QOTD: What's the Best Prank You Ever Pulled?
We were all young once. Hell, some of us never grew up.
Assuming that you visit this site out of a life-long interest in cars, you probably spent your adolescent years pining after anything with four wheels and a working engine. Ideally, there’d be a car body, transmission, axles and suspension connecting those key components, but you’d have accepted almost anything.
Eventually, we all got our hands on something. A loaner sedan from our parents or, if we were lucky, a tired castoff from the family fleet that we could call our own. Those of us with enough cash enjoyed the thrill of spending every last cent of the cheapest roadworthy vehicle that was able to could cough to life at the back of a shady used car lot (which even moderately shady people kept their distance from).
Young and stupid, but blessed with that pre-adulthood spirit of spontaneity (remember spontaneity?), more than a few of us pulled a prank on our friends or siblings, especially if the vehicle tampering targeted us first.
The key thing that keeps a prank from becoming vandalism is the good-natured — but still unwanted — way in which it occurs. There’s no lawsuits filed after a prank. Just plans hatched — to get even.
“Yeah, thanks, guys. That’s just great. That really funny…. God!” said this writer after finding his ’93 Plymouth Sundance coupe shrink-wrapped like a shipping pallet one morning after work. Another time, it was the unsettling feeling of sinking my hand into chocolate pudding molded under the door handle. That co-worker soon found their car covered in cheap Wonderbread slices, which local seagulls quickly consumed…and digested.
The key is that the vehicle remains unscathed — after a trip to the car wash, anyway — and everyone remains friends. No sugar in gas tanks, though that prank works well on people you never want to see again. Some might get a kick out of hoisting vehicles onto gymnasium roofs, but that kind of ambition usually only crops up on film.
The closest comparison in my humble life would be the guy at high school who, like many others, drove a featherweight third-generation Toyota Tercel. Man, those cars were weak. (And lasted forever, if I recall).
In a burst of youthful spontaneity, and with the aid of a friend, I recall lifting the rear of the 78-horsepower wonder and pivoting the Tercel 90 degrees, thus placing it sideways across two parking spots. The vehicle was then blocked from leaving by vehicles parked on either end. Those black protruding bumpers helped immensely — thank you, Toyota. We then laid in wait to observe the driver’s dumbfounded and increasingly irritated reaction. Oddly enough, this Tercel-lifting tactic came in handy when, years later, a similar vehicle boxed me in while parked at university.
Small potatoes, perhaps. Maybe the Best and Brightest have a much better story to tell. So, how about it — what’s the best automotive prank you ever pulled?
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A story from my dad: he and some of the other kids in the neighborhood changed the cars around from garage to garage during the night. In the morning, chaos! Bad enough to find your car missing when you're ready to leave for work, but to find it switched with someone else's car! I guess during the 1930's, no one locked their garages. Certainly once they got the garages open, it was easy to move the cars. Back then cars were small, light weight, and manual transmission. BTW, the football team at my middle school put the coach's beetle sideways in the doorway of the gym. The doors were set about 8 feet into the outer wall, and there was about a foot of space on each end of the car. I wasn't involved, other than making a suggestion....
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