any memories (good/bad) associated with it.
1973 ford Pinto wagon: A hand-me-down from my parents. Yup, these were the ones that could blow up if you were hit from behind. Luckily that never happened to me. The stereo at the time
, was pretty trick. I had home speakers in the back. I made special speaker stands that made them lean back, otherwise they'd tip over at every stop sign. I also had a lot of fun in the back of that car.
1975 Pontiac Catalina. My younger brother and I bought this car together.
We nicknamed this car 'the boat' because that's how it handled. The suspension was so soft you'd slide across the seat around every corner. But it was a lot of fun.
1977 Buick Century. This was another hand-me-down from my parents.
The car had very little power, but for whatever reason, it was really good in the snow. I put snow tires on the back in the winter and I could get through a a whole hell of a lot of the white stuff. Possibly because it had so little power, it could barely spin the wheels
1984 Mercury Cougar. At this point this was the closest I'd ever come to buying a new car. I think I bought it in 1986, so it was only two years old. As good as my 77 Buick Century was in the snow, this cougar was absolutely worthless. You could literally get stuck on flat ground.
My cougar was an LS. While looking through an auto shopper, I saw an 84 cougar ER-7. The XR-7 had special rims that year. From the moment I laid eyes on them, I knew I HAD to have them.
I went to every bookstore in the area, looking for newspapers for special auto-parts. I finally found a set of four rims for sale in a junkyard in Chicago. I live in Minnesota by the way. I think I paid $400 for the set. I remember the friend I lived with said there's no way they're worth that much, it's stupid to buy them. But the day I got them put on, I met him at a bar downtown and parked it under the streetlights. When he walked out and saw it, his jaw dropped, and he said "wow those are awesome"
I sold the cougar sometime in the late 80s, and bought a 1987 Buick Century.
This Buick was a lot smaller than the older one I owned, and had front-wheel-drive. It was really good in the snow & was a very reliable car for me.
1992 Nissan Maxima SE. Early 1993. This was the first, and possibly the last thing I really splurged on in my life. I don't know if it's because the yen was strong and the dollar week, or vice versa. But the car was Godawful expensive. I paid more for this car, than I did for the SUV shown at the end of this post.
It only had 9000 miles. The color was called super white, and it had every available option at the time. Leather seats, power mirrors, AM/FM CD radio, power sunroof, rear spoiler, etc.
The car was fast, looked great, and everyone loved it. About a year and a half later,(1995) the timing chain and tensioners went out. Luckily, it was still under warranty and I didn't have to pay for it. It would've costed about $1600. Here's how it would sound when they went bad.
While having it repaired, I spoke to the head mechanic at the dealership. I wanted to know if this was going to be an ongoing thing. Was it a design flaw. Or just a fluke ? He assured me it would not happen again. It wasn't an ongoing thing.
Two years later, in 1997, the same thing happened again. I was more than a little upset.
I had bought my first PC in January of that year.
I did some research online. Sure enough, I found several forums devoted to the 1992 Nissan Maxima. And yes, it was an ongoing thing. A design flaw.
This time I had to pay, $2200.
I did some more research, and if memory serves ,the gist of it was this. Nissan was not doing well at the time. They knew about the problem, but because of financial issues, refused to issue a recall.
I talked to the manager of the dealership the next day. I told him that I didn't like the fact that his lead mechanic didn't disclose to me the fact that this was an ongoing problem. Had he told me this, I would've sold the car after the first time. This way I wouldn't have had to pay for it the second time it went out. I also told him that as long as I lived in this area, anytime his dealership was mentioned, I would tell anyone willing to listen what I thought to be the truth. That they're a bunch of liars, and I would not recommend you buy anything from them. He offered no response. I was thinking maybe he'd offer to pay, at least partially, the bill for the timing chain but he offered nothing.
It also soured me on japanese vehicles. As good as they may be, I'll never buy another one as long as I live.
In early 2000, the valve timing mechanism went out again. I was so pissed, I didn't even have it fixed. I just kept driving the POS.
In early 2003, I noticed a 2002 Oldsmobile intrigue for sale at the dealership across the street from the other dealership.
It was silver and had 27,000 miles. I took it for a test drive and bought it the same day.
** I sold the maxima to a mechanic in the area**
The Intrigue has been very good to me. It did/does have a few nagging little problems. The signal light and brake bulbs, seem to go out more than they should. But that's a very easy and cheap fix. Something I can do myself.
I did have to have some work done on the blower motor two winters ago. It cost me a couple hundred bucks. But you absolutely have to have a blower motor working for Minnesota winters.
I'll also admit, that it does use about a 1/3 of a quart of oil in between oil changes.
This brings us to present time. The Intrigue has 127,000 miles on it. Rust is forming in front of the back tires. But other than that the vehicle still runs great.
Earlier this year, I decided I wanted a four-wheel-drive for the coming winter. I didn't want a truck. So I knew it would be an SUV or crossover.
I chose a 2012 Ford Escape Limited. Leather seats, power seats, power windows, heated seats, power mirrors, steering wheel phone & radio control, power sunroof, window tinting, antitheft system, V6 with 240 hp. It's one owner, and it only has 20,800 miles.
I bought it last Thursday night. My initial impressions. It's somewhat noisy for Intown stop and go driving. But once you get out on the road and up to speed it's very quiet with decent handling and lots and lots of power.
And the price was right.
Here's some pictures of the actual vehicle.
** I fully expect to hear blowback from Japanese car lovers out there. Say what you will, but you only get one chance to make a first impression with me, & they blew it**