while it was parked outside my girlfriend’s house.

    2. Hit and Run: Someone came around the corner and just clipped the front wheel of my wife’s minivan (same woman as in previous problem). The wheel was turned full left lock and they clipped it hard enough that we had to replace tire, wheel and most of the front suspension.

    3 Drunk: My mom’s boyfriend hit my car while he was driving drunk. Because he was my mom’s boyfriend and because he said he would pay for the damage if I didn’t call the cops, I cut him some slack. Rather than pay he stopped seeing my mom. Worth every cent.

  • avatar

    I was thinking of the Vega line, “You don’t **** with another man’s automobile! You just don’t do it” as I started this article and was hoping you’d reference it.

    I’ve had a few… Once I came out to my Wrangler on MacDill Air Force Base (home of CENTCOM and SOCOM) and my tire had a huge slash in the sidewall. On one of the highest security places outside of the Pentagon or Pennsylvania Ave (though taking potshots at the White House is possible… Hmm). Was it an angsty military brat or an Air Force guy who hated my Army bumper sticker? I’ll never know.

    Of course, I’ve had my fair share of stuff swiped from my jeep. I never kept anything valuable but one that really set me off was when they stole a bag of tools with tow straps and a few cheap tools in it. Really!?

    Since I got my ’12 Mustang I’ve been lucky so far. One morning after a particularly heavy night of drinking I noticed what looked like key marks by the passenger door. My date from the night before had driven me home (good girl, drives stick well). I had my knife clipped in my pocket, it may have scratched it… Can’t remember a thing. On the other hand, 3 days before that my buddy told me he thought someone keyed my car and I forgot to check. I’ll never know.

  • avatar

    I had one of my most prized possessions (an oilskin drover coat, don’t ask) stolen from my car while I was in Church. Some days things just don’t go your way.

    Also, since no one else has said it, that Mark VIII is gorgeous!

  • avatar

    A couple of the neighborkid hoods broke the side window on my Volvo to steal — wait for it — two 3′ pieces of shrink tubing, worth about $3. It cost several hundred to replace the window, just under my insurance deductible. I could not prove it was them, but vandalism in our area stopped the week the family moved away.

  • avatar

    My poor Nissan NX has been a victim a few times. First time, it was parked at the park and ride lot in Norwalk. Some crackheads broke the small rear window, found out they still couldn’t open the door, then broke the front window. They stole a very nice looking JVC head unit that was so worn out it did nothing but play FM radio. Second time, they just stole the whole car and stole my 50 dollar replacement radio that, by then, also didn’t work. They did steal my 3/4″ MDF sub box that I made though, and my cheap amp, and that really upset me.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    February….many years ago. I had bought, the previous October, my first brand new vehicle: A Chevy shortie van. Parked it on the street in front of my parent’s house on a Friday night. Got up on Saturday at 6:00 am to go to work. -2 F. outside. Walked around to get in my van. No door, no side sheet metal. Van pushed up over the curb by the hit-and-run,side-swipe impact.

    Pieces of green-painted metal and bondo from the perp’s car up-and-down the street.

    Called boss. Went back in and went to sleep.

    Later, called cops. Cop and me drove 2 blocks down the street and found the perp’s car with the passenger side wiped out, parked in the driveway. Many empty beer cans, bong and empty pill bottles on drivers side floor. Musta been a party.

    Cop knocks on door. Father of perp answers. “Whaddya mean, my cars been in an accident? There it is right there.” Cop invites father to step outside and look at driver’s side. Dad complies. Father’s eyes get big, and I’d never actually seen anyone “goggle” before. But he goggled. He bolts into the house. Returns shortly dragging scrawny, hungover, teen-aged sonby scruff of neck. Dragged kid from bed wearing nothing but a pair of boxers. Has the kid stand there, barefoot and nearly naked, in the freezing cold and 6 inches of snow, explaining to cop, father and me what happened. “What did you DO TO MY CAR?”

    At that point, I stopped being pi$$ed and started laughing uncontrollably, litterally breaking up and falling out. Insurance would pay for my car, but not only was that kid in for some serious legal trouble, I suspect the a$$-whuppin’ he was about to get from his dad (in those pre-PC days when a dad could take a son to the wood-shed without being arrested for assault and battery) was gonna be legenday….

    Dumb-azz kids.

  • avatar

    I mentioned this before but I’ll tell it again.

    When I first moved to my current location in southern Ontario we lived in a neighborhood with a lot of auto workers who were employed exclusively with the old ‘big three.’ One of our neighbors (who was also an auto worker and a good guy) warned me that some people might not take too kindly to our car (which was not made by one of the ‘big three’) and that our tires might get spiked. Spiked they were.

    I didn’t do anything or go seeking anyone out. I had two young kids and didn’t see the point of possibly bringing even more trouble our way. When the time was right we sold that house and moved more towards the county (and farm country). Fortunately there’ve been no other problems to date.

    • 0 avatar

      I feel like this could really only ever be Oshawa.

      And as much as we joke about my rural “redneck” farming county…my family never had an ounce of problem driving Hondas, Mazdas, Volvos, Volkswagens, and Nissans.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s could likely be St. Catharines or somewhere thereabouts, which had TRW/Thompson Products (who supplied Chrysler) and two GM plants (down to one, now), as well as some proximity to Ford in Oakville.

        I grew up there, and I recall the attitude. It didn’t stop some erstwhile-solidarity proponents from shopping across the border, so perhaps the conviction wasn’t really there.

        But Oshawa was much more militant: it wasn’t uncommon to have headlamps kicked in, something that was kind of rare in St. C.

  • avatar

    Now I want a Mark VIII, or my real love, a Mark IV.
    Back on topic, yes. Most recently my Ranger. Heaven help him if the perp steps out in front of my car. (I know who did it.) A car wash is only 10 bucks.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    College, Defiance, OH – 1999: 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham sedan. White, blue interior, polished within an inch of its life. For some reason a group of athletes that were seniors (as was I) decided they didn’t care for me. Put a nice orange stripe down the side of the car with ground marking paint. Lucky for me, waxed car + cheap chalky spray paint = easy to polish out.

    As a teacher and educator, my trusty F150 has never been more than egged or paintball-ed a few times, all easily removed. I have had ONE flat tire (sidewall puncture) that I’m fairly certain was vandalism, though I have no idea who or why someone would want that done.

    I try to live by a maxim taught me by some wise old fellows I worked with during my college years. “Very little will stick to a well waxed vehicle.”

    • 0 avatar

      Was that the iron duke’d FWD model or the last gen RWD Cutlass? Olds had confusing names back then I can’t decipher which model that was.

  • avatar

    3 times my 1967 Mustang was broken into while I was in college. Well, kind of broken into…you see the passenger door was not able to lock.

    First time at Univ Buffalo parking lot where they stole my gym bag & sneakers out of back seat. Second time, parked behind a gym where I was playing b-ball. They stole my high school tassle that was hanging from the mirror! Third time, I finally replaced the door with a lockable $25 door I got off a 68 mustang in the junkyard. No sooner do I replace the door, that night I go out, and whadaya know, the car is broken into & they steal my FM Converter. What a bummer!

  • avatar

    I’ve gotten off pretty well over the years. Quite a few years ago someone went through Big Red, my 1960 New Yorker 2-door hardtop, and took the 7 or 8 eight-track tapes that were on the front seat. The next day walking down the road I found the torn covers for them – the tapes themselves were probably just thrown into the woods.

    My father was in the construction business and got hit quite a few times. Once while we were having a church picnic with 100 or so people there, someone stole all his tools from his pickup parked right across the road. The worst thing I remember, though, was the low-life who cut off the hose from the gas pump and used it to siphon gas from the trucks. I’ve always hoped that he swallowed some of it.

    • 0 avatar

      In the 90’s my uncle owned a very nice 1965 Chevrolet dump truck that got firebombed one night while sitting on a job site in Gluckstadt, MS. You know, because “Madison’s not for sale” (the slogan used by some people that were irate due to heavy development in the area).

  • avatar

    First time the thieves smashed the passenger window in a MkII GTI and stole the rear decklid to get the pair of not-particularly-fancy 6×9’s (street value <$20). Scratched the door and put a small rip in the backseat in the process. Insurance paid out $1,400 for that one. I got a salvage piece of glass and decklid for about $150. Left the rip alone.

    Next time someone stole all of my hubcaps at night. Rolled around on steelies for a while and then got some inexpensive rims. Rims were cheaper than new hubcaps, and I didn't want to buy used ones, knowing where they likely came from (someone else's parked car).

    Then someone smashed my passenger window and stole a broken ipod charger out of the glovebox. Left the electronic toll tag and the garage remote. Got a replacement window for $15 (!) and put it in myself.

    I consider myself lucky, however. A friend's truck was stolen and joyridden from outside my apartment one night, then left blocking someone's driveway, ending up in the impound lot. He had to pay impound/towing fees, even though the vehicle had clearly been hotwired.

    I have always been super careful: radio faceplate comes with me, nothing is out or visible in the car, doors/windows locked. More recently I've taken to using the club, hoping that that will send the message that the car is not a prime target.

    In the end, lucky and precautions like these are all I have. I've found that the police in this area (SF bay area) are absolutely worthless when it comes to this sort of thing. With the friend's stolen truck that ended up at the impound lot adjacent to the main SF police station, they couldn't even be bothered to go outside and dust for fingerprints or otherwise process it as a crime scene. It's infuriating the way car crime around here is blown off. I suspect that if I were to steal $8K (assuming that was the value of the truck) in cash, they might feel differently.

  • avatar

    I was driving by a corner sales lot in my town a couple years ago when I saw that someone had busted out every piece of glass in every car. He probably had about 12 – 15 cars on his lot at the time. I saw it early in the morning, probably before the lot owner did. I just couldn’t imagine how mad the lot owner must’ve been or what he could’ve done to warrant such action. Even if he had actually wronged the person who did it, that reaction was probably a little too harsh.

  • avatar

    An old PC + freeware DVR software + used webcam = $50 security cam.

  • avatar

    While working the night-shift at Walmart one year somebody shot out my passenger’s side front window. I think they used a high power BB gun because there were two BB sized holes amidst the shattered glass. My car was well within the view of security cameras, but the stupid security/loss prevention guy couldn’t be bothered to look.

  • avatar

    Adam Carolla once said about automobile vandalism: “Your car, when you live in an apartment, [is] like a piece of you that you leave out on the street that can’t scream out for help.”

  • avatar

    Had all four tires slashed on a 1996 Firebird Formula back when I lived in an apartment complex. It’s no fun having to buy $700 worth of tires at once.

  • avatar

    I suspect I suffered some minor petty vandalism at the hands of the dealer where I bought my last car a couple years ago. It was an ’07 Fusion with only 11K on it. I checked it over very thoroughly before I even test drove it. While we were completing the paperwork, the salesman had it run through the shop to take off any window stickers etc and make sure it was all cleaned up and ready to go. When I got home I discovered a door ding and that the bottom corner of the driver side door had been curled under very slightly. If you look at the door open you don’t really notice, but if you close it you see the extra gap.

    I’m almost certain the damage wasn’t there when I first inspected it. Not sure enough to confront the dealer about it though. Especially as I know it wouldn’t have done any good. I’d already paid in full.

    I drove a pretty hard bargain on the deal, but I don’t think I was unreasonable. Their perspective might have been different though. I also found out as we were wrapping up that I’d kept them after closing time. It was only 6 o’clock when we were done so it hadn’t even occurred to me that it was getting late. Closing at 5 seems early for a dealership.

    Maybe I had it coming, or maybe it was pure accident, but I’m not giving them any more business.

  • avatar
    gator marco

    Back quite a few years ago, my folks lived in a neighborhood near some new construction. For some reason, some kids thought it was funny to steal some concrete blocks from a construction site, then drive around nearby neighborhoods throwing blocks at random parked cars. For about 2 months, there were plenty of broken windows and smashed fenders.
    Eventually the kids went too far. They had been using a pickup truck and standing up in the bed to throw the concrete blocks. They were speeding down a narrow street, and the kid driving miscalculated and hit a parked car with the pickup.
    One of the kids in the bed was thrown out and died. Another was thrown out and broke his back, putting him in a wheelchair. A passenger in the truck wasn’t wearing his seat belt, and was thrown against the windshield and ended up with brain damage.
    The driver of course didn’t get a scratch, but eventually served some hard time in jail. Last I heard, he was out of jail, but pretty much drinking himself to death.

  • avatar

    Although I would never condone it, I can kind of understand the d*ckheaded envy-rage that goes into people randomly keying expensive cars that they can never afford. It happens quite a lot back in the UK. Must be ‘class war’ or something.
    What I could never understand was the vandal that decided to cut off half the windscreen seal and then snap the windscreen in half on my battered, $300 1987 Ford Escort when I was at University. They climbed in, knifed all the seats, and did not steal anything at all from the car (the head unit and music collection in the glove box was worth more than the car). I just don’t get it. I didn’t then, and don’t now have any enemies, so if this was just random vandalism, what was the point? Surely if you’re going to commit a crime, go the whole hog and steal everything and torch the car (at least I’d have got an insurance payout), but minor damage? It’s just retarded.

  • avatar

    “having a pawn shop adjacent to my lot doesn’t help”

    Steve, what you need is your own reality tv show: American Buy Here Pay Here.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      You may be on to something. I don’t spend much time there. But the level of weirdness I’ve dealt with as a dealer borders well into the realms of science-fiction.

      It’s as if weirdos are attracted to used car lots. Whoa… wait a sec…

  • avatar

    Junior year of college, had just got done waxing the 6 square miles that is a black on black 1989 Mercedes 560SEL. Drove to class, parked at the back of one of those gigantic state university parking lots. Return to see one, to the metal scratch circling the entire circumference of my land yacht. Was it an ex girlfriend? MB hater? We will never know. Either way, a bitch move. Good beer money was wasted on an insurance deductible, and I ended up with an inferior aftermarket paint job. Add to it a blown transmission, alternator, both rear window regulators, and a whole galaxy of electrical problems, my experimentation with old German vehicles on shoestring budgets was over.

  • avatar

    I’m fortunate, I’ve never had a problem…..knock wood.

    When I started driving, my parents made sure to teach me the lessons on how to avoid becoming a victim.

    1) Never leave anything in sight inside of an unattended car. No jackets, no change, no CD’s….nothing.

    2) Don’t be a jerk when parking the car. Don’t double park, or take up two spaces, or park in a fire zone etc etc.

    3) Don’t showboat or attract attention to yourself… blasting music, or any other obnoxious behavior……especially near the place you park.

    Good advice then, good advice now.

  • avatar

    In 2005 my car had a hit and run in the rear driver side quarter panel.

    I knew exactly who did it. The girl who drove the blue Corolla in my apartment building, since I was parked that night right beside her assigned spot. Note, I normally street parked since I did not want to pay the extra fee to have my own spot and street parking was plentiful. That day I had to unload something from my car, and no one used that spot anyways so I didn’t see the problem in moving my car to the street. Actually, I was just lazy.

    Anyhow, both her and her car disappeared for a few days after the incident. And when they returned, she was all of a sudden parking about two blocks a way AND on the street. Why not in her paid parking spot??? Also what was interesting was her car looked like it had been professionally detailed.

    Gave her license plate # to my insurance company and they investigated. But since there was no proof, and she wasn’t admitting guilt nothing could be done.

    That week I knocked on her door and she pretty much started to cry saying she had no idea what I was talking about. My intention was really just to rattle her cage since I knew she was not going to cough up the 300 dollar insurance deductible for me. So I go home.

    10 or 15 minutes later I get a knock on my door. The little brat called the cops ON ME for harassing her……. Within two or three weeks from that point, she ended up moving out of her apartment.

    Yeah, she was guilty.

  • avatar

    The hood ornament was stolen from my previous car, a Benz C280.

    Then, about a month ago, one of the wire wheel hubcaps from my Slantback was swiped as well. Farewell cash, 85 bucks to ebay.

    The saddest thing of all is that thieves like this are almost never caught. Stealing crap must be an easy way to make some cash, and nobody but the car owners care enough to do something about it.

    In this case, crime really does pay off.

  • avatar

    A dealership sold me a car and the motor started to knock on the way home. One of the spark plug electrodes was bent from piston contact. I turned around to take it back/figure something out. The guys got really angry with me for no reason. I was stuck with a car with massive problems, sold without full disclosure.

    I dream at night of smashing all the windows of the cars on his lot. The idea of causing massive amounts of vandalism to his inventory makes my heart race with satisfaction. I wish I had the nuts.

    • 0 avatar

      Anyone that treats you like that probably treats lots of people like that. When bad things happen to bad people, there can be an overwhelming number of possible suspects for there ever to be consequences for any of them.

  • avatar

    @Gator marco- that story warms the cockles my of my heart.

  • avatar

    Always had a soft spot for the Mark VII and Mark VIII. I had lots of MN-12 love in my heart.

  • avatar

    My freshman year of High School, my mom had a W123 Mercedes Wagon, and the hood ornament was snipped off at the parent-teacher conference night. Apparently there were a few MBZ’s that were liberated of their hood ornaments that night.

    I had a 1989 Corolla in college and got an Alpine in-dash 3-CD changer with detachable face. When the unit was 2 years old, I remember parking the car, and the trunk lock failing on me. I couldn’t retrieve my textbooks, but I figured I’d do something about it on the weekend. When I got to my car the next morning, the passenger door was open, and the rear vent window was knocked out. The dash was severely damaged, but the radio was still there! The face was inside the house, so why even try to steal it? Might’ve done me a favor because it went on the blink shortly thereafter. I had a 10 dollar bill in the ashtray for gas money…gone. Mini-mag lite in the glove box, along with a CD cleaner…also gone. The rear seat was also heavily bent out of shape. The perp was trying to get in the trunk, but since it failed in the “locked” position, he had no clue how to get in. He also tried picking the passenger door lock but was unsuccessful so he had to break the window. He stole the trim ring around the radio too…but I found that a week later in the bushes…

    My 2000 Explorer was egged one Saturday night. Since I only drove it on Sundays at that time, I immediately noticed it when I was getting ready for church. The car wash guys did a very good job removing all the gunk.

  • avatar

    Vandalizing cars should be one of those offenses with over-the-top mandatory minimum sentencing.

    Seriously, anyone who trolls around and hits out car windows with a baseball bat for fun or keys a car is a born sociopath. Might as well see if you can scare a few of them straight before they’re knocking off liquor stores.

    Also, I blame a lot of vandalism on class-warrior politicians that constantly spew out this rhetoric that anyone with wealth somehow stole it or deserve to be punished.

  • avatar

    Two years ago, back when we used to live in a condo in town, my Town Car had two of it’s windows broken to steal a four year old brick of a navigation unit laying in the back seat. I was awaken at roughly 1:00am to the sound of my content theft alarm (horn) going off. Woke up a considerable portion of the condo complex. Oh well, don’t blame me, talk to whoever broke in my car. I always used to bring it inside after use, but my son who rides in a car seat in the back wanted to play with it that day. Tonight I forgot it was there.

    The cops later caught the two boys in a neighboring complex who were targeting other cars with anything visible that was (remotely) worth stealing. I got my nav unit back, but my windows are still broken (I was more upset about the car than I was the nav unit). I saw the two boys in the back of the cop car, but I figured there’s nothing more for me to do, they’re in custody now, they’ll get whatever’s coming. The DA’s office was desperately trying to get a statement from me, to the point that they sent an RV mobile office to where I work, which I had no problem giving.

    I was hoping to recoup some of my expenses, not that two junkyard windows are expensive, but the amount of work I missed plus the four hours of work I spent cleaning and replacing the windows adds up. As desperate as they were to get a statement from me, I could never get anyone to return my call just to ask how the case was going.

    I gave up on that a long time ago and we’ve since moved into a house outside of town. Couldn’t be happier that we don’t live in that ____hole anymore, really did wonders for my PTSD due to that event. At least I was only out $33 actual dollars for replacement glass. My Town Car now lives in the garage. I still have the nav unit, but the cable has been lost for six months or so now.

  • avatar

    I’ve also been hit and run twice, same car.

    First was a week before my wedding, we used the car after the ceremony anyway. Someone backed into the left rear quarter while it was parked and left.

    Second was last September, someone sideswiped me while I was driving to work early one Saturday morning. They took off (what a surprise). The thought crossed my mind briefly of running them down, but I decided it was better to pull over, check my vehicle for damage, call the police, and get a report.

    Uninsured motorists coverage fixed the damage both times.

  • avatar

    My parents live in the ‘sticks in Southern BC. Their home is reached via a fairly steep hill with a sharp right turn at the top just as you reach the subdivision. Anyhoo, one night a drunk? came flying up the hill and missed the turn. The skid marks showed he drove through the neighbors front yard, running over a small tree, through the picket fence between the properties and into the rear left wheel of a large farm tractor my dad had parked in the driveway – don’t ask. The impact shoved the tractor over by about 18 inches. This was one of those huge 5000lb type things, a 1960’s Minneapolis Moline. The cops came out, laughed, files a report and did their usual nothing.
    The car driver was never found, but he did trail wreckage from his car for about a block.

  • avatar

    My friend got his LS400 lock pried. Thief took the cheapo cigarette lighter FM transmitter in the glove box, but not the GPS unit in the center console cubby.

  • avatar

    Rocks. Too many rocks.

    One Thanksgiving weekend vandals were out chucking rocks from passing cars. Their favorite target were minivans, the huge back glass made up for inaccuracy of tossing rocks from moving vehicles. Only problem was they were using a light shale, a rock that carries less mass than say a granite variety. One hunk of shale hit the Voyager and left a scuff on the glass and over the top of the kid-carrier. The pickup truck was the next victim, rock met the cab corner and made a decent fist sized dent. Ba574rds. Metal work and paint would cost more than a slider window from Grand Auto.

    Few years later more holidays, more rocks. This one went through the driver window on the Firebird, over the seats and hit the latch-lever trim on the passenger door, breaking it. All to rifle the car and rip an old iPod mini, the CD changer remote and loose change.

    Makes me want to booby trap a bait car for the next vandal..

  • avatar

    I don’t understand why we allow vandals to exist.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Several years ago, some idiot wanted to take my Pinzgauer for a joyride. I found the fragments of 2 screwdrivers next to the door locks which snapped a blade (driver’s side) and a shaft (passenger side). Fortunately the perp ran out of screwdrivers, because the repair process involved entering the vehicle via the rear doors, disassembling the partition and crawling into the front seating area, then disassembling the door from the inside and removing the lock mechanism. I still need to use 2 keys to open all the doors, but one day I’ll get around to having all the lock cylinders keyed alike. Pinzgauers require 3 keys to unlock and activate; it wouldn’t have mattered had he actually gained access to the spartan cabin although I’m certain he’d be frustrated enough by then to figure out how to break something else.

    A little over 18 months later I caught sight of someone smashing the passenger window on a new tenant’s automobile. I didn’t bother running outside, as it was much easier to destroy the perp’s rear window glass with my target rifle.

  • avatar

    When I was a kid my parents bought a 3/4 ton diesel suburban that had a previous life as a highway tow vehicle. Heavy tint, custom running boards, and a Mack bulldog hood ornament. Mack was attached to the hood through two bolts with 1″ washers, which was fortuitous because he was yanked on more than a few times. Dad got tired of having to straighten out the hood and re-attach Mack, so he ended up welding up the bolt holes and re-painting the hood, and that was the end of the (vandalism) trouble with that vehicle. It had lots of other trouble though… 2 engines, 4 transmissions… NEVER aftermarket turbocharge your 1980s gm diesel.

  • avatar

    My first car, a crappy ’83 Mustang GLX, was STOLEN right from my parents driveway! We lived in a very nice area, so I think I was tailed from the beach. The combination of a pretty loud stereo and a cute girlfriend in a small bikini surely got the attention of some loser. Worst part was the girlfriend left a pair of expensive sunglasses in the car and demanded I pay for them. Heck I’m out an entire car, couldn’t get to work or school and she is worried about her shades?!? The whole ordeal just pisses you off… my first car – gone in under 8 months! Its now a common joke among my friends anytime we are fishing and get snagged on the “bottom” that its really my car down there.

    About 3 years later I get a letter from the police department indicating they are no longer looking for the car, as if they were actually “looking” in the first place! I live in Florida, I think we are right behind California on the most stolen vehicles list. Because I was car stereo guy I also got into alarm systems, and while I can’t prove it I’m sure a few times the sirens saved my other cars from suffering a similar fate. I found fingerprints and scratches on doors and windows the morning after the alarm went off overnight on more then one occasion. This was back in the ’80s when car alarms were still a new, fancy thing. A few relays and hidden switch meant nobody could start my car.

    Some knucklehead put glue in the locks on my 2nd car, an ’85 Civic Hatch, but I’m sure that was just a high school prank. After a few squirts of WD40 it was all good.

    My brother’s Civic Hatchback got its rear window smashed out. They were after his large subwoofer enclosure and amplifer setup, but we were one step ahead them and had padlocked the rear seats in place. Due to the trapezoid shape of speaker box it was impossible to remove it when the seats up.

    Many years later after my Rodeo got egged on Halloween… twice. Not sure why other then it was 4X4 with some outdoor product stickers (I was into fishing and mountain biking) and thus looked a typical redneck ride. At the time I living in a darker part of town if you get my drift.

    Someone side swiped the my boat trailer in a parking lot down in Miami. They mauled the license plate so bad I had to hammer it flat. The accident ripped a guide pole clean off and took the tail/braking light assembly clean off one side. So they wacked it pretty hard. No note, no evidence, just broken and bent pieces. Given the nature of boat ramps in Miami this almost doesn’t count as an incident. Over the years people have been SHOT for lesser offenses.

    • 0 avatar

      Weird, my first car was also an ’83 Mustang GLX. Also crappy with a ridiculous tan and brown paint scheme. That’s the 80’s for you.

      I did get a window busted out and pretty sure it was a jealous boyfriend since none of the casettes laying out in the open were missing. Only thing of value in the whole car. What really sucks is I was not dating the girl in question, we were just friends!

  • avatar

    Argh! This was supposed to be a reply. Deletion requested.

  • avatar

    Back in late ’74, I took my then new car and went to the movies. I was between girlfriends, so I just went alone. I pulled into the parking spot, got out and was walking in, and I heard, “bam!”. Some idiot hit it on the left rear quarter pulling into the empty spot next to me. He and his sweetie/wife get out and just walk past me. I’m yelling at them and they just ignored me. They were driving a red ’71 Cutlass with Cragar wheels on it. There was an off duty cop there and he didn’t seem interested, so I just wrote down the plate and decided to wait until the right time for payback. It cost me about $350 to fix my car, I didn’t claim it on the insurance as I was only 18 and had already been in a wreck a year earlier. A couple of months later, I saw the car, sitting in a grocery store parking lot. All I can say is, I bet the cost to fix it was a lot more than $350.

  • avatar

    All of my incidents happened while I lived in a gated community, go figure. It was rural mostly retired people so I never locked my car doors. One day my CD wallet disappeared. I figured okay, lesson learned. I started locking my car.

    Four months later I get in my car at 4:30 on a 20-degree morning and my back window shatters. Someone had punched a neat hole in it and used a stick to unlock it. This time they completely cleaned the car out.

    Turned out my next door neighbor was distracted by a protracted divorce and her starved-for-attention kid was letting a fencing ring into through the gate at night. Eventually she discovered a cache of stolen property in his closet and turned him in, so I got restitution.

    I also went out of town over a Halloween weekend and came back to discover some wonderful person had driven 100′ down my driveway to rear-end my ’65 Buick hard enough to push it forward about 5′. Never did find out who did that one.

  • avatar

    in, like, ’83? I had a ’68 Camaro. My dad’s buddy had a Camaro racing team and he’d dropped a racing engine into it, without doing any of the stiffening or tranny work or ? (I’m not a gearhead. I’m an English teacher.) Anyways, it was a very, VERY quick and whippy car.

    Another small detail: I was engaged to two women at the same time when I had the car.

    How does that happen?
    Well. I was working with S, a lovely single mom; we just had a great chemistry. Through my work, I met T, a rich girl who needed help with her homework. I’d go back and forth between their houses, sleeping three nights here, two nights there. I’m sitting here, telling the truth- I loved both of them. I really did. But I couldn’t…oh, wait, this is ‘The Truth About Cars’, not ‘Some Guy Examines His Past.’ Sorry.

    One day, S handed me a package and said, this is my grandmother’s wedding ring. I looked inside, and gosh. A lot of gold, a lot of diamonds, maybe a pearl- Grandma must’ve had a mitt like the Hulk’s. I looked at S and she smiled and said we could get it melted down into two wedding bands and keep one of the diamonds for my pierced ear.

    (Stop laughing. It was the 80s, I was a bouncer and a college student and it obviously didn’t hurt my appeal. Ya go with what works.)

    Well, it was a proposal and I thought: be rude to say ‘no way’ outright, right? So I smiled and nodded and spent the night. A few months later, T asks me to go to a wedding in Vegas. We go, it’s very touching, about as touching as a wedding performed by Elvis can be. After, sipping coffee, she said: we need to think about getting married soon.
    To my benefit, I didn’t spray the coffee into the air. I just said, “Well, I can’t even consider that until I finish college and that’s at least a year away.” She told me her father would pay for my school from now on, that I could just go to school all the time and get it done faster. (Sure, and end up like her two brothers-in-law, working for Daddy’s company and already showing signs of despair) I nodded, thought: okay, it’d be rude to say ‘no’, we just went to a wedding, she’ll drop it, fine. And I didn’t say anything. I just smiled, sipped my coffee and kept going from house to house.

    One afternoon, the Camaro was parked outside S’s house. I was kind of helping with her son, kinda maybe jollying her around the kitchen, but the inevitable occurred- T finally went down that street. A white ’68 Camaro is hard to miss, I guess.
    T went to the store, got some serious chemicals and wrote the word ‘PRICK’ across my windshield, top to bottom.

    Found it just before I had to go to work and I still remember my supervisor at the Forum Club looking at the car, looking at me and saying,”Your name ain’t Rick!” I just shrugged and did the gig. Eventually I went to T’s place and got a very hearty slap across the face and realized…well, the jury’s till out on what I realized, because I kept going from house to house.

    Eventually, S caught me lying and married a guy who treats her like crap, T married her tennis pro, thereby killing her father, inheriting a huge pile of money and starting a long series of stays in rehab…and I sold the Camaro for about two grand.

    Yes, I know. Dumb.
    Every time I see a ’68, I check the windshield for those ghostly letters and wonder if the new owner got the glass replaced.

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