By on April 29, 2016


A couple of years back, as I sat at my desk having another existential episode with one of Murilee’s Finds loaded up on my monitor.

Junkyards have been something that have always fascinated me from an archaeological standpoint, even as a young lad. Many are more than just discarded automobiles. Often, you’re looking at the story of somebody’s life frozen in time, a bug in the amber.

I gazed at that mundane ’77 Plymouth, and then tossed out an intentionally absurd, yet profound, comment into cyberspace — sort of an internet version of “Hold my beer, and watch this.” Nobody really noticed, so I subsequently polished my sickness “craft” until people did.

This satirical drivel became an amusing device for laughs for me, but alas, the sunset has come to my column here.

The latest tale happens to be #99, not counting entire stories lost to internet anomalies, random hypotheticals, and responses to Baruthian rants. In the beginning, my flash-fiction tales from the crypt would pop up in the comment section. If I was lucky and hit the post button within a few hours after the article dropped, a few people would actually read it. It also makes going back to find them rather difficult. So, before I roll the odometer over with my final act, here are the direct links to the complete Crab Collection.

1.Disrespected (1977 plymouth volare)
2.Scout Haiku (1971 International Scout)
3.Neighbors (1980 Mercedes-Benz 450sl)
4.Lost in Spacewagon (1989 Toyota Corolla Alltrac-wagon)
5.Throttled Luxury (1988 Volvo 780 Bertone)
6.Looking For a Good Home (1980 Toyota Corolla Tercel)
7.New Horizons In the PNW (1971 Volvo 142)
8.Mom’s Memento (1973 Datsun 240z)
9.One With The Lord (1980 Datsun 720 King Cab)
10.Unemployable (1995 Range Rover)
11.An Aerio Of Apathy (2004 Suzuki Aerio)
12.Grampa (1980 Chrysler Cordoba)
13.Vermin (1978 Mercedes-benz 300d)
14.Ce La Vida (1988 Toyota Tercel ez)
15.Petroleum (1991 Dodge Colt Vista 4wd)
16.Night Patron (1992 Dodge Shadow America)
17.Fast Eddie (1953 Chrysler New Yorker)
18.Grim Prospects (1983 Dodge Rampage Prospector)
19.Mechanic Disowned (1976 Ford Ltd Country Squire)
20.Surf’s Up (1979 Volkswagen Dasher Diesel)
21.Sub-mini Truckin’ (1990 Geo Metro-amino pickup)
22.Alec (1984 Chrysler New Yorker)
23.Enjoying the Twilight (1986 Bertone X1/9)
24.Times Are A-changin’ (1992 Chrysler Imperial)
25.Dat Grille Be Sweet Doe (1996 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham)
26.Grecian Delight (1992 Geo Metro lsi convertible)
27.The Cost Of Ownership (1998 Cadillac Catera)
28.Lost In The Amazon (1962 Volvo 122s)
29.Like A Bad Habit (1985 Buick Skyhawk wagon)
30.The Hobbyist (1979 MGB)
31.First Car (1993 Honda Del Sol)
32.Mental Health (1972 Pontiac Catalina)
33.Fleetwise (1996 Oldsmobile Silhouette)
34.Betty (1982 Datsun Maxima)
35.The Key (1973 Buick Riviera)
36.Fiberglass Allure (1985 Chevrolet Corvette)
37.I Learned Something Today (1969 Austin 1800 Landcrab)
38.Make San Francisco Beautiful (1984 Toyota van)
39.The Handler (1991 Alfa Romeo 164S)
40.Sarge (1985 Renault Encore)
41.Seeing Red (1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser)
42.Naked And All Leone (1978 Subaru Leone 4wd wagon)
43.Gone Fishin’ (1967 Plymouth Valiant)
44.Thrashin’ (1977 Datsun 810 station wagon)
45.No Me Gusta (1978 Ford Fiesta)
46.Estoy Enfermado (1984 Chevrolet Chevette CS diesel)
47.Disney’s World (1981 Datsun 510 liftback)
48.Cinnamon and Sugar (1982 Cadillac Cimarron)
49.Kids (1986 Maserati Biturbo Spyder)
50.Bernice (1986 Nissan Maxima)
51.This Job Is NOT Cool (1974 AM General FJ8A ice cream truck)
52.Diamond In Da Back (1975 Cadillac Coupe De Ville)
53.Lil’ Brats (1982 Subaru Brat)
54.Punishment (1981 Dodge Aries station wagon)
55.Christmas ’82 (1965 Chevrolet Bel Air)
56.Ray (1985 Chrysler Laser XE)
57.Seeing Yellow (1986 Pontiac Fiero)
58.Insecurity (2000 Pontiac Grand Am GT)
59.The Devize (2003 Pontiac Aztek)
60.Mr Fix-it (1981 Mercury Grand Marquis)
61.Dim Horizons (1973 Ford Maverick sedan)
62.Tray Of the Ashes (1986 Peugeot 505 S)
63.Westflamia (1981 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia camper Type P22)
64.Chopsticks (1979 Plymouth Champ Twin Stick)
65.Starry-Eyed (1990 Toyota Cressida)
66.Losing A Friend (1994 Isuzu Amigo)
67.Luv You Dad (1979 Chevrolet Luv Mikado)
68.Running The Numbers (1976 Ford Courier)
69.Why Don’t You Take A Picture? (1990 Geo Metro lsi convertible)
70.Ungiftable (1988 Pontiac Lemans)
71.Sweatbox (1973 Volkswagen LT28)
72.Camping On the Edge Of Oblivion (1972 Ford Econoline 300 camper van)
73.Alternate ending to “Times Are A-changin'” (1991 Chrysler Imperial)
74.Post Dramatic Distress Syndrome (1965 Ford Thunderbird Landau)
75.Grading On A Curve (1982 Toyota Land Cruiser)
76.Somebody Has To Own It (1989 Merkur Scorpio Touring Edition)
77.“Slappnnutts95 has left” (1972 Plymouth Valiant sedan)
78.Bad Trip (1993 Ford Probe)
79.Road And Trash (2000 Dodge Intrepid R/T)
80.Dawn Of Youth (1984 Mazda B2000 Sundowner)
81.Lunch Break (1991 Toyota Tercel coupe)
82.Giselle (1981 Datsun 200sx coupe)
83.Taking Notes (1973 Volvo 145 station wagon)
84.You’re The Problem (1990 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24)
85.Missed Connections (1986 Volkswagen Quantum GL5 sedan)
86.Flat Brims, Fast Slides (2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse)
87.Vapor (1984 Toyota Corolla hatchback)
88.These Colors Don’t Run Anymore (1989 Oldsmobile 98 Regency)
89.A Tip Of The Hat (1974 Cadillac Fleetwood)
90.Phone Manners (1997 Lexus LS400 Coach Edition)
91.He Just Stopped Liking It (2000 Lincoln LS)
92.Disillusion Of Grandeur (2004 Dodge Stratus R/T coupe)

Premium Selects

93.Last Rides: Special Deluxe Edition (Murilee’s 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe) (Go here for pics and story)
94.Sub-Human Kia (2004 Kia Sedona minivan)
95.All XUsed Up (2004 GMC Envoy XUV)
96.You Goin’ Nowhere (1989 Yugo GVL)
97.Getting The Boot (2005 Chrysler 300C)
98.Winded (2003 Ford Windstar)
99.Naru (1987 Nissan 300zx 2+2)

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

42 Comments on “Last Rides: The Compilation Album...”

  • avatar

    No, you can’t stop. Still waiting on that book!

  • avatar

    Damn it Jim

    I suppose all good things must come to an end. Bravo, Crabspirits. You have been a major reason I scroll through the comments at TTAC.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Agree 100%. One of the reasons that TTAC is my preferred timewaster is the literacy of many of the B&B.

      Tresmonos commenting on the manufacturing process.
      Brian on the retail aspects of the business.
      Dave on his Buick issues.
      BTSR for his bombast.
      Ned for his long memory and varied ownership history.
      Many more that I must apologize to for not mentioning.

      And it was the Crabspirits postings’ that first got me hooked.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick 2012

        +2. I’ll miss your exceptional storytelling. If I ever run into you at some future Midwest Lemons race, I owe you copious amounts of beer and brisket.

        • 0 avatar

          Thanks for the props dudes!

          I’ll follow my nose to the brisket. Or you can drop past the MetSHO pit and look for the most awkward-looking (a rarity at a Lemons race, I know) member of the team.

  • avatar

    That ’76 Malibu – is that really a Club I see on that steering wheel?

  • avatar

    No… It can’t be the end! I’m not ready!

  • avatar

    I have read many of these and they were great, did I miss something ? why are you stopping? Thanks for your work.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Oh FFS, Mark!

    Tell VerticalScope to put Crabspirits on payroll for an essay per week!

    His incredibly imginative musings & yarns about people and their past vehicles is one of the very specific things that makes, and has made, TTAC very much differentiated from other “car sites.”

  • avatar

    As usual, late to the party. Thanks for your entertaining and insightful contributions. And now I will catch up my reading.

  • avatar

    Jeez, Crabspirits…you can’t stop writing these. Ever considered a blog?

  • avatar

    Crabspirits…if this is in fact, the end…I’m printing these off, having them professionally bound, and putting them on my coffee table!

  • avatar

    This is the post that will get me to comment for the first time ever. I’ve been a long time lurker, going back to 2005 or so when I first discovered TTAC. I don’t think I have ever commented before. I’ve witnessed the ups and downs of this site, always entertained.

    The junkyard finds are what got me hooked as a regular visitor, CrabSpirits, your stories have turned me into a daily visitor, sometimes multiple times a day, waiting for a new Junkyard Find to post, and waiting for your stories.

    I have enjoyed your stories and hope this isn’t really the end of your Last Rides posts.

  • avatar

    Mucho thanks for your stories and even more so for compiling this list. I really appreciate your writing and your last rides will be missed. However, I’ll happily make due with your exceptional body of work. Thanks again.

  • avatar

    Thanks for the kind words everyone.

    I’m curious to know which one was your favorite.

  • avatar

    I will miss you Crabspirits! I just finished re-reading No. 93, “Special Deluxe,” on Murilee’s 41 Plymouth. What a great story, certainly one of my favorites.

    I’ve bookmarked this compilation album for future enjoyment.

    Wishing you the best!

  • avatar

    Thanks for writing these and thanks for compiling the list too.

  • avatar
    Big Wheel


    Easily one of the best things on TTAC, & something I look forward to when I hop on at lunch time. Junkyard Find by Murilee? Yes! Maybe there is a Crabspirits story? Not this time? Shoot. Maybe next time, or a Premium Selects.

    Now I’ll be burning some serious time going through the earlier ones I missed.

    For me, easily the best one was #96 about the Yugo. While the others have been good, very good in fact, the Yugo story was off-the-charts hilarious & so perfectly nailed the essence of that car. Read Deadweight’s comment on that story – perfectly sums it up.

    So long Crabby. Thanks for the memories. Good luck in your future endeavors whether in normal life or the racetrack in Lemons races.

  • avatar

    Oh, no!

    You have been a bigger incentive for me to come here than most of the paid staff writers.

    Best wishes in your future endeavors.

  • avatar

    Really enjoyed your writing, Crab. Thanks for adding to the character here at TTAC!

  • avatar

    Sorry to hear you won’t be writing any more. I would have said so earlier, but going back through your old stories had me scouring Craigslist and Autotrader for something old that hadn’t hit the scrap pile yet. $7,000 for a ’93 Z24 with 60K miles? Uh, maybe not.

  • avatar

    Gad dang it, that is the saddest news I’ve heard in a while! I first got hooked on this site in college, my first time finding TTAC I binge read every junkyard find from the beginning until that day in 2012, looking out especially for those perfect life poems. They will be sorely missed.

    Fully seriously, if you ever wanted to make these into a book, I am a designer/typesetter by trade and would be happy to help create the layout. It’d be an honor.

  • avatar

    You’ve kept me coming back to this site through the years, even when other content may or may not have been lacking flare. Thank you.

    As someone who worked in the auto finance industry, “Phone manners” was hands down my favourite, as I could put a face to the pro(an)tagonist.

  • avatar

    Dude! You have a rare talent, seriously. You should make a compilation with photos and stories into a softcover book.

    Look up “My Tank is Fight!” by Zack Parsons. I’m serious Crab, play to your strengths and get paid for it!

  • avatar

    Every story was a profound argument against both Darwin and Bentham.

  • avatar

    Thanks for all the great stories! Also, a big thanks for the complete list; I will have to go back for ones I’ve missed. Best wishes for whatever the future holds!

  • avatar

    Aw! I loved the stories, Crabs. My favorites are “Times Are A-Changin\'”, and a tale you wrote about a Toyota someone decided to replace all fluids with brake fluid in. Loved the car as a character in that one.

  • avatar

    Crabspirits = the essence of TTAC

  • avatar

    Always enjoyed reading your stuff in the comments. Hope you’ll consider keeping your hand/head in the game at least every once in awhile. Thanks!

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    I hear [email protected] is taking over the column!

  • avatar

    You’ll be sorely missed Crab .
    Thank you for all the great stories .

  • avatar

    Thanks for the stories and the compilation. I’ll read them all again.

  • avatar

    Your stories have always been one of my bright spots on this site. Thanks for the great reading. As for which were my favorites, the longer the story, the better for me. Always amazed by the obscure details.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Garak: I could see quite a few places where you’d might want an electric model. Countries with expensive gas,...
  • DungBeetle62: Don’t know whose apple my Dad polished but in the early 80s after a parade of awful Cutlasses...
  • JD-Shifty: lowest gas prices were under Clinton. But that’s none of my business. We’ve seen wild price...
  • Buickman: anyone notice AutoNews has eliminated their comment section?
  • slavuta: You know what is pathetic – you keep spreading lies that Russia created some kind of holodomor. My...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber