Gut Rumbles

February 02, 2006

eleven cars

I'll be 54 years old in two weeks. I've owned a total of ELEVEN different cars in my life. In the comments on a previous post, this guy seemed surprised that I haven't owned MORE than eleven cars, because HE HAS and he's not nearly the old fart the decrepit bastard the fossilized turd as old as I am.

I tend to keep a vehicle for a long time for two perfectly good reasons. First, I don't like making car payments every month. Before I quit drinking, I could put that money to better use--- such as paying bar tabs instead of sending it off to a bank. (Some people buy cars today and finance them for 72 months. Bejus! That's SIX FUCKING YEARS! That ain't buying a car; that's getting MARRIED to one.)

Second, I have learned to take pretty good care of an automobile. Wanna know the big secret? Change the oil and oil filter every 3,000 miles. That's the biggie. You'd be surprised how long a car will last if you do that one simple thing. Too many people don't. (Of course, you shouldn't be changing the oil every time you drive, either, but that's just MY humble opinion.)

Here is a list of the vehicles I've owned:

1) A 1968 AMC Javelin. The first car that was MINE, all MINE. I bought it for $1,000 from a friend who joined the Navy in 1972. The car had 110,000 miles on it when I sold it for $500 in 1976.

2) A 1974 Chevy Vega. The less said about that piece of shit, the better. I bought it for $500 in 1976 and sold the corpse for $100 in 1982. I got my money's worth out of it.

3) A 1974 GMC Suburban. Bought it for $500 from a friend in the military who was shipping off to Panama in 1978. That vehicle had more than 120,000 miles on it when I sold it for $200 in 1984.

4) A 1974 Chevrolet Impala. That was the first car that my first wife destroyed by driving it for three days with the oil light burning. I don't remember how many miles it had on it, but it definitely died before its time.

5) A 1978 Ford F-150 pickup truck. My first pickup and the reason that I don't like Fords today, even though it had more than 100,000 miles on it before my first ex-wife made it the SECOND vehicle she destroyed by driving it with the oil light burning.

6) A 1982 Chevy Camaro. My first BRAND NEW car! I paid off the loan on that baby just in time to lose the car in my first divorce. My ex-wife took less than a year to make it the THIRD vehicle she destroyed by driving it after she put sugar in the gas tank as a clever scam to collect insurance money. The dingbat didn't understand the difference between liability and comprehensive insurance and never collected a dime, but she damn surely killed that car.

7) A 1988 Chevy S-10 Pickup Truck. My SECOND brand-new vehicle. I paid less than $8,000 for it, put 130,000 miles on it and sold it for $1,500 twelve years later. As far as I know, that little red truck is still running today. It was a good 'un.

7-A) A 1990 Eagle Talon. Technically, that car belonged to the Bloodless Cunt when I met her, but I drove it a LOT, so I'm adding it to this list. That sumbitch was FAST and one hell of a lot of fun to drive. I once made the trip from Hartsfield International in Atlanta to Savannah in two hours and 20 minutes in that car. That's when I learned that it would go 130 MPH without the accellerator touching the floor.

8) A 1994 Chrysler Grand Caravan. Every yuppie needs a van at some point in life. That one was mine. I learned to dislike that fucker in a hurry. It was like driving a school bus. It remains the only vehicle I ever traded before it was paid for.

9) A 1996 Ford Explorer. The BC wanted it. I traded in the van and bought it. After less than a year, I remembered why I don't like Ford products. I never had any major mechanical problems with the Explorer, but little things were ALWAYS going wrong with it--- door locks failing locked, windows falling out of their tracks, various rattles and other strange noises that couldn't be quieted--- annoying body hardware defects.

10) A 1998 Chevy Cheyenne Pickup Truck. I'm still driving that one today. It has 110,000 miles on it and still runs like a sewing machine. I've never had ANY mechanical problems with it. Every time I think about selling it, I wind up needing a truck to haul something and I change my mind. I'll probably keep it until I die, or IT dies, whichever comes first.

11) A 1999 Chevy Impala. That's the car I inherited when Mama died. Right now, it has 15,012 miles on it (Yes. 15,012, that's all.), and I've put more than 4,000 of those miles on it myself. It has all the bells and whistles (including a built-in electronic butt-warmer in the driver's seat) and handles like a sports car. I figure that if I take care of it, that car is good for AT LEAST another ten years or more.

That's the history of the Acidman vehicle fleet. Eleven rides (twelve if you count the Talon) over a 38-year driving career. I suppose that's really not very many, especially when I consider where I stand right now.

I may never buy another car in my life.


Not counting a few I bought in the old days to fix-up and sell, here's the list of my personal vehicles:
'67 Camaro RS
'70 SS Chevelle 396 Ragtop
'74 Camaro (Piece o' crap)
'79 Honda Prelude (1st New car)
'85 Honda CRX Si (new)
'86 Saab 900 Turbo
'90 Mazda 626
'97 Acura 3.2TL
'00 Ford F150 4W V8

I get a company car these days, hence the pick-up for other uses.

Posted by: Dishonorable Schoolboy on February 2, 2006 01:01 PM

Chevy Cherokee ? I have never heard of that one

Posted by: Pete on February 2, 2006 01:03 PM

In 25 years of driving, I've had (unless I missed a couple) 16 cars & trucks, & 5 motorcycles. None of them were new. Of them I totalled 5 cars, a pickup, & a bike. It took me awhile to learn that driving drunk was a bad idea.

Posted by: Tennessee Budd on February 2, 2006 01:21 PM

Postscript: Right now I'm driving an '81 Caprice, a '72 Cheyenne, & 2 '82 Honda bikes.

Posted by: Tennessee Budd on February 2, 2006 01:22 PM

Uh... Pete... that should be Chevy Cheyenne. (I knew it was some kinda Indian name.)

I TOLD YOU that my brain ain't working today!

Posted by: Acidman on February 2, 2006 01:22 PM

I've only ever bought one car brand new, and that was a disaster. That was a 1988 Hyundai.

The most I've ever spent to buy a used car was $2500 for the 1993 Plymouth Voyager. That was a disaster. Starting with the $1400 of work it needed as soon as I bought it, to make it safe to drive when allegedly it was in great shape.

The third most I've ever spent was $2000 for the 1988 Nissan Sentra, 10 years and 102,000 miles ago this month. I have never had a more perfect car overall, or a cheaper one to own.

Most of them were super cheap, very old, very junky used cars, and most of them I was the final owner. I learned that after 120,000 all bets were off, until my most recent two cars other than the van and Deb's pickup.

I don't believe in buying new or making car payments if at all possible.

Posted by: Jay on February 2, 2006 01:50 PM

An old machinist I used to work with changed his oil every 2500 miles without fail.

He's torn down a few engines in his time, so I TRY to do the same. Doesn't always happen, though, and I seem to have developed a slight allergy to motor oil. So now, I take my car to one of my customer's shops, and they do it, and look at stuff I wouldn't think to look at.

My car's got 165k on it, and I plan to see 200k with it, at least. Then I'll see if I wanna drive it to 250k.

I also hate paying tons of money for cars. The most I've ever spent is $2000 for my Jeep. I usually pay about 600 for 'em.

Posted by: The PartsGuy on February 2, 2006 02:44 PM

I have an 87 Monte carlo SS. I paid $1500 cash on my 16th birthday(1999) for it and have spent a good chunk on fixing it up. It has over 200k miles on it, and yes. Oil changes are important :) I also have a Buick century because, well, car seats don't help the image of the SS.

Posted by: Steph on February 2, 2006 02:47 PM

Oh man, I am grieving for that Camaro - sugar in the gastank? That's like mainlining Ajax to get high. It was murder, pure and simple : (

Posted by: A Different Kim on February 2, 2006 03:41 PM

Wow, only 11. I've been working on a list off and on since somebody (maybe V-man) did a post on their cars while you were in the hospital. I think I'm up to something like 27 and I know I haven't remembered all of them yet. Of course most of the turnover was because my first husband was really hard on cars.

I don't know how you guys remember the years of all of them either. Heck, I can't even remember the models of some of them.

Posted by: Libby on February 2, 2006 03:49 PM

51 Chevy
53 Chevy
55 Chevy
57 Dodge
57 Studebaker
53 Studebaker
62 Chevy
68 Chevelle
62 Chevy (another one)
73 Mazda
74 Dodge Pickup
77 Ford
67 VW
63 Chevy Pickup
74 Mazda
78 Grand Prix
82 Chevy Chevette
84 Chevy Chevette
53 Lincoln
86 Monte Carlo SS
87 Chevy S10
87 Nissan Sentra
82 Chevy Caprice
86 Chevy Lumina
79 Ford Pickup
2002 Dodge Ram
82 Buick Riviera
65 BSA Motorcycle
73 Suzuki Motorcycle
82 Honda Motorcycle
74 Suzuki Motorcycle
I know I missed some. Cheapest car I ever bought was 35 dollars and that damn Dodge Ram is the most expensive one but I'm planning on it outlasting me......

Posted by: Joe on February 2, 2006 05:21 PM

I think I got the 74 Impala from yall , the problem was there was no anti-freeze and the block cracked below the intake, I welded it and sold it.

Posted by: ken on February 2, 2006 05:33 PM

lessee - in chronological order

1970 Pontiac GTO - Great car but I totalled it within my first 6 months of having a driver's license.

1974 Volkswagon 411 Wagon -POS

1969 4 door Ford LTD with a 429 Cobra Jet (everyone called it the sleeper for good reason, but my brother totalled it)

1978 GMC 4x4 1/2 ton PU. First new vehicle. Made me a ton of money plowing parking lot snow, but ate trannies for breakfast, sold it at 60K miles on it's 3rd tranny...still that was probably my fault because it carried a big plow.

1980 Datsun 280-ZX ...awesome and dependable. Sold to a friend who drove it past 260K and was sold again.

1982 Toyota Supra - Another awesome sports car...traded for the next car while it was still real nice.

1987 Toyota Turbo Supra - killer car that I just recently sold to a neighborhood kid for 2500 that thinks it was manna from heaven. It's still nice and I see it cruising often.

1988 Toyota 22E PU. (second new one) Sold to a local kid that beats it like a red headed step child, but it's still going at around 200K

1996 Toyota 4Runner - dependable and adept snow cruiser...crash it if you want to and still drive it home. Still drive this one daily

1994 Twin Turbo Toyota Supra. This is my sunny day car. Might never sell it because it practically gives me an orgasm every time I drive it.

1988 Ford 3/4 ton 4x4 diesel PU. This one can man handle anything, but that's also all it's ever is driven man handle things...still going strong.

Posted by: marcl on February 2, 2006 07:57 PM

My fleet:
'69 Ford Fairlane (that car would shit and git!)
'74 Pinto (my 1st stick and leaked oil)
'79 Pinto (never let me down)
'81 Toyota Corolla (now that was a pice of shit)
'87 Plymouth Horizon (1st new car)
'89 Ford Festiva (bought new)
'95 Ford Ranger (always ran but little electrical problems)
'97 Saturn wagon (my 1st "family" car)
'01 Ford Windstar (a great ride)
'01 Saturn (replaced the truck and a GREAT car)
'02 Saturn (to replace the '01 which killed Bambi's daddy)

Posted by: Ralph Gizzip on February 2, 2006 09:43 PM

I can't stop thinking about this. I'll never finish my list but my two favorties, my first car that my Dad bought me, a 62 Chrysler Newport and my 1960 Dodge Dart. Mine was a darkish irridescent sea green with a cream colored top. It took me three weeks to pick the colors.

Posted by: Libby on February 2, 2006 10:57 PM

1. 1962 Hillman convertible
2. 1964 Corvair
3. 1973 F-100 with a 390
4. 1973 Fiat 850 Sport Coupe
5. 1986 Toyota Cilica 190k + and still drives like it did when I bought it in 1988.
6. 1994 Ford Thunderbird. A great drive on the highway when I put down 16 hours of pedal time.

Over the years I've had several bikes:
1. 1972 Honda 450 twin
2. 1972 Kawasaki 500 triple. Sold it when I decided going that fast in a straight line was suicidal.
3. 1980 Yamaha XS850 Special
4. 2 1973 Yamaha RD 350's, one for parts. Goes fast and is still a blast to ride.

Posted by: Gmac on February 2, 2006 11:10 PM

My two favorites: 1968 426 Hemi Roadrunner and a 1988 IROC-Z 5-speed. The bitch of it is that although driving the Hemi was a religious experience, the IROC is the one I miss the most.

Posted by: Chris on February 2, 2006 11:59 PM

Turning 29 in a couple weeks, and I've just had a couple.

Started with a 1987 Ford Bronco, which died on the interstate after 270,000 miles in 1997.

Then, I bought my Dad's 93 Chevy Pickup, and have been driving it ever since (put 145,000 of its 210,000 miles on it myself).

I'll keep the truck. But I may get something else this spring....

Posted by: Tommy on February 3, 2006 01:05 AM

89 Volvo 240 bought in 91. Just sold it with 250k on it. Made it to the moon.
2001 Volvo wagon bought it 3 weeks ago

91 Jetta nice little car but no room for kids
96 voyager liked that one, bought it used
2001 Chevy Venture POS, bought new. Third tranny, second radiator. Stick to the trucks A-man. People tell me they're better than the cars.

Posted by: Terry on February 3, 2006 12:20 PM

My history of cars:

Subaru wagon 1990

Subaru Outback 1998

Subaru Outback 2001

Subaru Outback 2005

Loyalty? ... Yep.

Posted by: bleedingbrain on February 3, 2006 09:51 PM

47 plymouth-$85 (blew engine doing 65 in 2d)
52 plymouth-$200 (blew engine down shifting to 2d to keep from plowing into hay wagon just over top of hill around 100 mph....ditch on 1 side, traffic on the other)
55 chev
61 pontiac grand prix--fun car, but always pulled toward gas stations
59 mga--loved it, but not good for young couple with new baby
61 ford
67 ford ltd--good except electric gremlins
74 ford ltd--ex took in divorce
72 cad coupe--great car
76 fiat 128 spyder--REALLY GREAT CAR! took flat turns up to 100 mph (kids trashed it)
81 3/4 ton, long wheel base chev conversion van--great comfort on long trips with kids & #2 mate
82 chev monte carlo--pos
82 chev luv p/u--pos
83 gmc s15, 6-cyl, 5 speed (same as chev s10)--really nice, but shade tree mech put water in cooling system after replacing h2o pump..block cracked 1st freeze after that)
83 pont bonne--fawkin slipping wheel covers kept slipping and breaking valve stems. must have had 15 flats
90 pont grand am--pos
91 pont bonne
91 mazda miata (5-speed manual)--great car had to trade. mate bad back. shifting hurt. (128 mph in 4th before buddy in biggest engine acura caught me)
91 firebird--VROOM! my only muscle car tendency to go sideways whenever you mashed it
93 miata auto (dear departed crazy about it and me for buying it for her. said she'd never buy another car. wish she hadn't been right. after she died, i totalled it when asshole road rager ran me off road. sideways on pavement, i knew i was gonna roll & die, but lil bugger just kept spinnin, thank g-d. fantastic car. highly recommend to anyone who wants an affordable roadster. my next buy)
91 pont bonne
94 jeep grand cherokee
94 plymouth voyager--pos
99 jeep grand cherokee--excellent
02 merc villager van--pos
04 jeep grand cherokee (current . New bride and I both love it!)

Total-26 in 49 years driving

The first two Fords were bought used from my ex-pa-in-law when he paid cash for his newer. Bought several of these new (or v lightly used dealer demo or repo) as last year's model after new models were out. Cut $1,500 to 3,000 off sticker before we started haggling trade, etc. Never have bought a new, this year model.

Posted by: Larry on February 4, 2006 01:22 AM
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