Thursday, February 15, 2007

Car Meme Theeng

Reading Hammer's blog entry about various cars he's owned, the idea of this meme came to mind- name the car (of those you've owned) that you wish you had back, name the one that you wish you never had, and maybe the car that you'd get if money were no object. He's breaking that into seperate write-ups, but I'm a whole lot lazier than he is, plus I'm really hurting still from the fall.

Car I wish I had back. This was a tough one, as I still really love and miss my Vanagon

But that thing has/had the single dumbest engine ever mass produced. It's a "boxer" engine, which isn't in and of itself a problem- that merely means that the pistons travel staight towards one another. Some engines are "V" shaped, but this one was a "T" shape. Big whoop- Subaru makes boxers that are fine. In the case of the Vanagon, this was a Porsche design that was screwed with by monkies. Take a Porsche 6 cylinder boxer, and lop off one third of the engine, so that it's really weak, then build it badly, then stick it in the heaviest vehicle you can find. Brilliant.

At any rate, this requires a special skillset not found many places. We spent $5K on a new engine on this deal and it lasted a little over a year. Suck. I still love the design, but never again will I deal with that. Been thinking about a '70's style bus tho...

No, in the end, I'd want my MG back.

I bought it in '86 and it had 20K miles on it and was in really good shape. I paid $500. It had been sitting in a garage for 10 years and eventually was owned by a chief of police in a neighboring town. He was busted for making book, and the car was auctioned to a classmate of mine, and I bought it from her for what she'd paid. It didn't run much, and having just been properly screwed by a Datsun and a Toyota (apparently, everyone has good luck with Toyota's but me), I was loathe to put any money into the MG. Turns out this was a mistake, as the guy I sold it to reported great success with it- better than any of his other MG's. *sigh*

The car I wished I'd never owned was my first car which I inherited after my grandmother died.

What a gawdawful turd excreted from the empire of the rising sun. The 1973 Datsun model 610 four door in baby blue. Not only was it ugly, smelling of grandmotherly things, noisy and expensive to operate, it had the most psychotic carbuerator ever "thought" up. It fed fuel in horizontally mostly by air draft, which was also intended to oxygenate before falling into the engine. Seriously. Someone must have mentioned "suck" in the design phase and some brain damaged engineer took that as a suggestion for the fuel flow. It was a free car, and I emptied my savings on keeping the damned thing running. That prevented me from buying lots of drugs and alcohol, and didn't help at all in compromising the girlies. It was a failure on all fronts.

Okay, on to dream cars. I'm going to chat and name a list (well hey- money being no object, right?)

#1 Talbot Lago

Just like that- and it looks like Ecure Ecosse blue- my favorite color for European cars. Problem here is that there is a limited and diminishing supply of these.

#2 Duesenberg Speedster

Well, it was that or a Stutz.

#3 Bugatti Veyron

Yeah, I know- pretentious and fashionable, but a W16 engine? I'd have to try that.

#4 TVR Tuscan S

I have a soft spot for British sportscars, what can I say?

#5 Jaguar E-Type

In either British Racing Green, or Ecurie Ecosse blue.

Bonus material-

Cars that I might actually end up getting one day:

#1 Old Volvo P1800

I like a Swedish car with fins- a real anachronism, like me.

#2 1988 Mercedes Benz 560SL (V8)

The SL series like this ran through 1988, and I remember all through high school wanting one of these desperately, and wishing I'd be rich enough to afford one. At the time, this little number would set you back about $45-50K. Now they can be had for $10K-ish. I suspect that this is close to a "bottoming out" price and will climb before long as they are collectable and the supply is fading.

Okay, so I'm not going to tag anyone on this, as I sort of pressed it on Hammer in the first place, but I'd be interested to hear feedback, even if it's only in list format.

11 Comments:

Blogger Hammer said...

The problem with the vanagon was that the engine was converted from air cooled to water cooled, My friend gary had one and burnt up the motor too. Stupid design.

I like british cars too but I lean towards the bentley and Rolls

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1973 Volkswagen Square back, baby blue, 8-track. Not much of a 'babe' magnet in spite of the fact that I had a three piece baby blue suit and platform shoes to match the car. What sucked was that the fuel pump was at the front of the car under the gas tank. As we all know, there is never any water in someone’s gas tank ... BS. Nothing quite like jacking the car up in the garage in the winter to thaw out the fuel pump, only to have the radiant heater melt a hose with the end result in a minor car fire. None the less, having a 'station wagon' type car didn't attract the girls but made it easier for making out with a girl (only happened once, oh joy)

The next improvement, if you call it that, was a 76 Toyota corolla. Not a bad car until you drove it in the rain. Some bone head engineer thought it would be cool to put the spark plugs in the center of the valve cover, hence a little water in the spark plug well would kill the engine.

Between the two cars, being a constant drain of money, I too didn't have much for 'other' things as with Stucco.

C

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noticing a trend of only two seater cars for ya Stucco! Poor A and Z on their own already! :-)

I myself vote for the Bugatti, beautiful!

Miss you guys!
T

12:08 PM  
Blogger Stucco said...

Yeah- I think two seaters are better looking cars. A and Z are entering the age where they are capable of being left alone, so Schmoopie and I could go make out somewhere if we had a two seater. Besides, we have the big truck if we want to take the bambinos to Ikea and buy a buncha crap (for example).

Incidentally, Schmoopie was suprisingly receptive to the Benz...

12:38 PM  
Blogger Schmoopie said...

Looord won'tcha buy me a Mercedes Benz?!

4:01 PM  
Blogger Scott from Oregon said...

Get yourself a mid eighties Chevy Van convert. Some come with waterbeds in the back
Better than a vanagon.

More room for sloshin' too...

8:20 PM  
Blogger Nancy Dancehall said...

I just want my first car back, in perfect condition. A silver, four-door Mercedes, 1974, I believe. Black leather interior, room for the entire guys' track team. Ah, glory days!

11:22 PM  
Blogger General Catz said...

I love that e-type. Lawdy.

i think i'll do this one on my blog. sounds fun. lots of research! i love doing that.

how long did it take you to find all those photos?

9:12 AM  
Blogger Lexcen said...

I have a confession to make, my first two cars, Datsun and Toyota, each lasted ten years, were the dark years of my driving experience. What can I say? They were awful cars, the Datsun with it's spastic carburettor and the Toyota with it's asthmatic engine. We should all drive a dream car before we die, we owe it to ourselves.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Stucco said...

Scott- the Chevy BETTER than the Vanagon? Color me a skeptic.

Pants-what the hell happened to it? Some of those with the 5.6 engine were amazing cars.

Catzy- I spent less than 30 minutes on that post- like I said, I'm lazy.

Lex- I'm with you- the Japanese cars may be fine for everyone else, but I've has much better luck with our Korean Hyundai than any of the Toyota's or Datsun's we ever had. I still prefer the German and British stuff tho...

5:51 PM  
Blogger Scott from Oregon said...

You can haul a thousand pounds AND still get a speeding ticket in a Chevy van.

As long as it isn't your primary going down to get milk vehicle...

10:15 PM  

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