Posts By: Crabspirits

By on July 20, 2016

Ford Festiva, Image: © 2016 Crabspirits/The Truth About Cars

Did you think I would end this column on just any random car? Not only is subject vehicle #100 a real mind-scrambler, but this dramatization is based on a true account from the former owner of this bubblegum Ford Festiva.

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By on April 29, 2016

Junkyard

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.

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By on April 18, 2016

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I wonder how many of the Best and Brightest have been watching, waiting for this column to descend once again upon a subject automobile that has had a truly mystical device bestowed upon it by its creator. I’m talking about the equipment that blew the expression right off your neighbor’s face when showing off your new purchase in the driveway. A true novelty lost to time. Something that probably should be capitalized on currently by automakers in an updated form in this age of “let’s fill this humorless pod full of unusable gadgetry so it doesn’t look like a rolling flip-phone.”

I’m talking, of course, about a little thing called voice warning.

You see kids, something magical happens when that speaker chimes in to apprise you of things you probably already knew about. And while we’re on the subject of cars so equipped, why not focus on something with … soul?

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By on November 20, 2015

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With the holidays upon us, it seems fitting to share this cornucopia … from minivan hell.

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By on September 28, 2015

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When I write these little features, I always follow a set of self-imposed rules:

Rule No. 1: The car is always the main character;

Rule No. 2: Avoid using the same personality profile as in a previous story;

Rule No. 3: Inject truth. Use real ownership experiences for each example, and plausible explanations for clues;

And, Rule No. 4: Avoid blanket, prepared or generic scenarios.

I’m going to bend that last one a little bit. I’ve found the right example to illustrate it.

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By on August 25, 2015

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Today’s morbidly interesting victim is a friggin’ Yugo. If you know where this is going, I think there’s little else I could possibly say to encourage you to click the jump.

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By on May 29, 2015

04xuv1

The Envoy XUV is one of those unicorns I seem to recognize on the street immediately. As the owner of a Taurus X, I sometimes wonder how my arduous life would change had Ford went ahead with it’s transformer counterpoint to this sub-niche of vehicle. Then I realize, “Probably, I would be scrounging for more weird, rare electric roof trim garnish power regulators at the junkyard.” “Probably not much.”

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By on April 7, 2015

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Sometimes I feel that many are not aware how my little tales hidden in the comments of Murilee’s Junkyard Finds are developed.  It’s all in the evidence, the details.  “I can’t comprehend how you are able to do so as quickly as you do.”, star commenter Dead Weight writes. With the right feature-rich victim, a story writes itself in my mind with a typical gestation of 40-90 minutes. Conversely, I can’t just pop on every auction sanitized Volvo.  The story would be false, wrong, instead of just fiction.  On the other end of the spectrum, there are the head-scratching  “gems” and the rare “unicorns”.  I run into these every so often,  I’m going to start featuring them now, and you’re gonna need to wash your face afterwards.

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By on March 28, 2014

baycress14
To preface, this intrusion into the thunder dome that is Murilee’s arena isn’t going to be a regular occurrence. If you’ve ever seen him once-over a suspect entrant at a Lemons race, you know he is master of his domain. I’m not just any geek off the street myself though when it comes to the junkyard. I’ve seen my share of rare iron, intriguing clues of the final ride, and ill-advised repairs that command attention. However, there are special times when I walk through these hallowed grounds and see something that makes me come to a halt as quickly as an Iron Duke stripping it‘s plastic timing gear. This was such an occasion.

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