By on June 4, 2020

Thinking back, I can only recall a single instance in which someone who wasn’t a mechanic or dealer service tech borrowed my car. Seems unlikely, but that vehicle sitting outside isn’t a hammer or a cup of sugar. I’d protect it with my life. Which is why it’s only been out of my sight, under the command of another person, one one occasion.

My dad wanted to pick up a pizza, and his car was a boring automatic. Hand ’em over, sonny.

Other people are far more generous with their personal property, tossing their keys to anyone halfway trustworthy on the promise that they’ll return it in one piece. Which, of course, doesn’t always happen.

Clearly, I have no tale to tell about lending someone a fine, pristine automobile and having it returned a wreck, though my buddy recently relayed a terrifying tale of a prized Malibu that danced with fate and lost.

Many years ago, as a naive and idealistic university student (life took care of that outlook!), buddy lent his circa ’79 or’ 80 Chevrolet Malibu to a friend who was headed up north to work in the mines over summer break. My friend was heading out on the road for a sales job in a company car, so the two wouldn’t cross paths again for a couple of months.

Come the arrival of autumn, the Malibu and the friend showed up — one of them still serviceable.

It’s worth pointing out that my friend is something of an obsessive when it comes to maintaining cars, and this G-body coupe apparently left his grasp in near-pristine condition. No rust, no dings, and a solid 229 or 231 V6 mated to a three-speed auto. Decent power and reliability for the era. Having just replaced a used and abused mid-’70s Coronet, this stoic Chevy could have performed yeoman’s service for years to come.

Alas, it was not to be. The Malibu was returned with a noticeable list — the result of a front strut pushed well beyond its limits by an uncaring driver who took back roads too fast on the regular. No other suspension component made it out of the north woods in praiseworthy condition, either. The same can be said for the now-battered body, and sometime over that two-month span a hole the size of a large pizza pan opened up in the floor of the trunk.

Seems buddy’s friend was pretty nonchalant when he dropped the wreck off, too. “Never lend anything to a narcissistic hippie” is the obviously takeaway here.

To make matters worth, not long after the barely driveable car made its return home, a hobo chose to make it his own personal outhouse late one night. What had once been a respectable midsized car had now become a beat-up, creaking, urine-filled heap. Buddy sent it to the wreckers.

It’s a horror story that closely mirrors some of the many scenarios that fill an owner’s brain when someone asks to borrow the keys. Frankly, I don’t know how parents part with their ride. I know what happens on those nights when kids borrow the car, and it ain’t something I’d want done to, or in, my car by either a family member or a stranger.

Are you able to share any stories of a loaned car taking a wrong turn?

[Images: Toyota, General Motors]

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50 Comments on “QOTD: No More Mr. Nice Guy?...”


  • avatar
    4drSedan

    Not quite so dramatic but I was deployed to Iraq and I let Mom use my (then) 15 year old Accord while I was away. I came home after a 10 month deployment and found someone (apparently) sideswiped the passenger side while pulling out from a parking lot. Couldn’t really be mad at Mom for that. I checked to make sure the windows still went up and down and drove it for another five years like that. I recently ditched it at 200,000 miles when the transmission failed. Definitely got my money’s worth out of that car.

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      This is familiar.
      During my first deployment, I lent my brother my K5. It was my prized fourwheeling toy, 35’s, 4.56 gears, locker, etc. He wanted something to drive to high school. I left him with strict instructions “no fourwheeling!” A few months into my deployment, I checked facebook for the first time and found his page full of four-wheeling videos where he took the blazer down some pretty rough trails. Before I had a chance to message him, the internet cut out.

      A month later I was able to log back on and found a new video of him pulling my cousins Bronco off the ledge of a clift with my youth pastor filming the entire thing! The next chance I had, I called my dad and told him to take the keys away from my brother. That was 13 years ago. I still don’t let my brother borrow my vehicles. If he needs a truck, I tell him to rent one.

      • 0 avatar
        Jon

        clift -> cliff

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Family can be the worst. I had bought a brand new 1984 Ranger. It had pathetic tires stock. I let my brother try it with the expressed instructions of “no off-roading” due to the tires. I might as well have told him to go bury it in a mud-hole.
          Multiple decades later he buys a Harley and never once has he offered to let me ride it. I won’t even lend him tools now.
          My best friend borrowed the same Ranger for 1/2 a year. I had bought a new 1990 F250. It came back detailed,polished, oil changed and gently driven. I’d let him drive or ride anything I own.
          Everyone else… nope.

      • 0 avatar
        Rick West

        I lend my brother my Ford Pinto. I caught him drag racing a Pontiac GTO. I don’t think I need to tell you who won.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    No drama, “neither a borrower or a lender be”. The last time I loaned a car to a friend was about 10 years ago and he got into a minor fender bender, but I had to go through all the insurance hassle. No more, I don’t lend nor do I ever borrow a car. No more problems

  • avatar
    jack4x

    The closest I’ve ever felt to death was in a borrowed car.

    In college, my friend had a 98 Olds Intrigue. Nice car, but he did not take care of it. In this case, as I found out later, something was popping the fuse for the stereo. Rather than have it fixed right, his plan was to rob fuses from other components to temporarily keep the radio working.

    Now, picture the scene. Minnesota. January. The plan is we are going to ride up to Duluth together and drop him off at college. I’m going to drive his car back to Minneapolis (~175 miles). So he drives the first leg. It’s sunny, roads are clear, no problem. I knew he mentioned something about the radio, I gave it literally no thought at the time.

    So we get him dropped off and as I head back south a storm comes in. Whiteout conditions. Imagine my surprise as I find the headlights, wipers, flashers, ABS, etc non functional. I distinctly remember being caught blind as a bat behind two semis for miles as they kicked up spray and the snow kept falling. I couldn’t slow down too much for fear of being rear ended since I had no taillights.

    Luckily the weather cleared up for the second half of the trip and I made it. I have never borrowed a car from this friend again.

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    I know which friends would be OK to borrow my car (although not for 2 months), so the fault lies with your buddy for not knowing his friend well enough to know it was a bad idea. Plus just the fact he was going to “work in the mines” was a bit of a clue…
    Have you ever seen the vehicles that work in and around mines and quarries??

  • avatar
    A Scientist

    Not me, but one of my best friends. He bought a nearly new C6 Corvette, this was sometime back in ~2007-2008 when C6 vettes were the latest model of course. Dark Blue, 6 speed, beautiful car. He let me drive it with him once, was a blast. Unfortunately, he let one of his work buddies take it for a spin alone, and the dude proceeds to gun it…….right off the road and into a crowd of pine trees in the woods. Completely destroyed the car. And when I say destroyed, I mean DESTROYED. The pictures looked like one of those drunk driving accidents you see here and there. The incident even made the local newspaper with a headline something like “Driver totals Corvette” or something like that. Needless to say, my friend doesn’t let other people drive any of his toys anymore :(

  • avatar
    redapple

    Lend your car to a jag off? Crashed it or trashed it?
    I ll bet you the contents of my wallet that each bum has terrible credit and DL record.

    That s why employers study them -PRE HIRE. Good rule of thumb.

    Cant get it together in your personal life? You ll be a real PRIZE at work, i m sure,

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    My F-150 gets passed around like cigarettes. But I learned not to loan anything out, you can’t afford to lose.

    It could be money, or whatever. My ’85 MR2 has been missing since ’91, stolen while on loan to a friend. But the biggest problem is borrowers that drive compacts.

    Usually they rub, scrape or take out something with the right side of my F-150.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I don’t loan out my vehicles expect to immediately family members. Same with borrowing vehicles, unless they have the same last name as me I’m not driving it. When it comes to my C7 I even worry when the wife takes it. Not that she is not careful or can’t handle it, but anytime you drive a car your not familiar with you miss judge blind spots and curbs (the C7 is low).

    Every vehicle has its own little quarks and trying to explain that stuff to others normally doesn’t go over very well.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    I have one friend I have loaned the Cobra replica out to and some times for a weekend. Of course he let me take his modded CJ7 out in the mountains too. I have another friend I would not loan a matchbox car out to.

    Have loaned the truck to dad a few times to tow his bike for service and don’t have a problem with them borrowing vehicles.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    1985 or so – in college – loaned my 74 Gran Torino to a friend who wanted to take this girl to a restaurant – first date.
    He came back with a nice dent in the left front fender – hit “something” in the restaurant parking lot.
    First and last date for him with that girl.

  • avatar
    karonetwentyc

    The way that I’ve successfully dealt with this issue when it crops up is as follows:

    “Sure, you can borrow the [insert running project car here]. By the way, you’re OK with a manual transmission, right? Oh, and the A/C compressor’s had the belt to it removed because it’s seized, so it’ll get pretty toasty inside in traffic. Incidentally, the fuel float spring rotted out, so the float’s jammed and the fuel gauge thinks it’s always about four drops away from being completely empty. I can give you the 5-gallon gas can to go with it, though.”

    That usually solves the problem.

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      This is about what i do. If someone needs a loaner vehicle, they get the single cab work truck with 230k, a gas gauge that always says empty, AC that works only up to speed three and a overhead lamp that flickers whether on or off.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I have 5 kids, and we’re down to the last 2 at home.

    The worst incident from any of them was just this March, when #4 struck an airborne turkey at 75 mph with the Optima Hybrid, which could happen to anyone. It cost me $600 for a new radiator core support, 3 radiators, a fog light, and sundries, plus 3 nights of work to fix it. He’s getting the title to the car this summer, so it’s been returned to ‘used’ condition – not new.

    In one month’s time, my daughter (#1) destroyed 2 sets of drum brakes on our Elantra because she didn’t understand how the handbrake worked, nor why the red ‘BRAKE’ light was on. That cost me $60 each time. The Jatco 4-speed auto overcame the extra load without a problem.

    So, no complaints about my kids, really. Cars are replaceable. I’m just thankful they returned home every night; other parents aren’t so fortunate. In contrast, my brother and I destroyed our parents’ cars.

    As for lending to a friend, we’ve loaned our 09 Sedona to several people, including a family of 5 for a whole summer while they visited from overseas duty. They returned it in better condition than they received it. That van has also served as a moving/towing truck, including this coming weekend. I guess I prefer helping to hoarding.

  • avatar
    OzCop

    I had to go to a 18 week basic training at Fort Knox and my brother’s car had taken a dump. I loaned him my 62 Plymouth Fury with 383 B block engine that was in perfect condition, low miles, never abused except by me on occasion…While I was gone, he had gotten his car back to running order and left mine in the driveway for me when I got back. He had moved to Michigan for a new job by then. When I returned I found my once pristine 62, sometimes referred to as the ugliest Plymouth ever built, sitting in the driveway with a smashed left front fender, and front suspension damage. The inside was trashed, and the outside appeared to never have been washed during the time he used it. It had gained almost 10 K miles on the odo, and of course the gas tank was empty, and the front brakes were shot. We had words via telephone, and he ended up apologizing for the condition but had driven it to Michigan and back a couple of times and claimed it was hit while parked on a Detroit suburb street. I got over it, but that lingered with me for longer than it should I suppose. He passed away at age 55, and we had long since patched things up…That 62 would be worth a pile of money in today’s market…

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    I learned, the hard way as usual, that no matter how level headed and responsible someone is things can go wrong.
    I once loaned a car to a friend while there’s was being repaired. A phone company truck collided with it while it was parked. The utility company insurance paid for the repairs, but that car was as original at that time. I realized then and now that it’s just a machine/lump of metal, but it was a disappointment.
    There were other incidents over the years with potential financial destruction as the end result. Since that was a near miss I had to tell that person, no more borrowing/lending. That was a difficult moment.

  • avatar
    readallover

    Yes, It`s my truck.
    No, I won`t help you move.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I proudly had that bumper sticker on my old flatbed F150.

      Passed on to it’s 3rd owner that sticker was promptly removed. I should have given the family a hard time about that because they certainly were related to the sorts of folks that changed domiciles often. Not to mention the kids they have in college.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    In all honesty, the only person I would have loaned any of my cars to has been deceased for over 20 years–and that was my father. Oh, I let my wife drive my truck pretty much any time she wants to but that doesn’t count as I trust both her to drive safely and the truck to do whatever she asks of it.

    To anyone else, I might loan the USE of the truck to somebody, but only with ME as the driver. This includes all living family members.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Oh, and on the above, that does NOT include me as loader or unloader beyond ‘packing’ for best load distribution and pulling it back out to where they can reach it to carry it away.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    When you ‘borrow’ my truck or my tools, you get me along with them. (Good news for you, because we’ll probably finish more quickly.)

    “I’d protect it with my life.” I really try not to have this attitude about anything that’s ‘stuff’. Now if my family is in danger and the vehicle is part of the plan to get them to safety, yes we’ll defend the vehicle to that extent. But the vehicle gets sacrificed without question when that is appropriate.

    If you have never viewed cars coming off the assembly line in person, go and do that – it offers some valuable perspective, i.e.:
    –> This is not Excalibur – we can make you another one.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    I lend my cars to basically anyone who asks. Happens about three times or so a year. Most of the time, I receive them back in better condition than I let go of them…. typically fully gassed and washed. I always know there is a risk of my car being damaged or wrecked. This is why I know exactly what my insurance covers (and doesn’t). Despite the risks, I don’t want to be “that” guy.

    “That” guy is my nice friend. He has a truck. I watch with sadness the mental tricks he engages in to discourage people to ask for favors, such as borrowing it or asking him to help them. It works of course… I’ll never ask him. Of course he’ll never ask for my wagon in return…. god forbid he establishes potential expectations of reciprocity. And this is a perfect summary of how we all become less than the sum of our parts. I see this as the development of a revanchist – and hollow – individuality that makes us all collectively a poorer society.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Very few times have a lent a vehicle out. Never had a vehicle damaged but I have lost tools and had a rototiller destroyed by a neighbor who returned it broken after using it beyond its limits with no apologizes or offers to have it repaired just that “your tiller is not running”–it was not only running when I lent it to him it was in perfect shape. Found out he was using it on his father-in-law’s place tilling up a broken piece of sidewalk. Don’t lend anything to anyone unless you don’t expect to get it back or you don’t care if they destroy it.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I am a mr nice guy. You want my car – here is the key. and BTW, its a manual…

  • avatar
    porker132000

    I loaned my then brand-new 72 Vega to my then girlfriend (she’s now my wife of almost 46 years). She drove it from her dorm room to my frat house across the campus. When we went out to get in to go for our date, I immediately smelled the burning brakes. The hood was also open. She was used to driving her dad’s 68 Camaro, and had released the hood latch under the dash instead of the parking brake between the seats. The car was fine, but I never had parking brakes again until I sold the car.
    I routinely loan out my truck to anyone I know who needs it, but I always tell them my two rules: 1) return it with at least as much gas as it had when you took it; and 2) if you wreck it, total it!

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    SIL needed a truck to move her kid to school.. “Sure.” I said.. “Great! I want to teach her how to drive stick while we are at it!” As this was a few days away, I quickly came up with an excuse to get out of that one. Didn’t go over well but come on, you are going to borrow my truck and do the grind-em-if-you-can’t-find-em lesson series on my truck? No…

  • avatar
    -Nate

    When I was a working mechanic I quickly lost track of how many times a customer came in with their vehicle on the hook after loaning it out…

    Never once did the offender offer to pay the bill either .

    I loaned out a couple times and almost every time got it back damaged, once my supposed friend was riding my Moto next to me and deliberately shifted it into first gear going 35 MPH ~ I thought he’d burn a flat spot on the rear tire from it skidding but instead it over reved the engine and bent the valves…

    Interestingly, when ever I announce out of town travel I get offers of loaners because they’re always returned squeaky clean, full of fuel and all the little broken things fixed….

    -Nate

  • avatar
    NeilM

    I’ve been on both sides of this.

    Back when she was in her early twenties, I lent my pristine 1988 Honda Prelude 4WS to my daughter’s friend Julie D., whom we knew quite well and whose car was in the shop for the week. I had just bought a new car, so the Honda was otherwise parked until I got around to selling it.

    A couple of evenings later I get a phone call from Julie D.’s mother. Their street is at a T-junction, and some kid comes barreling into it after dark and turns neither left nor right, instead running straight into my Honda that’s parked at the opposite curb. The car should have been totaled, but it was in too good shape and not old enough, so it got fixed. I sold it with full disclosure of the accident and repair. The buyer was moving to Alaska and planned to drive it there. Didn’t seem like the ideal vehicle for Alaska, but hey.

    On the other side of the coin, my own car was being serviced and I needed to run an errand from work at lunchtime, so I borrowed a friend’s new Camry — new as in a week old. I’m stopped at a red light on my way back to the office, front row in the leftmost of four lanes on a busy, one-way downtown street. The light goes green and I enter the intersection when a car on the cross-street runs her red light from the right, makes it across all the other three lanes, and hits me hard in the Camry’s front right quarter. The driver said that “her light was green when she last looked at it.” Apparently that was a couple of blocks earlier. No prizes for guessing she had no license, insurance, or assets.

    I generally drive performance cars, sometimes fairly modified, and most people don’t like asking to borrow them. (This includes my own wife.) That’s good, because I don’t like lending them.

    On the rare occasions I do borrow someone else’s vehicle, usually when I briefly need a pick-up truck, I aim to return it better than when I took it.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Several years ago I had my T10 Blazer as a secondary vehicle. I drove it occasionally to make sure all the thing got used and to have a break from my primary car.

    My cousin borrowed it for 6 months once. It was no real skin of my derriere because she didn’t cause any damage, but it was a pain to get it back.

    The one that chapped my hide was when a friend borrowed it. His truck relieved itself of a working slave cylinder and my friend, who I thought was trustworthy, couldn’t fix the thing no matter what he tried; it was barely drivable. He said he’d have my car for a week. Again no skin off my butt because it was a secondary car and not worth terribly much. A week turned into two, turned into a month, turned into 3 months. Trying to be a nice understanding friend, I was lenient and allowed him the continued use of my car. Finally I got fed up and told him I was coming to pick it up on the following Friday. He pulls this move where, “wait, that wasn’t part of the agreement” bullbutter. To which I replied, “no, the agreement was 1 week. I’m not begging for my own property back.”

    I get the thing back and he’d gotten a parking ticket in it that he hadn’t told me about; only finding out when I got a final demand in the mail. All 4 wheel bearings, which had incidentally been replaced already, were shot and the front ball joint was crap. Haven’t spoken to the SOB since.

    There is one time I lent out my other car. My friend needed to take a 300 mile round trip, but he had a leaky tire that he hadn’t gotten a chance to fix and didn’t trust that far. He gave me his keys, told me about the tire, and said he’d have my car back the next day. I told him he wasn’t getting his car back until I had mine. True to his word, he had my car back the next day.

    I fixed the thing and then traded both my primary car and the Blazer in so the temptation would be there. Never again, will I lend a vehicle to anybody.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “But I learned not to loan anything out, you can’t afford to lose.”

    Oh Boy, that brings some painful memories.

    I loaned an autographed copy of Isaac Asimov’s Understanding Physics.

    The moron left it on the basement. On the floor. Which could regularly flood during the spring thaw. And which did not have an alarm or automatic pump.

    Of course, I could “afford” to lose it. Like losing a much loved pet. One eventually gets over its loss, but the scar is always there.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I wouldn’t let autographed copy of Asimov from my sight.

    • 0 avatar

      “But I learned not to loan anything out, you can’t afford to lose.”

      There’s the companion to that as well…

      “Never borrow something you can’t afford to replace.”

      I’d have to be in pretty dire straits to ask to borrow someone’s personal vehicle when I could get rental pretty cheap.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It’s a very heavy burden to me. Come to think of it, it’d never borrowed a vehicle after turning 17, since I’ve had multiple (registered/insured) since then.

        That’s until last year I when I borrowed my dad’s pickup. But then I bought him that truck, basically identical to my ’05.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    Lighten up, Francis.

    A car is just a thing. Meaningless in the scheme of things.

    If you’re wrapped that tightly about a material possession, you must be a joy to live with.

    Go on, have a family. Watch what happens.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      Unfortunately, when i loan a vehicle to peer family, it always comes back with less fuel, something broken and/or alot dirtier. Alternatively, when i loan a vehicle to a friend, it always comes back cleaner than it left, with a more fuel than it left with and if repairs are needed, they always offer to pay (which i always decline).

      How did you get your children/family to respect your possessions?

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        My point was not lending the car to the kids.

        My point was how tightly this guy is wrapped up. “I’ll defend the car with my life.” Really? He needs to understand that material things are just that–material things. In the scheme of things, utterly meaningless in the end.

        I knew a guy who was this way about his stereo stuff. Then he had a little daughter. A couple of years later, he had changed. His daughter was what mattered–the stereo stuff, really, not at all anymore. In fact, he let her “play” with it (change volume, tune the radio, whatever). Pre-children, he swore that would NEVER happen.

        Have a family and understand what’s important and what’s not. That care you bought? Meaningless, in the end.

        I read the forums and hear about guys (always guys) who buy a GTI or whatever and before it’s left the lot it’s getting detailed and wrapped, put up like it’s a one-off Pagani. These guys FREAK about a rock chip, or a door ding. They lose their minds. That’s not only stupid, it’s not healthy.

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          Fair enough, you’re supposed to teach them how to care for things and for me anyway, my kids are more important than my things .

          Thant being said, many simply show their disrespect by trashing borrowed things and those same people are usually very sensitive about you not taking care of their things be they good or raggedy .

          -Nate

  • avatar
    Bill

    A couple years ago I bought a 2012 GLI with 45k miles. It was the first newish car I ever had as everything else I’ve owned had over 130k miles at the time of purchase.

    A couple months after I bought it my dad asked me to borrow it to run errands for a little bit. You see, the day before the head gaskets on his Malibu failed for the fourth time in three years after he ignored the low coolant light and temp gauge in the red for the fourth time in three years.

    I knew my dad hadn’t driven a stick in over twenty years, I knew his driving skills overall had diminished some, I knew how hard he is on equipment in general, I knew it was a really bad idea to let him drive my car, but he is my dad. So I apprehensively handed him the keys and told him to be careful.

    At some point while he was driving my car the throwout bearing failed. I can’t say for sure if he did something to induce the failure or if it was just exceptionally bad luck that it happened to fail while he was driving. What happened after that, however was one hundred percent my dad’s fault.

    The clutch pedal was now stuck to the floor. Rather than do the intelligent, sensible thing and call a tow truck my dad figured out the car would still drive, he just had to mash the gas. With the clutch badly slipping, but still partially engaged my dad proceeded to continue along with his errands. Shifting with the partially engaged clutch at 6000 RPM? Sure, just force it, it’ll eventually get the next gear.

    An hour or so after he left he brought the car back, pissed off at me that the car had a problem. “You didn’t tell me your car had a problem, the clutch pedal is stuck!” he said. Agitatedly I told him the car was perfect when I loaned it to him, ran out to the car, smelled the badly burnt clutch, saw the clutch pedal stuck to the floorboard and proceeded to scream at my dad for the next 10 minutes. I had never yelled at him before, but I was extra angry since I had just had a discussion with him literally the day before about how continuing to drive after a car has a problem can only make the problem worse. For him to do the exact opposite of what we had talked about and trash my first nice car only 18 hours after that talk…

    He refused to take any responsibility, insisting he did everything exactly right, that he knows how to drive a stick, he could not have done anything different and that he did exactly what he was supposed to do, which was to get the car home.

    The end result was the throwout bearing, clutch and flywheel had to be replaced, and the transmission had to be overhauled to repair the internal damage. If he had the car towed after the throwout bearing failure I could have replaced the throwout bearing myself and been out about $300 total including the tow. Instead the total damage was a little over $3000, and I was taking public transportation for a couple weeks while it was getting fixed. Needless to say I won’t let him borrow my car ever again, even if he is my dad.

  • avatar
    Old_WRX

    My father just figured that the tires that had come on his used Datsun 510 Bluebird weren’t very good quality. I must admit that that wasn’t really why they wore out so fast…

    Wonderful car to learn how to rotate a car heading for an apex. The thing handled from a point right between the front seats. It wasn’t all that fast, but the handling! It’s a miracle I didn’t manage to kill myself or someone else. And, no, I don’t drive that way anymore.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Expand the definition of “loan” and off we go:

    1) My buddy had a ’68 Lincoln Continental. He didn’t live in the best part of town. One night he forgot to lock it, and came out in the morning to a smoking hulk. A hobo had fallen asleep inside with a lit cigarette. The hobo made it out alive. The Continental didn’t.

    2) My mom lived in Vegas and I was going out to visit. One of my party-hearty housemates had just moved to Vegas and the other party-hearty housemates wanted to visit him, so they all hitched a ride to Vegas with me in my literally showroom-fresh, first-ever brand-new car for the daylong drive. As the driver I stayed sober, but my traveling companions were not thus constrained, and ever-escalating “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” shenanigans ensued upon arrival, some of them involving adult activities in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Finally shaking off my oh-so-classy buddies a day later, I headed straight to Mom’s to show off my damn fine automobile. I offered her a ride, and she stepped back quizically before opening the door. “Why does your brand-new car have a dent in the passenger door?” she asked. “And why is the dent shaped like a lady’s ass?”

  • avatar
    Sundance

    As my mom(!) told me: “Never lend you car or your wife to someone.”

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Rarely I have but to a very select group of people and only to the sorts of individuals that will help you in the same way.

    I had driven my FIL Terrain a few times and he drove my Highlander to an appointment in town.

  • avatar
    Oreguy

    My story involves a current co-worker – let’s call him Bill. In the mid-70’s (I don’t know the exact year), his wife’s younger brother was living with them for a period. One evening they ordered pizzas, and when time arrived to pick them up, the brother-in-law asked if he could use my Bill’s ’73 Mustang Grande for the pickup run. Bill agreed and tossed him the keys. About 20 minutes later, the brother-in-law called Bill, very upset, and explained that there had been an accident. No injuries, but the Mustang was totaled. I recall that insurance made Bill whole, but the replacement car was not a Mustang.

    Fast forward to about 2015. The brother-in-law (yes, still), called Bill and told him he found an exact copy of Bill’s Mustang. Same color, and virtually all options the same. It needed some interior freshening, new wheels and tires, and the 302 needed and overhaul, but that was about it. The brother-in-law still felt guilty after all the years, but made it his mission to deliver the car to Bill (from Minnesota, to Oregon, where Bill now lives). The process was a little uncomfortable for Bill, because he felt strongly that his brother-in-law need not go through the expense and trouble. But nevertheless, the car was delivered and Bill absolutely loves driving it.

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