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||Cars I've Known
I've always loved cars.
Join me for my stories of cars I've owned, loved, been acquainted with, and/or coveted throughout my life.
In chronological order... [more will be linked to stories in the future...]
- 1954 Chevrolet Bel-Air: [drove] 4-door, "Solid Horizon Blue," Straight-6 "Blue Flame 120," PowerGlide 2-speed automatic. Learned to drive in this car, sitting on my dad's lap.
- 1963 Chevrolet Impala: [drove] 4-door, "Ermine White," red interior, V-8, 283 cu.in., 180 hp, PowerGlide 2-speed automatic. Got my license in this car. Could back it into our garage. Dad never could.
- 1952 Ford: [rode in and repaired] flat-head V-8, automatic... Roy's Dad's car, then Roy's. Taught ourselves how to replace a blown head gasket ourselves. [I figured out we could actually do it, and we did!]
- 1959 Volkswagen: [rode in] flat-4, air-cooled, gray, Roy's Dad's, then Roy's. Lots of things wore out on it, but it almost always got us where we wanted to go, and got about 35 mpg, too.
- 1963 Volkswagen Bug: [rode in and drove] flat-4, air-cooled... The Wagner's car, Burkhardt and Wilfreid's. Three guys and a camping trip into Canada.
- 1963 Chevrolet Impala Super-Sport Convertible 2-door: [coveted, drooled on] 327 cu.in., white, red interior, 4-speed manual. On a used-car lot in Troy, NY.
- 1947 Plymouth: [rode in, drove a little] gray, 4-door, 3-speed on the column. fraternity car. a.k.a., the Shit-Box. It was. Could see the road through the floorboards. NOT a chick-magnet.
- 1952 Buick: Alex Teslik's car; 4-door, straight-8, automatic. [rode in]. Built like a battleship. He was once involved in a minor fender-bender on an icy road in Troy, NY. Least damaged of three cars.
- Back to the 1963 Chevy Impala at college... [drove for a year or two]
- 1969 Chevrolet Corvette: [first car owned] 2-door coupe, blue/blue, 427 cu.in., 390 hp, [10.25:1 compression, 3.08: rear axle,] 4-speed. 42,000 miles on original clutch and brake pads. Really! 12 mpg when premium could be had [for a while] at 29.9 cents per gallon [Getty Gas]. 20 gallon tank... $6 from empty to full! Those were the days!
- 1967 Pontiac LeMans: [rode in, drove, owned] 2-door, dark green/black, Overhead Cam 250 cid Straight-Six [wife's car... many stories... ]
- 1963 BMW Bavaria: [owned] 4-door, Burgundy/brown leather, 6-cyl, "stealth car." The faster it went, the smoother it drove. But expensive to keep!
- 1969 Fiat Spyder: [owned] 2-door convertible, 4-cyl, twin-Overhead cam. Piece of Crap. Large Mistake, but a fun drive for a few months.
- 1973 Mazda RX/2: [owned] 2-door?, two-rotor Wankel engine, 90hp at about 7,000 rpm. 15 mpg bat-out-of-hell car, just before the 1973 gas crunch. Oops...
- 1977 Pontiac Ventura: [rode in, co-owned] 2-door car for wife. GM "uneven-fire V6 piece-of-crap engine. Optional handling package provided really fast steering and really flat cornering.
- 1982 Isuzu I-Mark: [owned] 4-door, 1.8 liter Diesel. 60hp at 6,000 rpm. 33 mpg in rush-hour commute traffic. Hauled tons of camping gear on roof rack. 72,000 on original clutch.
- 1969 Chevrolet Corvette: [owned] 2-door hardtop, "arrest-me orange," black interior. Mid-Life/Post-Divorce car... 350 cid engine, 350 hp, close-ratio 4-speed, [11:1 compression, 3.70 rear axle], rubber in four gears with power-shifting. Rock solid. Production Prototype engine [discovered by the guy I sold it to...] extremely powerful and bullet-proof engine. Sold at 72,000 miles or so in late 2003.
[See also:] "Dan started looking for a nice original chrome-bumper C3 to use as a driver. He found an ultra-clean low-miles '69 350/350hp coupe in Monaco Orange over black vinyl." (That was my car!)
- 1977 Pontiac Taurus: [owned] 4-door sedan, 3.0 liter engine, automatic!, full power. First commute car I ever had with a/c and power windows. Sold at 33,000 miles in late 2003.
- 1978 Toyota Camry: [ride in, drive rarely] for new wife. 4-door, V-6, full leather and power everything. Super smooth and quiet, but geared to accelerate like all get-out. Taurus got slightly better highway mileage at the cost of lower acceleration [it had a longer final gear ratio.]
- 2004 Toyota Prius: [own] 4-door hybrid drive. 4-cylinder engine plus two motor/generators and a big battery. 42-44 mpg around town. Towed a small trailer across the US five time at about 33-35 mpg!
- 2012 Toyota Prius V: [joint ownership and driving] 4-door hybrid drive. A bigger 4-cylinder engine plus two motor/generators and a bigger battery. 40 mpg around town. But can it tow a trailer???
- Who knows what's next... plug-in hybrid? Jet-ski? Watch this space.
First rev. 08.31.2008