I should not be allowed to own a car

Yeah, so I have never had good luck with cars. Not since the days when I lost my first car because my insurance rates went through the roof due to a few speeding tickets I got in high school. That car was the only really reliable one I’ve ever owned.

I’ve had a series of craptacular cars and spectacularly annoying things that have gone wrong with them. After my beloved Tempo came the 1974 Oldsmobile 98, or some such nonsense. I got it as the very short end of the stick trade with my uncle for the car I could no longer afford to drive. It was literally big enough to hold my Tempo and two of its car buddies with room for a driver and a couple of passengers. It was a horrible beige color and had one green door. It was actually the worst looking car in the entire parking lot of my high school and the only car my economics teacher agreed could not possibly depreciate anymore than it already had.* To make matters worse, on Halloween night while we were trick or treating a classmate decided to throw a large boulder threw the front window. Apparently he thought I’d called the cops on him while he was cruising by the movie theater I worked at. I had no idea, did not call anyone and was the unfortunate recipient of his bad luck and even worse temper.

Thankfully I had to drive it for a little less than a year before I got the 1989 Suzuki Samuri. Man, I loved that little jeep wanna be. It was a stick shift, and while I learned to drive on a stick, I wasn’t great at it. I stalled in the drive thru of more than one fast food place. That was the least of my problems though. On a car ride back from college orientation with my best friend, it somehow managed to throw a rod. We were stuck on the side of the road for well over two hours, which included the time it took us to walk to the gas station and wait for my dad to come pick us up. It turns out the engine had previous problems and the former owners bondoed it together. While waiting to be repaired it was set on fire by what I can only assume were some local farm kids with nothing better to do. Bye bye cute car.

After that came the Ford Fairmont. It was also a piece of crap and after owning it for less than three months, the power steering fluid went out, so every time I had to turn a corner I had to use both hands and plead for the car to actually turn. Forget parking in anything other than an empty space surrounded by at least three others on either side.

It was soon replaced by the blue car. I don’t even remember the make of the blue car. What I do remember is that it didn’t have a catalytic converter and since I lived in one of three counties in the state to require emissions tests, boy was I surprised when I didn’t pass. I had to pay to get the catalytic converter put in only to have the transmission go out less than a year later.

That’s when I got the car that will live in infamy among my college friends. Granted, since none of them had cars, they were thrilled I had one, but it didn’t stop the multitude of jokes. I’m speaking, of course, abou the emergency rescue vehicle. Yes, that’s right, for a period of nearly two years I drove what used to be an emergency command unit van from my father’s fire station. It was not only fire engine red with a reflective stripe of white tape around the entire thing, but also had a back up beeper. I didn’t realize that until I was trying to get out of the very busy BMV parking lot after a frustrating conversation with the woman behind the desk that left me without the correct registration. The van also had no back seats, just a bench with two cushions right behind the cage separating the drivers from the passengers. On the plus side it also had walls that had been replaced with dry erase boards so at least it was entertaining, even if it did make my best friend sick to ride in it. Oh, and the heat didn’t work.

The van was followed up with a hand me down Ford Escort, which I have to say was to this point the best vehicle I’d owned. It was tiny and could be whipped into any parking space. Of course, there was that Christmas Eve when we were loaded down with gifts from my folks on the way to K’s folks to celebrate actual Christmas day with them when the timing belt broke leaving us stranded on the side of the road for over two hours while we waited for K’s dad to come get us and take us back to their house. Luckily this time the car died at a stoplight right by a busy truck stop. Of course that was across the very busy highway, but thankfully since it was a holiday there wasn’t a lot of traffic.

The Contour was the first and only new car I bought. I loved it and took great care of it. In the end though, it too let me down. The engine blew and had to be completely replaced. Not too long after something else went wrong and since I was moving across the country I decided to just get rid of it. I sold it to a friend for the price of the repairs. Unfortunately he has even worse luck with cars than I do and it died on him not to terribly long afterwards.

That leads me to my current car. The Buick. What can I say? I bought it in Florida and just like everything else from that horrible place, it is cursed. So far this year I’ve had to replace the back window motor which cost me over $400. Then the serpentine belt broke which meant another $150. The other back window motor broke, but is being held up with clear tape. Then today, came the latest blow: as I was driving down the highway, a car ahead of me burped up a rock which nailed my poor windshield. I now have a crack. It’s not too big yet, but with winter on the way, I know it’s only going to spread. So there’s another $500 at least.

There’s no doubt about it, cars hate me.

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2 Comments

Filed under bad days, bad drivers, my childhood, nostalgia, ramblings, travel

2 responses to “I should not be allowed to own a car

  1. gb

    I’ve found that as long as one’s Ford Fairmont has a bright red interior and white exterior, as mine did, it is invulnerable.

  2. beetqueen

    That explains it. Mine had a blue and lighter blue interior. That’s probably like car kryptonite.

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