These are my random musings. Hopefully they will be witty, insightful, and frequently updated.
The worst money pit I ever had the misfortune to drive
Published on November 27, 2005 By singrdave In Automotive

As many here on JU will attest, I owned the ugliest, worst car ever. Nice car when it was made, but time and neglect wore it down to the hulking mass of steel and bondo that they saw pull into the parking lot every day.

I drove a '74 Cadillac Coupe De Ville.

Now one would think, "sweet ride" or "how could that car be horrible", but let me attest to you that it was true. We called it the Beast, the Boat, or best yet, the Albatross.

Before I ever got it, it had been given to its previous owners as a wedding present. For free. Then given to me so I could take care of their "baby" for a year while they went to Korea in the Army. My job was to bring it back up to running condition and "sightliness" (as opposed to "unsightliness").

When I got it, the car was a rattle trap. There was no part on the car that didn't need replacing, even the parts that were already replaced. I think I had to change out hoses twice in the year I owned it. The radiator was so full of stop-leak that flushing was necessary. The air filter cover was held on by a bent coat hanger. Oh yeah, that was a sound driving machine.

Day to day, the car was a menace. The brakes were softer than a pillow. I basically had to step on the pedal with both feet to get the car to stop. Imagine the car from "Fletch Lives", just green. There was a lot of play in the steering wheel, too, in that if my hands were tilting the wheel back and forth, the car could still stay in a straight line. Oh yeah, that's safe.

The kicker: it required 92 octane fuel. With a 35-gallon tank. I knew $50 tanks of gas even before the recent gas price spike.

Of the $2000 or so that my friends gave me to sink into restoring that beast, it was all gone just getting that car to pass the incredibly lax inspection standards for the state of Texas. After the money ran dry, I still felt bad about it and tried to do most of the work between me and a friend of mine. Bad idea. That car was unrepairable, inside and out.

When my friends got back from Korea, they were sent to Maryland with the Army. So they picked up their baby and drove away with it. It got as far as West Plains, Missouri, before something else broke down. Something new, something that miraculously I hadn't needed to replace. And there it sits, at their friend's house, until they can get the $$$ to try again. They are just bound and determined to get that car running.

Last I heard, they had gotten the cash and were sending it to their friend in Missouri so she could get the car going again. Sound familiar? Somebody else is getting the Albatross.

on Nov 27, 2005
, now THAT'S a good story!

whatta car....and the couple! oh my....
on Nov 27, 2005
Good lord, they're going to try to get it to pass Maryland standards?!?
on Nov 27, 2005

Good lord, they're going to try to get it to pass Maryland standards?!?

Yeah, I guess that would be just crazy.

See following article as to the impossible MD standards: Get In Line!
on Nov 27, 2005
No chance without spending 5 times the value of the car. Indeed it was a beast.
on Nov 30, 2005
Sweet, now I know who you are!

How are you doing buddy?
on Dec 02, 2005
Sweet, now I know who you are!

How are you doing buddy?

I am excellent. Good to hear from you. Life at Fort Meade is good. Civilian life is good, too. Drop me a line:
on Jan 03, 2006
Ahh...The Boat.

I have a 85 Crown Vic. Not at as big as that car...but it is big in its own right.

When I bought it, it was already running, but the speedo was broken, so we reinstalled one of those. Then we pretty much over time, rebuilt the tranny, installed new brake system, ignition coil and module; put a new fender, bumper and header on there as I ran it into a brick wall (but backed up and drove off, no problem!). New gas tank, new exhaust (to make it a dually...that lasted a grand total of 24 hours), new radiator, u-joints....etc.

unfortunately, the car is sitting along side my moms house in northern MN rusting at the moment. Id like it to be a backup or second car for me, but Im not that mechanically inclined. Well, I am...but not enough to possibly figure out what something wrong would be if the car happened to break down.