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Nova with a 'torque drive'
Old 01-28-2009, 06:06 PM   #21
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Nova with a 'torque drive'

Back in the early 70's I had a Chevy Nova, fitted with a manual-automatic 2-speed transmission, called a 'torque drive.' Accelerated to about 30-35 mph, then shifted (no clutch) to 2nd, which was normal drive. Not sure now why I/we chose that option, since almost no one else did. Maybe the lure of a bit better gas mileage, which was a mirage.

I also had a standard VW Beetle, in the early 60's to which I managed to get the driver's seat pushed all the way back to the rear seat. This was necessary, because I am 6' 8". I remember that I herded horses in Colorado one summer in thas unbreakable beast (I may have 'bent' the crankshaft a little doing said herding, however).

My first car--bought off my Dad in the late 50's--was a 4-cylinder American Motors Nash Rambler. These were famous for their front bench seats that went down flat, which was supposed to facilitate after-date s*x. My car was not so equipped, and so my dates were chaste ... d**n it!

Currently we drive a Ford Focus Wagon, and I ride a Suzuki Burgman 650 motorbike (at least, I will, again, when it warms up some).
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:11 PM   #22
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1987 Yugo.

I drove it for six months in 1989. Bought it for $995, replaced the muffler, sold it for $995.

When the clutch wouldn't go all the way in I was able to adjust it with a pair of pliers, just while standing over the engine and leaning in. Easiest car maintenance ever, but in retrospect I'm glad I only tempted fate for six months...
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:13 PM   #23
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The car that I owned that was the weirdest but the most fun was my Karmen Ghia .
I had a Ghia convertible. I loved its personality, but you could hear it rust when it was parked in the garage. I bondo'd the headlights back in every couple of years. Like all VWs of the era, the heater only worked on the rear passenger's ankles. Defrosting was achieved by the driver scraping the INSIDE of the windshield as he drove. A German Italian marriage that was never meant to be.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:24 PM   #24
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'64 Jaguar E-Type. Very solid engine and transmission, but everything else (esp the electrical system and hydraulics) was iffy. The quirkiest thing about the car were the rear disc brakes--they are located inboard, right next to the differential. It does reduce the effective unsprung weight of the car (by getting those heavy brake parts close to the "hinge points" rather than out at the end of the half-shaft), but droppng the rear end just t do a brake job is a PITA.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:25 PM   #25
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I had a Ghia convertible. I loved its personality, but you could hear it rust when it was parked in the garage. I bondo'd the headlights back in every couple of years. Like all VWs of the era, the heater only worked on the rear passenger's ankles. Defrosting was achieved by the driver scraping the INSIDE of the windshield as he drove. A German Italian marriage that was never meant to be.
Your VW had a heater?
('68 Bug)

I also recall scraping the inside of the windshield. Recall driving with passenger scraping/wiping outside of windshield while I scraped inside.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:45 PM   #26
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1961 Nash Metropolitan
DW's and my dream car!
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:50 PM   #27
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Your VW had a heater?
('68 Bug)

I also recall scraping the inside of the windshield. Recall driving with passenger scraping/wiping outside of windshield while I scraped inside.
I actually installed a blower motor from an old American car in the back seat and pulled heat from the ankle burner rear outlets. The outlet was a long piece of 4" plastic dryer ducting that I could move around to defrost the window or heat the floor. It made driving a 3 handed job.

I later installed a gas fired heater in the front, next to the fuel tank. I rarely had the guts to use it as it often would not ignite right away, then would do a small jet engine impersonation as the excess fuel was consumed in the combustion chamber.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:53 PM   #28
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I actually installed a blower motor from an old American car in the back seat and pulled heat from the ankle burner rear outlets. The outlet was a long piece of 4" plastic dryer ducting that I could move around to defrost the window or heat the floor. It made driving a 3 handed job.

I later installed a gas fired heater in the front, next to the fuel tank. I rarely had the guts to use it as it often would not ignite right away, then would do a small jet engine impersonation as the excess fuel was consumed in the combustion chamber.
I heard those had a tendency to catch on fire.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:58 PM   #29
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1987 Yugo.

I drove it for six months in 1989. Bought it for $995, replaced the muffler, sold it for $995.

When the clutch wouldn't go all the way in I was able to adjust it with a pair of pliers, just while standing over the engine and leaning in. Easiest car maintenance ever, but in retrospect I'm glad I only tempted fate for six months...
In Michigan the Yugo is best know for this unfortunate incident:

In 1989, 31-year-old Leslie Ann Pluhar,[9] driving a 1987 Yugo over the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan, was literally blown off over the bridge's 36-inch railing by 50 MPH gales.[10] This event was widely publicized at the time and is still referred to today in terms of the car. In fact, however, every driver that day had been warned against crossing the bridge. Pluhar had insisted on making the crossing, and officials said later that excess speed was a factor in her death. It should be noted, however, that "excess speed"/speeding is often used as a scapegoat for road accidents.

Zastava Koral - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:20 PM   #30
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Defrosting was achieved by the driver scraping the INSIDE of the windshield as he drove. A German Italian marriage that was never meant to be.
I remember scraping as I was driving and wearing a long quilted coat so I would not freeze but I still loved that car . Recently there was a red one for sale in my neighborhood and I had to restrain myself from buying it .
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:32 PM   #31
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I remember scraping as I was driving and wearing a long quilted coat so I would not freeze but I still loved that car . Recently there was a red one for sale in my neighborhood and I had to restrain myself from buying it .
I had several bugs in addition to that Ghia over my youth. I had an opportunity to drive an old bug not too long ago and quickly realized that I had romanticized the experience over the years. Compared to a modern car, it was like driving a model T.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:33 PM   #32
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Not a weird model, but definitely a weird car.

In Sept 1970 (when I was 15 3/4) I bought a 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang with 150K miles on it, $400. 170 cu in. engine, 3 on the floor. I got taken big time, although I loved the car. Had to teach myself to drive it, since nobody in my family drove a standard. It had 3 (sometimes 4) of the 6 cylinders firing. The first time I changed the air filter I slashed my hand because someone had lost the plate under it and replaced it with a jagged piece of sheet metal cut with snips. It was maroon, and when I started doing body work on it I accidently bought yellow primer, so I was driving a maroon mustang with yellow polka dots. Not too cool for a young dope smoking teenager who liked to mouth off to the cops. They pulled me over at least twice a day for over a year until I could finally afford the $99 Earl Schieb paint job. Ah, the memories!
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:35 PM   #33
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A guy I worked with came to me one morning and asked me for a favor. He drove a Datsun (now Nissan) 240Z as I recall and he had smelled fuel on his way to work and knew that I had a portable gas chromatograph/flame ionization detector in my lab. He figured I could leak test his fuel system. I slung the unit over my shoulder and we headed for the parking lot. After opening the hood, he started the car. I never got a chance to use the instrument because I could see fuel shooting out all over the engine bay (ppm detection seemed a little "underkill" in this case.) Why the car didn't erupt in flames, I'll never know.
I had a 75 280Z. That is the first year of the 2.8L engine, with the fuel injection system built by Bosch. The earlier 240Z and 260Z had carburetors.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:50 PM   #34
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Not a weird model, but definitely a weird car.

In Sept 1970 (when I was 15 3/4) I bought a 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang with 150K miles on it, $400. 170 cu in. engine, 3 on the floor. I got taken big time, although I loved the car. Had to teach myself to drive it, since nobody in my family drove a standard. It had 3 (sometimes 4) of the 6 cylinders firing. The first time I changed the air filter I slashed my hand because someone had lost the plate under it and replaced it with a jagged piece of sheet metal cut with snips. It was maroon, and when I started doing body work on it I accidently bought yellow primer, so I was driving a maroon mustang with yellow polka dots. Not too cool for a young dope smoking teenager who liked to mouth off to the cops. They pulled me over at least twice a day for over a year until I could finally afford the $99 Earl Schieb paint job. Ah, the memories!
I recall Earl Schieb from living in Detroit.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:06 PM   #35
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I love all the Karmen Ghia stories! I lucked out, one of my friends in High School had one, so we'd go for rides in *nice* weather!

That car sure seems to stir memories though.

-ERD50
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:12 PM   #36
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I love all the Karmen Ghia stories! I lucked out, one of my friends in High School had one, so we'd go for rides in *nice* weather!

That car sure seems to stir memories though.

-ERD50
It had a beautiful convertible top. Insulated with a separate headliner and a glass rear window. I just remembered that as it aged (and rusted), the doors would hang up when I put the top down.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:43 PM   #37
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In Michigan the Yugo is best know for this unfortunate incident:
I'm glad I never knew that! It hydroplaned like a dream on New London's slushy/icy roads...
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:01 PM   #38
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Envious of the odd rides you all had - best i can do is a 69 wildcat convertible, in NYC as a teenager.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:07 PM   #39
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Dad believed a boy learning to drive in the big city should drive an indestructible car. So I drove a well-used 1968 Checker Marathon in high school.

License plate "NO CAB". The car made it through three brothers.

In college, I drove a '77 Checker for a couple of years. Lots of fond memories of a cross-country road trip with my buddies, to drop them off in their hometowns after school let out for the summer.

It was way more comfortable than a Nash - I remember plenty of room available in the back seat even with a cooler full of refreshments sitting on the floorboard.

Body parts we couldn't find at the junk yard had to be shipped from the nearest dealer in Fort Worth, but every part in the chassis and drive train had a cheap off-the-shelf replacement available at the NAPA store.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:58 PM   #40
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I used to have 2 of the typical 'East' German cars - a Wartburg and a Trabant. Both were equipped with 2 cycle engines. The Trabant has had an engine with incredible 23 hp.

These are not actual pictures of my cars but pretty close.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg Trabant 600.jpg (45.9 KB, 0 views)
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