My favorite television program, my can’t miss, never get sick of it show is “Top Gear.” I never miss it, discovered courtesy BBC America a few years ago and have been hooked ever since. The next season of new episodes returns on February 7th and to celebrate that and my birthday on the 8th (although I suspect more likely the former), the producers put out a call for first car stories on the Top Gear website. http://bbcamerica.com/shows/topgear/myfirstcarcontest.jsp to tell your tale of automotive woe.
Gruesome, isn’t it. That isn’t the exact car. Mine was black and and the black paint job couldn’t cover up for what a bad idea this was. When I picked up the car, the radio was the easiest thing to fix. When I got rid of the car 16 months later, it was the best part of the car. In the intervening months, I believe it was trying to kill me.
Ford had a good thing going with the mustang, but the 70s were not the best of times for that brand. With an alarmingly regularity, various parts of the car daisy-changed their ineffectiveness to rob me of sanity and spare change. While both my judgement and Mustangs in general have righted themselves, I think it took experience for both of us. The car had a thing. It didn’t like Maple Road to get me to my bookstore job, always hitting the red light by UB, all the better for the 4 cylinders of the engine to scream in pain and torture as the car made it up the hill. The patch of ice that sent me for a 100 foot or so skid on Sheridan Drive. The seat that lost its latch while I was driving, while my Mom was in the car. Yes, kids, the days before Carfax were not pretty ones. In between those incidents was a steady display of mechanical revolt, a impressive daisy chain of automotive uprising. I was almost a believer that FORD did at one time stand for FOUND ON ROAD DEAD. At the time, it was a 50/50 split on whether that would be the car or me. Since those days, we’ve both smartened up. The mustang still intrigues me. It looks more like it should, back closer to Carroll Shelby instead of Carroll O’Connor.
In the meantime, my current GM product is sailing along just fine, finally got it some dry pavement to go on here on the ice planet Hoth, and it went like a puppy on a romp in the park. But I think about that car periodically, a bad idea wrapped in a decent paint job. When a vehicle’s main attribute is looking cool in the windows of Casey’s Nickelodeon, that should be a problem. Lord knows the Mustang thought so,