SGraverobber just keeps writing his amazing Project Car Hell Tirades™ for us, so we're going to keep putting together these compilations for those of you too damn lazy busy to look for them in the original PCH posts.
Wait a minute, there's something wrong here, both of these cars appear to be running! Where's the project? Where's the Hell?! This is more COOCH- Crappy Overpriced Old Car Hell. Okay, I'm good with that. Welcome to COOCH. Now, you can get your COOCH fix pretty much every day, only Murilee usually lets the COOCH rest on weekends, which is too bad because that's when most of us get all liquored up and really get a hankering for some nice COOCH action. You'll notice that the COOCH typically is hot for action in the afternoon, but sometimes the COOCH is ready at lunchtime, that's when we get a nooner with the COOCH. Sometimes the COOCH is old and worn out, and sometimes the COOCH is young and supple, but has something wrong with it that makes you think twice before diving into the COOCH. Murilee is a COOCH-master, having spent many a day on a COOCH-hunt. He knows a good COOCH from a bad COOCH, and has on occasion even considered getting some of that COOCH for himself. It's always a good idea, before deciding on which COOCH to choose, to make sure you have protection. You never know where that COOCH has been, or who has been in that COOCH before you, doing who knows what to that COOCH. One of the main reasons I come to Jalopnik is for the COOCH. I can't think of another blog that has such good COOCH, and I don't mind telling you, I get excited just thinking about the daily COOCH, And I get all nervous that I might not be able satisfy the needs of the COOCH. I mean, there's so much that's unknown about these COOCHES, and so much to learn, but I know, when I'm done with a COOCH, and that COOCH is left lying there in the driveway, its lube leaking slowly from its underside, that I've truly become a Zen COOCH master, and Murilee will be so proud. Now, go out there and get yourselves some of that COOCH! S
Okay, the Citroens trump the Eye-talians for hellishness, but I take issue with the Masshole and his wait-and-bitch price scam for the Alfas. You know the Duetto is the only one you really want, I mean a Milano? Sure it's good for 24HoLMS and taking a dump in, but what else? And an Alfetta? I hated him on The Little Rascals so eff that. But the little ragtop is desirable, so of course it's the most expensive one of the bunch- $7450! So what to do, what to do? Well, I'd steal it from him. I mean, come on "Alfa Romeos for sale - $750." Alfa Romeo(s), Plural, $750. What a douche. So first thing, stake out the property, it's in Millbury MA, a bucolic little town straight out of a picture postcard, so you know that the law enforcement there will make Barney Fife look like David Caruso on CSI Miami, so you won't have to worry about John Law cutting your plans short. Find out what this guy does for a living, when he goes to work, when he comes home, what papers he likes to read, maybe talk to his doctor and see if there's any likelihood he's going to kick off soon. You'll also need to plan how to get the car out of there. I'd recommend a flat bed, as it is an Alfa and you'll need to get more than 20 feet down the driveway. You steal the flatbed in neighboring Vermont, where some hippie hydroponic organic maple syrup farmer has left it idling while taking a leak against one of his trees to "increase the nitrogen in the soil." Once this clown's schedule has become your own, so much so that your heart beats are almost synchronized, and you have established a plan of escape you can make your move, I'd try the old burning bag of poo on the front stoop as a diversion. Then while he's furiously stamping out the flaming turd-o-gram, you sneak around to the garage and snap the padlock with a pair of bolt cutters. The Duetto will likely be at the rear of the garage, protected by the lesser Alffeta and Milano, The bolt cutters to the brake cable, and a quick slap to knock the gearshift into neutral will set them rolling down the hill and into the predicable pond, scattering baby ducks and causing a small wave of olio. Your prize now within grasp, you push it down the drive and onto the ramp of the waiting flatbed, which you have hidden by the side of the drive, and hidden behind a large pile of colorful fall leaves. Quickly securing the winch cable to the bumper of the car you pull it onto the bed, while simultaneously throwing the truck in gear and gunning it, scattering both leaves and colonial re-creationists. Massachusetts being such a small state, you are quickly over the border before your victim has a chance to get all of the dog crap scrapped out of the tread on his Mephisto slippers. Not only have you picked yourself up one sweet little Alfa, but you've also beat out a Craigslist pricing scammer, and you got a guy to step in dog doo, so your day is pretty much complete. When you get home, go ahead and crack open a cold one tonight, you've earned it. S
It's the Beemer. Why you might ask? Well, Jaguar has a well-founded reputation for building cars of questionable reliability and poor durability. Should you buy the Jag you will assuredly break down by the side of the road. Due to the reputation of the Jag brand, good samaritans seeing you would have no compunction in pulling over to assist. They would see the XJ and immediately think that could be me there. I recognize that the car is legendarily cursed with mechanical foibles, but shoot, all that wood and leather is just so worth it. so you'd always have a hand getting to a service station, or in calling a wrecker to take you to safety. BMW on the other hand has a long standing reputation for Teutonic efficiency and Rolex-like reliability. Despite the fact that this car is a total turd-bucket, and has more issues than National Geographic magazine, should you find yourself (and you will) stuck on the side of a lonely country road, no one will stop to help. Because everyone expects a BMW not to break down, they'll see you and think you're some kind of freak, ready to spring a trap, grabbing them from behind as they peer into the complexities of the aluminum 12, under the massive raised hood. You'd hold an ether-soaked rag over their mouth and nose until they stopped struggling and passed out. You'd then drag them around back, wrapping their hands and feet with duct tape and sealing their mouth to prevent untoward screams, you'd toss them into the roomy trunk, along with your other victims. Later, closing the hood, and replacing the rag, ether and tape in the glove box, you'd drive them back to your remote lair with plans of debauchery, torture and murder in your mind, while trying to quell those voices that keep telling you to kill, eat at Boston Market, and lust after Simon Cowell. So nobody's going to be crazy enough to stop and help you, because you are likely insane and they don't want to end up on your menu with some fava beans and a nice chianti. You'll sit there, checking again and again for bars on your cell phone. You'll walk a mile in each direction, looking for a call box and trying to flag down the occasional passing semi or car. Soon it will get dark, and the battery in the BMW will no longer have enough juice to keep the seat heater alive, and it'll get cold. You'll pull your arms inside your tee-shirt and wish you had worn socks, but eventually you'll grow too tired despite the cold and will start to nod off to sleep. In your dream you're standing on the console of the beemer, with your head out the open sunroof, shirtless and bracing in the breeze. You can't tell if your driving or someone else is, but you're moving at a pretty good clip and your nipples could cut glass. From off in the distance there's a loud report, and then another and another. It's like gunshots or backfires, you can't tell which, but it jars you out of your sleep. You hear it again, but this time you're sure you're not dreaming. It's a rapping on glass, and it's right next to you. Blinking and shifting in your seat, you look at the window. There's a hand there, a hand in a glove knocking on the glass with its knuckle. In the side-view mirror you can see the headlights of a car pulled in behind you. No lights on the top, it's not a cop, but still, help at last. A flashlight shines in through the window, and you're momentarily dazed by the brightness. Stumbling for the window switch you are confused when it won't make the glass go down, then remember the dead battery. Instead, you open the door and step out into the night. Despite the cold, you slip your arms back through your sleeves and tell the stranger that you "sure are glad to see him." He speaks in a low monotone and asks how long you have been out here. "Most of the day, and thought I'd have to hoof it back to town tomorrow when it was light and got warm again." He nods and drops the light slightly so it's not in your eyes. Despite this, you still can't see his face under the brim of his flap-eared hat. "What seems to be the problem?" he asks. You tell him that it just conked out, and that you think it might be the fuel line, but need someone to crank it so you could check and see if you're getting pressure, plus now the battery's dead "Go ahead and look under the hood, I've got a booster box in my car, we'll see what we can do." and he turns to start back to his car. You pull your torch out of your pocket and lean over the fender, looking for that fuel line pressure gauge you installed earlier when a noise distracts you from right behind. An arm reaches around your chest, and another clamps a strong smelling rag over your mouth and nose. Kicking against the fender of the 7-series, you try and break free from the attacker, but your exertion and panic sends your heart rate skyrocketing and your breathing becomes rapid, filling your lungs with the ether. Soon all sounds are coming from far away, and the last thing you remember hearing is the sharp tearing sound of duct tape being pulled from the roll. When you come to, your knees are bunched up against your chest and your arms are tied behind your back. There is dim light entering sporadically from somewhere, tinged in amber and you realize that you are in the trunk of a car, the light from passing street lamps passing through the taillamp housing. In the light you see that you are not alone. There, next to you, is a guy with a silk shirt and gold chains dangling sideways from his red and bloated neck. His mouth is taped just like yours, over his shirt you see a black jacket with an unmistakable rondel on the pocket. Feeling something pressing against your back, you turn your head and see a woman, she looks older, with big, gaudy rings on her hands, which are also bound behind her. stuck to the tape, next to her hand, is a BMW keyfob. Your horror is now complete, you have learned your captor's secret to securing his victims; he was the only one who would stop, and they would be so grateful, their guard would be down. The only mystery remaining was what his intensions are. Did he want money? White slavery? Would he force them all to vote republican? Then the car slows, the brake lights come on, bathing the trunk in a lurid red glow. Behind the silk shirt guy, you see something that makes your skin crawl; three bags of Kingsford, and a gallon jug of "Stub's Sauce". You knew the economy was bad, and that it was getting tougher and tougher to feed the family, but the bailout must have really sent this guy over the bar. You close your eyes as you feel the car back into a garage, and the engine shudders to a stop. . . Graverobber 7 Series Bonus: A Song for Charles Barrett,Can you see the flames Fernando? I remember long ago another starry night like this In the firelight Fernando You were humming to yourself and softly driving your car I could hear the distant sirens And sounds of car horns were coming from afar They were closer now Fernando Every hour every minute seemed to last eternally I was so afraid Fernando We were young and full of life and none of us prepared to die And I'm not ashamed to say The roar flames from your car almost made me cry There was something in the air that night The stars were bright, Fernando They were shining there for you and me For the 7-series, Fernando Though we never thought that we could lose There's no regret If I had to do the same again I would, my friend, Fernando Now we're old and grey Fernando And since many years you've carried that heavy load Can you see the flames Fernando? Do you still recall the fateful night we crossed Reyes Adobe Road? I can see it in your eyes How sad you were to see your 750iL explode There was something in the air that night The stars were bright, Fernando They were shining there for you and me For the BMW, Fernando Though we never thought that we could lose There's no regret If I had to do the same again I would have given you a fire extinguisher, Fernando Yes, if I had to do again I would, my friend, Fernando... apologies to ABBA S
The Olds blows. First off, try and find a Olds dealer in your town. Can't? Ha! That's because there aren't any of them any more. You think that just because the entire make has been wiped off the face of the earth like the polio virus that a Trofeo will appreciate in value due to rarity? Dream on Cleveland. Look, it's got a front overhang that'd make Pamela Anderson proud. The styling was done at the point in time when even GM realized they were pretty much out of ideas as to how to make a small car look like a big car while still giving the impression of a small car so everybody wouldn't thin it had the lousy gas mileage of a big car. That and the Earl of Scheib paint job, probably with dog paw prints across the trunk lid means this beast is best left to the Sansabelt slacks, white shoes and matching belt crowd. Besides, buying an Olds, any Olds, means you suddenly crave eating dinner at 4:30 in the afternoon. Kids on your lawn make you nervous bladder act up, and John McCain starts making sense to you. The Buick would be all this as well, but at least with the Reatta you'd stand a chance of getting some of that sweet grandma tail. While the Olds is definitely a "widower's" ride, Buicks embody the swinging seniors roll. There's a number of GMILFs out there that wouldn't mind dropping their Depends and taking a ride on the Viagra Stag. Buick says "I'm old, but I'm not dead." Olds says "Why don't you just bury me forchrisakes, but wait until after I finish my Salisbury Steak at the Applebees." Don't be the Olds. S
And so it came that the sad BMW was parked in a dusty lot with the other castoffs, and was left for dead. The only contact it had was with the occasional hobo looking for something of value, and who would wipe a dirty sleeve on its glass and peer into the dark and dirty interior. Finding nothing, they would move on, leaving the car alone and lonely again. Through months of freezing rain, hurricane winds and then paint-blistering heat it waited. It waited for the day that its owner would come back and make it whole again. For that was its only purpose in life was it not? As those months turned into years, and its chassis began to sag, its tires no longer able to hold air and as an aching rust began to permeate its body, it never gave up hope. Through its one good headlight it could see the entrance to the lot. At night, when it could not sleep, it would watch for the growing glow of headlights on the chain link fence, expecting it to be its owner, with a wrecker to come and lift it up and take it home. Every time it wasn't its owner, wasn't a savior, it was another old car, beaten and broken, brought here to die. Sometimes they would chug in under their own power, blowing black ocherous smoke from their tail pipes before shuddering to a stop and then turning silent, silent forever more. Sometimes they would be pushed in, the loud thumps of bumper hitting bumper as the new arrival was shunted into the lot like a fresh victim for the gulag. It was always under the cover of night that the cars arrived, and sometimes left. That some cars would be missing in the morning always gave it hope that someday its owner would return. The other option of the missing cars was to horrible to consider. It had seen a junkyard once, from out in the parking lot while his owner went in and did something, what it did not know. All it could see through the fence separating the living from the near-dead were the cancerous hulks of former running machines. Some of them were missing eyes, some teeth, and some entire parts of their bodies. In one corner, to its horror sat a dead car, its lifeless form laying against a fence, propped up only on one side by a welded-together pair of steel wheels, its engine removed. It hoped never to see such a sight again. The years came and went, the world moved on. Cars, the likes of which it had never seen before began to be dumped in the lot, and still its owner didn't come. Its hood, now peeled raw from the sun, had rusted through in two places, and it could feel where a family of rats had nested inside its heater duct, befouling its floorboards and filling its interior with a disgusting, ammoniac stench. Still it waited. It was awakened one night to the sensation of cold running through it and found that its back window had been shattered. Now its leather upholstery was cracking and the stitching under siege from sun, mold and time. Lastly, its one eye gave out. The bolt holding it in place finally rusted through and it fell to the ground, shattering, and leaving the socket to swing cruelly in the wind on its long wire. Blind, crippled and falling to pieces it sat, now not expecting the owner to return, just wishing for the final act as its engine, loosened in its cradle, fell to the ground, severing the last vestiges of its being. Only then would it find peace. S
17 year old VW durability? Aftermarket turbo kit added excitement? Last car on the lot green paint? Blown motor? Well, what we have here is a good weekend project, with Sunday afternoon left over for beer and some action with the wife. That Toyota is hell on wheels however. You know, at least with the Krauts, you know when you're at war with them. That VW's gonna' let you know when a wheel's ready to let loose due to a failed baring. When the window glass falls down in the door with a butt-puckering crash, you'll be ready for it. Hell, you'll laugh it off. But that Toyota . . . It's impossible to tell what inscrutable machinations await you with a Japanese car. Remember, the same people who built this, bombed Pearl Harbor. This car's gonna' be all about the sneak attack. They've lulled us into complacency with a solid win at the Lone Star 24HoLMs. That the streets are filled with Camri and Tundrex and corollians makes you think that you'll be just one of the herd, just a cog in the machine, but you'll be wrong. It'll wait until you are at your most vulnerable. It'll sit quietly by until the moment is right to strike, and then POW! It may be on that last lap of the next 24HoLMs, there you'll be in first place, the second place Audi R10LM that's been dogging you throughout the race has finally dropped back after an unfortunate incident with a buxom fan who decided to flash the driver causing him to fog the inside of his face mask and losing a good 10 seconds on you. You'll see the checkered flag in the hand of the fat guy on the tower, and you'll say to yourself "come to poppa" just as the engine explodes sending hot, burning oil through the open heater holes in the firewall and straight onto your lap and beginning to fry your huevos. You're forced to leap from the flaming car tearing at your racing suit and eventually stripping down to your fruit of the looms and proving that not all skidmarks are on the track that day. The flashing woman quickly lowers her top in reaction. OR, you'll celebrate your prudent fiscal policy in buying such a reliable and fuel efficient vehicle by taking the family out to dinner. As it's a special occasion, you tell them they don't have to order off of the dollar menu this time, and you proudly flick a speck of dust off of the dashboard as you sit in the drive thru at your destination dining establishment. The line in front of you, of course, moves slowly and as you wait, it continues to fill up behind you, including a large Ford F1050 Diesel, jacked up so high that all you can see in the rearview mirror is the front differential housing, hanging there below the bumper like some sort of giant scrotum. Blocked in both front and back, this would be a terrible time for something unforeseen to happen to your car, and so, like the ominous drone of a dive-bombing Zero fighter, the high-pitched squeal of belt on unyielding water pump pulley takes you completely by surprise. It also takes the drivers of the other cars in line by surprise and it is immediately followed by honks and cat-calls from both sides. It's so frightening that your Junior-high son, eyes wide and filling with tears assumes a fetal position and starts sucking his thumb, immediately destroying two years and $2,500 in orthodontics. Smoke starts pouring out from under the hood and despite your attempts to turn the engine off, the key just twists in the steering column, without affect. Now your daughter, always the sensitive one, begins howling in panic. She claws at the upholstery, ripping great tufts of foam rubber and thin mouse-fur covering off and flinging it hither and yon. Your wife looks you straight in the eye, you think she is going to tell you "we're in this together honey" and then you both would leap out, she grabbing the positive battery cable in her teeth and wrenching it from the corroded pole. You would grab a blanket and smother the flames. You'd then scoop up the kids and swiftly move them to safety. Then you'd calm the drivers of the cars around you. They'd commiserate with you that something like this is totally unexpected, I mean, this is a Toyota. But no, instead your wife looks you in the eye and says "I slept with your brother at our wedding reception. I just thought you should know that. He wouldn't have bought this piece of shit and gotten us stuck in the line at Arbys!" You're about to tell her that your brother is a loser who drives a BMW M3 to compensate for the things he's lacking in other departments when something in your peripheral vision catches your attention- it's the Ford truck behind you, and it's rocking back and forth as the driver guns the gas against the brakes. The scrotum in the back window is bobbing up and down like the Toyota's getting teabagged, and then it lets loose. You hear the driver say "The hell with this!" and the Ford starts climbing over your car. Your daughter screams spewing seat cushion onto the glass were it sticks until the window shatters from the collapsing roof. Your son befouls himself and now has both thumbs and a big toe stuck in his mouth and you can almost see his bridgework turning all Cletus on him. You wife, screaming too, announces that while you two were dating in college, where you played trombone in the marching band, she was boning the football team, that's right she pulled more trains than Casey Jones. Then the Ford is over your roof, and takes up the spot in front of you, which had been vacated while you were trying to deal with the treachery of the Toyota. The roof springs back a bit and the doors pop open. The engine finally gives a good couple of revolutions and then stops for good. All you can hear is the Diesel's exhaust in font of your car. Getting out and collecting your belongings you retreat from the Toyota. Your suspicions have been raised and never again will you be so trusting and expect that an attack is impossible. This is truly a day that will live in infamy. And at Arbys. S
Okay, the Mustang conversion is horrific and all. I mean you wouldn't want to have to look out the kitchen window every morning and see that thing sitting in your driveway would you? Old women dragging shopping carts down the street would cross themselves under their head scarves when they pass your house. Cats would refuse to sit on its hood no matter how cold the day and your friends would all get themselves bus passes so as to never need a ride from you. But that Acura is listed as an Integra Ferrari in the ad, and I'm sorry but there's nothing Ferrari, and apparently very little Integra left in that. Okay, I'm not sorry, I'm kind of pissed off. I mean, who sells a car like this? Did ya see the tail lamps? Geez, Bondo much buddy? Does slapping 4 round lights in a sea of bondo seemingly applied using a dog's butt say Ferrari to this guy? Maybe it's the right-rear fender, also sourced from Pep Boys that lends an aura of the Maranello brand? No? I didn't think so. So it has to be the front bumper. That's right, it has two comically small air openings that are a sad, sad caricature of an F430. Not the lights mind you, which still loudly proclaim "I'm a ricer!" rather than smoothly intone the sultry whispers of "I'm a Ferrari baby, come rev me to 10,000." So this ticks me off. Not only that, but this car will suck. not that much, but still it's gonna' piss you off when you have to scrape out the body filler from the light wells. You're going to curse the previous owner a blue streak when you have to replace that cheesy .72 micron fiberglass faux Ferrari nose because it deforms at anything over 30. You'll kick yourself for buying a car that is "stalling MILDLY on 2345 gear and when on 60mph wont let me go higher" because that didn't make any sense and it's probably because he hadn't changed the oil or the air filter in the past 5 years and the pan looks like the La Brea tar pits, and the air filter has been sucked into the MAP sensor. So do me a favor, and don't buy this car. Don't give this Ferrari name-dropping, bondo-spazing, illiterate nabob the satisfaction. Because that would be hell, and you know it. S
Good God that Mazda is the spawn of SATAN! It's a Millenia which means it's going to suffer all those Y2K problems that we all avoided by not buying these 8 years ago. Just read the ad; it has a 2000 engine, as obviously the older one wouldn't run after the dawning of the 21st century. Sweet Jebus, this could get ugly. That transmission is obviously COMPUTER-CONTROLLED! Y2K! The tranny keeps thinking it's really 1900 and imagines itself in a steam locomotive, or some sort of floppy-belt driving hay-baler. You'd have to rip it out and somehow reprogram it. In order to do so, you'd have to learn FORTRAN, only Amazon no longer carries Fortran for Dummies, shit! You'll have to try ebay. But that's no good, now that you're tied to the Millenia your account doesn't work, and it says it won't for another 3 years! Y2K! Dark clouds loom in the distance as society begins to collapse, triggered when you unleashed the pent-up fury of the Mazda Mellenia. Like a sarcophagus containing pure evil, you have opened the gates of hell and condemned us all to the apocalypse due to your desire to "see what a miller cycle car is all about." First your watch stops functioning. Then pacemakers around the world begin beating on the miller cycle, causing their wearers to collapse in instant death. The locks of the Panama Canal open on both ends, despite the efforts of both Panamanian lock workers, and American day laborers who serve them. The resulting flood of water flowing into the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea triggers tidal waves causing cruise ships to be forced from their intended ports and beaching on the shores of Malaysia and Africa respectively, where they are immediately attacked by hair braiding and horse-back tour vendors. The Mazda, center of the maelstrom of Y2K destruction, sits in your driveway, lightning bolts flashing out in all directions from it. You're only hope is to destroy the car, and send it back into the time warp of the 1990s from whence it came. You grab a copper cable from beside your house, and praise your foresight for having such a seemingly useless item there all these years. Dragging it towards the car, you fight off waves of energy being thrown off of it by the time-space paradox it has unleashed. As each burst of plasma hits you your upper lip curls back from the blow and your hair stands on end. Leaning forward you drag the heavy cable toward the car, which is now glowing blue and seems to have melted the asphalt under it in the driveway. The cat, seeking a warm hood on which to sit, seems oblivious to the cacophony and leaps up upon the bonnet, where he is instantly fried, his tail poofing out like a cotton candy beehive right before bursting into flame. "Fluffy!" you shout and gain new found resolve to send this temporal demon back to the fiery dungeons of hell which spawned it. You take one more step forward and throw, with all your strength, the cable towards the devil car. However, you have forgotten about the powerline hanging over the driveway which the cable neatly arcs over. A shower of sparks rains down on you and the logging truck parked in the street bursts into flame. You gasp and yank at your collar- homna, homna. You think that your one chance to end this nightmare has failed, but just then the powerline gives way and the copper cable falls, sailing directly down, down to the hood, which opens as though the gaping maw of Satan himself, emitting a deep bellowing "NOOOOooooooo!" as it ingests the cable, grounding the devil Mellinia monster and sending a wave of blue plasma bursts through the cable, and knocking out the neighborhood cable TV. Falling forward on your knees, you survey the damage; the Mellenia lays in a crater in the driveway, smoke pouring from its hood and windows like some sort of macabre face of an electrocuted prisoner. Around you, street lights begin to flicker on, and the black clouds that overhung you break, revealing a ray of sunshine which hits you in the chest. Somewhere a bird chirps with hope. You can't tell if it's the wind through the trees, or what, but whatever it is, it sounds like angels singing. The world is once again at peace, you have saved the day. But for how long? How many more Mellenia are sitting out there, waiting for some unsuspecting Jalopnik to come along and unleash the satanic power of Y2K? Who knows, but at least, when it does, you'll be ready.