That Used Car Smell–Part Deux

It seems my last post took some readers for a drive down memory lane, and prompted some to share their own experiences with used cars. One example comes from my friend and guest blogger, Vickie, who passed along the following:

“Jim and I especially enjoyed this blog because it made us think about our own car history.  We have had some doozies!

For example, when our kids were in high school, Jim wanted to make sure they had a big, safe car to drive in, so when he had a chance to buy an old 80’s Dodge police cruiser, he jumped at it.  This car also had holes where the cage had been drilled into the side posts.  The kids were appalled when they learned what the holes were from, but later loved to tell their friends that their car was an old cop car and nicknamed it ‘The Dragnet.’

After a while, the Dragnet’s heater started giving us trouble and would short out.  Jim showed Sara how to connect two wires together for the fan to work.  One day she was driving with some of her friends and one of them—Tony—asked her to turn on the heat.  She told him to connect the wires and it sparked.  Tony really screamed — his laugh was just like Cameron, the funny guy from Modern Family.  We still laugh about it!

We kept that car throughout our daughter’s high school years and when it finally needed a large repair job, Jim drove it over to his favorite auto repair shop, who Jim affectionately called ‘Five Dollar Bob’s’ and told Bob, ‘If you can fix it, you can keep it.’

We also had a 1985 Celebrity that we bought for our son David to drive. The main starting tool after the key was a hammer, so we had to carry one with us at all times.  Turns out, the starter had developed a dead spot and when it ended up on the “dead spot” it would not start.  All you had to do was hit the starter on the side with the hammer and it would start—although sometimes it would take two or three tries.

David’s next car was a Cutlass which came with a newly rebuilt engine.  On his way home from buying the car via Murdock Street, he stepped on the gas and the accelerator stuck.  In sheer panic, he threw it in neutral, causing the engine to slip a rod.  This was just the first of many major repairs on this used vehicle he had just bought!

I remember coming home from work one day and there were car parts all over the driveway and front yard and green liquid trickling down the driveway. That damn Cutlass. David drove it quite a while longer and was making his senior movie at UW Oshkosh, and he needed the money, so he sold the car to a seemingly nice young man. This guy wrecked the car with a stolen license plate on it, never registered it, and still owed David $1500. We learned this after we got a call from the body shop who said, “We’ve got your car here.  What do you want us to do with it?” It probably comes as no surprise that the seemingly nice young man we sold it to currently resides in a state facility for other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Thanks Vickie (and Jim) for sharing your memories!

Do you have your own used car tales to share? Tell me about it by submitting your comments here, or via Facebook. You can also email me directly if you have my address, or post a comment on either my Thinner Skin or Unmatched page!


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