Friday, September 20

Cars Hate Me

The feeling is mutual.  My first car was a 1980 Ford Mustang hatchback (1990).  It came to me with a blown engine.  My great uncle Garth rebuilt the motor and transmission, and dad and I put them in the car and got it running.  A month after I started driving it I went off the road, dropped into a creek and totaled the car. 

Amphibious assault

I also owned an MG Midget for a short time after that.  Our mechanic (had him on speed dial) told me that unless I wanted to tinker a lot the Midget was a bad idea.  He was right.  It was so unreliable I finally just parked it.

Powell Co Parade circa 1991

I didn't really have my own car again until I turned 18.  It was another Mustang, an '85 fastback. (1992).  There was nothing fast about it.  Both of my Mustangs had four cylinder engines.

When I went away to college I couldn't take it with me.  The motor was shot.  Over Christmas break dad and I put a new motor in it.  I drove it for a few years through a couple of wrecks and a lot of repairs.  I ended up putting more into it each month in repairs than I'd have made on a modest car payment.

My next car I inherited from my dad.  It was an '89 Chevy Celebrity (1996).  The transmission was shot in it.  I got a cheap transmission from a junkyard and had someone put it in.  It went out and I had to get another transmission.  The car finally just died.

My next car was an '85 Honda Accord (2000).  The clutch was slipping when I bought it so Mandy's step-great uncle put a new one in which promptly went out again.  I hit a deer with that car.  Finally a host of maladies crippled it beyond repair.

I bought a 1992 Subaru Outback to replace it (2003 or so).  It had been wrecked but ran well.  Until the rear end started going out. I hit a coyote with that car.  

Road trip to the Gulf of Mexico (pre BP oil spill)


Then I bought an '80-something Chevy S-10  pickup to replace it (2005?).  It might have been the worst car I ever owned. It drove and rode bad, and it blew up early one morning when I was on my way to work.  I'd just checked the oil and it was full.  Boom!

We then got Forester Gump and I inherited Mandy's '93 Legacy (2007).  Last I heard it was still running, but it was the car that wouldn't pass emissions when we moved to Colorado.

Gump at Berthoud Pass
Boone loved this car because it was an Autobot

For four years I did not own a car.  Our family relied on Gump.  Gump has been a good car for us.  So I'm not sure what possessed me to neglect Gump to death.  I'm really, really bad about remembering to do things like pay bills, check the mail, or check the oil in my wife's car.


We still have one car that 2001 Camry.  We can't really get by on one car right now.  We've got to figure something out.  We hadn't been planning on replacing Gump soon even though he had 300k+ miles on him.  Now is not a good time for this.

Gump never went 180 km/h

I've never intentionally tried to make enemies out of my cars, but they've betrayed me time and time again.  I can't say that about Gump.  Gump has been faithful.  But then...Gump wasn't my car.  Maybe that's the difference.

I have much better success/luck with bikes.  Bikes are simpler and easy to tinker with.  I can see and hear all their working parts and can feel every out-of-sync modulation or vibration in them as I ride.  I can then stop, make and adjustment, and go on riding in the space of a few minutes.  I'm not able to do that with cars.  I hate cars.  I think the feeling is mutual.


  1. Cars can be such a source of frustration, and it sounds as though you've had more than your fair share. I will agree that bicycles seem so much more simple by comparison, and it is a lot easier to deal with when you can see nearly everything (so you know what the problem is, even if I can't fix it).

    Sorry to hear that this is all bad timing... but, I suppose it's never good timing when we know that extra money is going to be spent. Hang in there. Hopefully, getting to write it out was a little bit of therapy, even if it doesn't solve the problem.

  2. I just reading along when, Bang! Gump at Berthoud! I live in the Ozarks, but we were at Berthoud last October. Beautiful. Thanks for the pic, it brought back good memories.