You buy a car with so much promise in mind. A way to get around. A fun weekend toy. A project to mold into your dream ride. But then it all goes to complete shit, and you are left with nothing but an empty wallet and broken dreams.
Here are your stories of the worst cars you’ve ever owned. Definitely check the comments on that story, there are so many more awful tales to choose from.
[Welcome back to Countersteer, where we ask you to tell us your greatest stories of success and failure, then we pull the very best of them to share with the rest of the world.]
Lets get this SHO on the road has the first of many bad Volkswagen stories.
A long, long time ago a young man got his first real job.
“Yippie!” He said jumping for joy. “I am part of the working world!”
The young man decided he needed a car! Oh, but what car? The young man weighed his options. Consulted his finances and had a budget. Then came time for the features:
“I want something cool! I want something quick! I want something fun! I want something practical!”
He started shopping. First he went to the Ford dealer.
“This one is too rough!” He exclaimed.
Next he went to the Subaru Dealer
“You can test drive the car after you buy it.” Said the apathetic man at the dealer. Dejected, the young man left.
Then he heard word of the new MK7 GTI had come into his local VW dealer. He went down lickety-split to check it out.
“Welcome, to a land of pure imagination” said the salesman gesturing toward the GTI sitting on the lot. “Why don’t we take it out?”
The young man was in love.
“Oh happy day!” he proclaimed while ringing it through the gears “I have found my bowl of porridge!”
The young man bought it the next day and drove it home.
A month later, the car started idling rough. So, undeterred by this the young man took it into the dealer and was given a loaner.
The car came back two days later with a clean bill of health.
Then, with 5k miles on it, the car started violently shaking when braking.
“Oh no!” Exclaimed the young man “I’ll just bring it back in”
That’s when the wicked witch of Germany cast her evil spell upon the young man and his car.
Within weeks the car was being brought into the dealer for repairs at least twice a month!
The young man started to grow tired of it when to correct an issue they replaced the entire front axle and wiring harness.
Then the young man had his parents visiting when most of the lights on the dashboard came on and the car lost power. Patiently they waiting an hour for the tow truck to take them the hour back to the dealer that he had just picked it up from.
The car emerged an hour or so later with no explanation from the dealer, just a diagnostic test and a software reset listed as maintenance performed on the car.
Then the young man had a friend visit. The car had been running perfectly and he had hoped to show it off to his friend.
The next morning they head to Myrtle Beach. They tried to start the car but it took more than 30 seconds to actually crank over! However, no lights were on so they went to McDonalds to get breakfast.
They made it all the way to the drive through until the car stalled out while paying and was having trouble restarting.
The young man, dejected, called the dealer and was told to bring it in. However, with the engine horribly misfiring and most lights on and no boost, the car never made it.
They placed him in a Jetta TDI Wagon loaner and they went to the beach.
The young man called VW of America to see if they could help in his misfortunes. However, VWOA wasn’t in a very good mood and told him to sue them or shut up.
Two days later they called him up and told him that the car was fixed. He went to retrieve it. Then it had a squeaking noise.
The dealer said that the squeaking noise was caused by a faulty seat frame rail and it would be a month to get one in.
The young man told them to shove it until they got the seat frame rail because he didn’t want to chance an accident.
2 weeks later the frame rail arrived and the young man picked up his car.
The young man didn’t even make it home before the car started to have boost issues again.
Three days later the young man traded it for an SHO and has only looked back in pity on the car that was screwed from the factory.
Do you know what the lesson is? Buy ANYTHING other than a VW.
I thought the Pontiac Vibe was supposed to be the reliable one? The Crazie Kanuck begs to differ.
Most of my cars have been fine but my 2003 AWD Pontiac Vibe was good until last march. I was driving to work, and felt a back vibration on the highway. Figured it was a wheel bearing. The was a shop 100ft across the parking lot where I was working at the time. So I drop it off during my break. I pick it up after work and they tell me the damage. It needed 2 front wheel bearings, new control arms, control arm bushings, drive shaft, drive shaft bearings, a new fuel tank, and had lots of rust under it. Just over $5500 with labor. I did not see the point spending that much on a car worth $3000. I sold it $1200 AS-IS to some poor kid still in highschool.
Wait, JQJ213—you thought they did?
My 2000 Volvo V70R
I bought it when I was 16 to make myself feel better after being rejected by the same girl numerous times. I already had a super reliable 2013 Civic that I was leasing. However, the wagon could hold her bike better for when I drove her home. So I took $1800 out of my bank account and bought it.
Only had 130K miles. Needed tires badly. Oh and the car was silver but had a white base model S70 bumper. No biggie.
Get it home and realize it had a rebuilt title. Oops. Yeah, I didn’t even check that before handing over the cash. And on the drive home, the transmission stopped shifting right between the 2nd and 3rd.
I also didn’t tell my dad about this. So when I showed up with it he was not happy.
I buy tires and live with it. Don’t even tell him about the bad transmission. It dies. Many times. I spend hundreds at the junkyard replacing parts. One night it was running very well. It’s my night off. But I make sure to swing by work and offer her a ride home.
The bike fit perfectly back there. I punched it and showed off a bit driving her home. It went well until I went to get more gas. It died at the station.
I call dad in tears and admit defeat. Some off duty cop gave it a push start and it decided to work again. I let it sit in the driveway for about 2 weeks. This was a simple fix as the air intake popped loose. But I throw it on Craigslist.
Got offered all sorts of things from computers to guns without serial numbers. End up selling it to this lady for $1300.
I never talked to her again. I haven’t seen the car since.
Cars don’t always equal happiness. And wagons won’t always impress teenage girls. Especially if they already had a boyfriend....
Definitely not CarlitoBenito.
I submit to you my 18 months of Dodge Dart Ownership:
As you’d expect, I have done this properly: Multiair Turbo, 6-speed manual. I got the Limited trim because my wife wanted heated seats and HID headlights... the only way to get these options on a Dart.
Within the first two months, the sunroof stopped closing properly and the driver’s leather seat trim was coming loose from the frame, not to mention a nasty door rattle in the right front door, and the rattling of the shiny trim around the radio. Right around the same time, I had noticed that my clutch would be even lighter than normal in the mornings, or at the end of the work day.
By month five, on the way to a job interview mind you, the clutch STUCK to the floor. There was no way to pull it back up besides manually pulling it back up. I quickly parked it, had my neighbor drive me to where my wife worked at the time, and drove her car to the interview. The Dart returned to normal the same afternoon. I drove it to the dealer the Monday afterwards and they kept it for a few days, trying to figure out what went wrong, along with repair all the bits that had been falling apart.
The clutch story continues during my 18 month ownership period, spending a week at the dealer, every 2-3 months or so. In addition to the clutch, the uConnect 8.4N would randomly restart, it would not show all the functions (NAV, Seat heater controls, etc), and the 7 inch LCD dash would randomly cut out.
The final straw: I used to drive 70 miles a day. On my commute to work one morning, the clutch didn’t stick, but rather, just fell into limbo.... while I was crossing a major highway. I had said, enough is enough, and I traded it in for a Honda Accord Sport, CVT (Yes... I know...), the next week. It wasn’t worth my life to drive and keep this car.
I liked the drive, I liked the fun, but I needed something reliable. Oh.. and on trade in day... EVERYTHING WORKED. It was like that little kid saying, “NO DONT GROUND ME... I’LL BE GOOD, I PROMISE!” It was shocking considering the seat leather was still coming off on a regular basis and the sunroof stilll didn’t close properly.
The E24 BMW 6 Series is one of my favorite cars ever. As for the prospect of owning one, well, Yuranium has me scared now.
I’m going to get some hate for this, but of all the 28 vehicles I’ve owned, my 633CSi was without doubt, the worst. I needed a good daily as I was going back to school for a second degree, and was thinking about a first gen Miata to supplement my ‘74 Duster. My roommate, who was hard core into BMW’s, convinced me that an 80's BMW would be extremely reliable, and way sexier than a Miata.
I had always liked the first gen 6er, ever since I was little kid in Germany, so I found a really nice one for $3200. The drivetrain was solid, and the only things wrong were no AC, and the Speedo didn’t work. The Vintage SSR mesh wheels were a nice touch too. I gave it some E28 sport seats, and a couple of 6-series aero parts from the junkyard, and started driving it. It lasted a few weeks before every gauge stopped working except the coolant temperature. shortly after that, the engine started losing power, and sputtering, indicating something wrong with possibly the fuel injection system. After spending some time trying to diagnose the problem myself, I took it to several BMW specialists, and $700 worth of repairs later, nothing was fixed.
I ended up having to drive my totally worn out Duster with its 10mpg 36 miles one way to school every day while I tried to sell the 6er and save for a Miata. Eventually I got the Miata after a year, but it ended being another two years before I sold the BMW for $1000. I owned the BMW for three years, drove it for less than two months during that time, and lost $2900 on it. The worst part is, every couple years I get a phone call or text from another new owner (who tracked me down through various BMW forums) wanting to know what is wrong with the BMW (my old 6) they just bought, and when I tell them I don’t know, that’s why I sold it for just $1000, they get really upset with me, because the person who sold it to them charged $3-4k for it. This has happened to me twice so far. This car is a curse that will not leave me.
Yes, it was that bad. Let Daryl tell you.
In 2006, my wife and I were looking for a daily driver to replace a 2000 Kia Sephia. We were a “new” family. Our son (our only child), had just been born. The Sephia, while dependable for most of it’s life, had reached the point that I was concerned about long trips with the baby. The AC had quit working. The car was a manual, which meant only I could drive it. So we started shopping. I was looking at something like a Ford Five Hundred, Extended cab F-150, Ford Fusion, Ford Taurus, etc. Then, my wife saw it...a 2006 PT Cruiser Touring (exactly like the one pictured). She begged for it. Promised she’d get her license. Played the “I’ve never gotten to pick a car new before” card. Played on my love for her. Bitch.
So, after telling her why it wasn’t a good choice, I bought the car, firmly under the belief that I wouldn’t have to be the primary driver for long. I actually got a good deal, because the salesman knew I hated the car and was looking for a reason to not buy it. She never got her license. I had to daily drive that car for six years. As soon as it rolled off the lot, I was upside down on the value (it doesn’t matter how good of a deal you get on one...they had horrible resale value).
First thing I learned about the PT Cruiser. Pure water WILL stain the seats. I’d heard the rumor, but didn’t buy into it. One week later, a little rain blew in when I opened the door. Seats were stained. Something to do with the dye in the fabric. The car required constant maintenance under warranty. Trim rattled constantly, starting about two months after I bought it. You couldn’t fit both yourself and your pride inside that car at the same time. While I don’t support domestic violence, I firmly wanted to punch my wife in the mouth every time we got into the car. I felt road rage as soon as I pulled the key fob out. I could flip people off while driving out the passenger side window. The battery was buried in the front-left side (driver’s side) of the engine bay, below and left of the headlight assembly. To change the battery, you had to pretty much disassemble the car. The spare was mounted below the body, like a truck, but only retrievable by opening the hatch, exposing a bolt head, and lowering it with the jack handle. The seats were horrible for long drives, if you defined a long drive as anything further than 4 feet of driveway. The AC died three weeks (approximately) after the warranty expired. The switches went wonky about a month after that. The engine started leaking oil from god knows where. I tried to find it, but couldn’t, because the engine bay is so tight, you can’t see squat. To change the fan belt, it took three mechanics to force the belt on. It looked like a station wagon, but was really only a hatchback (there’s a difference, trust me). After 179k miles of misery, the engine over-heated. It was a $7 engine coolant sensor that had gone out, causing the fans (about $160) to burn out. To get to the sensor, you had to take the front-right (passenger) tire off. Expose a panel in the fender liner. Use a deep set 9/16 inch socket, a u-joint, approximately 24 inches of extension, another u-joint, and a ratchet drive to remove the sensor after disconnecting the wiring. This all went through the forward support strut. Your hand couldn’t really fit in there to disconnect the wire. Expect scrapes and complaining. The sensor came out. The new sensor went in. The angle of the extension got a little off. I broke the plastic tab for the wire. I bought another sensor. I ran it in, being as careful as possible. The second new sensor broke too. Only this time, it was the brass fitting. I threw a temper tantrum. I couldn’t get the half-broken sensor out of the block. I didn’t know if it would seal or not. I couldn’t even see it. I’d have had to drop the engine & transaxle to drill out the sensor. I threatened my wife with divorce. I figured the repair cost was anywhere from $2-3 thousand for a $7 sensor, due to labor. And even then, we still wouldn’t have a working AC, the engine would still leak oil, and it’d still be a PT Cruiser. I promised divorce and murder. I took the $2-3 grand I would have had to spend to fix the car and bought a 12 year old Buick Regal GS (Supercharged, leather, AC, 150k Miles). I abandoned the PT Cruiser in our drive-way. I told my wife I’d never touch it again. It was her car, her problem. A guy stopped to ask to buy it. I told him not to buy it, but I didn’t care. It was the wife’s car. She asked me what it was worth. I said “it’s got about $100 in steel if went to the scrap yard.” She sold it for $100. I told the guy, “don’t bring it back. In fact, keep your money and run.” He didn’t listen. I later ran into him. He said it was a horrible car, but he appreciated the warning.
Funny enough, my wife now says women have no business picking out cars. I don’t agree with that. It’s like I told her, sometimes you learn you got a great deal, a fair deal, or a bad deal. It’s a learning experience. But my son still has nightmares about the PT Cruiser. I told him if he doesn’t keep his grades up, in 7 years, when it’s time for him to get his license, I’m buying him a PT Cruiser. For a kid that loves cars, he told me flat out, he’d rather walk.
Nobi’s in an abusive relationship with this curiously unreliable old Honda Civic.
‘91 Honda Civic RT4WD. Worst, and best, car I’ve ever owned. I’ve had it for four years at this point, bought it off of Craigslist for $850 from a guy in Torrington, CT to use as a winter beater as driving my ‘04 GTO in New England winters for 3 years was getting tiresome. I had the wife drive me there, and follow me back. Guy I bought it from tells me that he’s replaced the distributor, one front brake caliper, and had a second caliper that he bought “just in case.” After exchanging money for title and keys, I started the 3 hour trek home.
I’m amazed I didn’t die.
The “in case” the guy bought the second caliper for was apparently if anyone drove it longer than a half hour as a half hour away, the passenger front caliper locked up on me. I pulled over, messed with it for a while and freed up the pads from their stuck slides, then hit the road again. It wasn’t bad the rest of the ride except for the cooked, warped rotors and lack of contact patch on the road thanks to the stock pizza-cutter tires. Not to mention the phone calls from the wife laughing her ass off as every bump in the road sent my head into the headliner. Once home, I replaced the other caliper, front pads and rotors, cleaned and lubricated the rear drum shoes, and went for another ride. Not bad at all. The radio sounded awful and only worked through the driver’s side speaker. A stop to Best Buy and $20 later, I had some new stock size Pioneers in the doors. The driver’s speaker sounds great now. If I tap on the face of the radio, the passenger one sounds good too. Next, the rear hatch. I got tired of it bashing me in the head when my 2x4 hatch holder slipped off, so Rock Auto to the rescue there. I drove it like that for one winter, and quickly found out that the tires and lack of ground clearance weren’t doing me any favors. I lifted it with ‘91 Accord front lower strut forks and ‘91 Integra rear struts with springs from the front of an Accord wagon since I knew I’d use it to haul stuff and I didn’t want to drag ass. The hilarious side effect is that the rear end is so tall and stiff when unloaded. It’s a riot to drive feeling the tail skip along. Finishing it off was a set of 195 Firestone Winterforce tires on 2000 Civic 15" steelies. Thing handles like a dump truck, but at least it’s stable now. Then the issues that normally pop up on a 24 year old, 300,000 mile car began:
I changed the timing belt and water pump, as the last owner had no recollection of the last time it was done, and did a full tune up including a valve adjustment, fluid changes, and spark plugs. While poking around the car, I noticed a ton of water in my headlights. I pulled them out, tried to bake them to re-glue the glass lenses on, but ended up breaking the glass. $100 for a pair of ebay headlights it is as new stock headlights are $100/each.
Then the tail lights then started working when they felt like it.
Fixed a corroded splice in the rear wiring, then the radiator sprung a leak.
Replaced that, then the driver’s side hood hinge rotted off.
Replaced that, then the gas tank and fuel filler neck simultaneously started leaking.
Replaced those, then the catalytic converter and muffler simultaneously became multi-piece.
Replaced those, then the driveshaft u-joints let go.
Replaced those, then both front drive axles started popping.
Replaced those, then the upper and lower front ball joints called it quits.
Replaced those, then the rear mounts for the differential crumbled.
Replaced those, then the front seat belts decided not to retract and hold the passengers in anymore.
Replaced those, then the alternator seized.
Fixed that, then both my tie rod ends decided to call it a day.
Replaced those, then my front wiper motor linkage fell apart.
Fixed that, then the headlights would only work if I punched the steering column.
Fixed that, then my temp gauge didn’t want to work anymore.
Fixed that, then the O2 sensor died.
Fixed that, then the driver’s window crank knob decided it didn’t want to be part of the crank anymore.
This car has driven me insane, but like a trusty canine companion, it’s always there for me, hasn’t left me stranded (except for when I left the headlights on because it’s not equipped with a buzzer, resulting in a dead battery. A quick trip to Radio Shack, a buzzer, some wiring, and a jump start later, I no longer have that issue) and it’s actually really fun to drive. The transmission isn’t the most precise thing ever created, so if I time it and get my RPMs right, I can shift it clutchless. The heat works perfectly in it. It laughs at snow. I’ve driven it through, not over, through a snow drift that came up to the bottom of the windows and it just laughed it off. It is such a piece of shit, but it’s my piece of shit.
I love my shitbox.
Never give up, 8965Beaters!
Easy. My 240SX. I bought it in 2009. Here’s what I’ve replaced on it:
-Engine (threw a rod)
-Transmission (twice). First because of a bad input shaft bearing. Second had a bad 1st gear.
-Turbocharger (don’t turn off a hot turbo engine unless you like crispy fried turbo bearings)
-Brake calipers (4. Had one front and one rear caliper seized).
-Parking brake cables (snapped from being unused and rusting)
-Right front wheel bearing
-Engine wiring harness
-Chassis wiring harness
-Battery (on my third)
-Exhaust (from being so low it scrapes on everything larger than a toothpick)
-Axle (my fault, I dropped it and screwed up the threads on the outer end)
-Shocks (all four, they were DEAD)
-Springs (take your cheap ass lowering springs and stick ‘em up your ass)
Oh and I still have to replace most of the suspension because everything is dry rotted, repaint it, and reassemble it. Did I mention this was an SR20 swapped car that was someone else’s project? Yeah, that might be relevant. I’ve driven maybe 1,000 miles in almost 7 years of ownership.
Bandi’s car was so bad he literally couldn’t even give it away.
First off, let me start with the fact that I’m 32, and have owned over 150 cars since I turned 15. I’m also a licensed mechanic... so I’m familiar with cars!
When I was 22, I found a very tidy 1987 Volkswagen Fox. I always had a soft spot for these (no idea why) and this one was in excellent shape, and was a good price. I bought it, it passed a safety inspection the way it was, I was happy.
About a week later, my clutch cable broke while pulling off of the highway. No biggie. Left the car in a parking lot over night and repaired it the next morning... and then the car wouldn’t start. The fuel pump wasn’t running. It was getting voltage, so I stuck a junkyard pump on it and drove home.
About a week after that, one of the front calipers seized up to the point where the car couldn’t move under its own power. So I replaced that, and again, the car wouldn’t start after that. This ended up being a bad connection at the fuse/relay panel.
Next was the ignition lock cylinder, which just entirely froze up one morning when I went to start the car. After that was the starter, which left me stranded at the gas station. The day after (Christmas Eve) I was heading back to visit my parents, the alternator light came on... So I figured I’d limp the car home. This would have been a great plan but unfortunately the car caught on fire.
I left it in a mall parking lot with the ownership on the seat, signed, and the keys in the ignition. I hoped I’d never see it again, but driving past two weeks later, it was still there. I came back that night with a trailer and scrapped it myself.
BenLikesCars didn’t like his SHO. He disliked it so much, he wrote this:
“Eight Things of Note From Having An ‘89 SHO,” sung to tune of “Twelve Days of Christmas,”
One thing that broke on my SHO five-speed, the horn did not like beatings.
A couple things that broke on my SHO five-speed, two rebuilt trannies.
Other things that broke on my SHO five-speed, at least one snapped axel.
A thing that also broke on my SHO five-speed, a power steering pump-thing.
Another issue that arose with my SHO five-speed, HO-LY UN-DER-STEEEER!
An unusual thing about my SHO sedan, different windows would go different speeds.
A neat perk I should note of my SHO five-speed, dashboard gaps for fitting magazines.
When lowly wagon wheels broke on my SHO five-speed, they cost three-seventy each.
For what it’s worth, the car was roomy, comfortable, with a nice greenhouse, and it rode with competent aplomb and the engine was like something Wile E. Coyote would hook up to his roller skates to catch the Road Runner with.
The tranny wasn’t so much the car’s Achille’s Heel as it was more like an Achille’s Entire Left Leg And Part Of His Torso.
Maybe SHO owners could form some kind of cooperative endeavor to research a durable replacement for that tranny, something manual for a powerful or at least torque-endowed front-wheel drive car, maybe something relatively inexpensive and commonplace overseas like a Fiat Ducato or comparable, and buy those in bulk.
Itsjustaduststorm has no love for the ‘Bu.
I’ve said it before, but this hateful piece of shit: my old 2004 Chevrolet Malibu.
This thing actively tried to kill me on multiple occasions, locking its horrific electric steering randomly under acceleration. It once shot me clear across the Cross-Island Parkway at 60MPH.
That remains the only time I’ve ever been truly scared while driving — not only could the car have destroyed itself (which would have been a blessing, really), but it could have taken another innocent motorist with it. I pulled over, called my father (whom I hadn’t spoken with in nearly a year) and told him I was getting rid of the cursed thing ASAP.
Traded it in the next week, and wouldn’t you know it, the car behaved perfectly when the dealer drove it. I removed all my belongs and stickers, and practically ran out with my current car, feeling absolved of my burden. Except...
On the way home, when I was laughing and smiling with my passenger through the hills of Pennsylvania, a light silver figure appeared in my rear view mirror. My passenger chuckled and pointed behind us, saying, “Hey, that looks familiar.” It couldn’t be. It just couldn’t be. There was just no way.
But it was. There was a silver Malibu following me for 10 miles. I was scared that the dealer had discovered the satanic, diabolical machine I had eagerly laid at his feet, and he had come for retribution. I sped up, trying to discretely lose my nemesis. But it kept pace, and I grew evermore worried.
Then, unceremoniously, it passed us. It had New York plates. But it was not my car. The only way you could tell at a glance that it wasn’t mine? No dent on the right rear quarter panel. It sped past at 85MPH, and that was the end of that. We smiled and laughed, feeling homefree.
Wouldn’t you know it though, I was watching the sale page on the dealer’s website — someone bought it three weeks later. It may already be dead — and god I hope it is — but engine failure would be a fate too kind for this machine.
I fucking hated that car every minute I owned it.
Doctor-G-and-the-wagen keeps his story short and to the point:
Need I go on?
One last bad VW story from Bultaco.
1996 VW Passat Wagon VR6 with around 98k on the clock. It was a freebie from an uncle who let the heater core go on it. While I enjoyed the ride and the space the car afforded, everything else about it was utter dogshit. When the heater core goes bad, it apparently dumps hot water out of an airduct right on top of the fuse/relay box and into the drivers lap. I was forever fighting the most infuriating electrical gremlins as a result. The wiper system was a “set your own speed” affair where two well timed button presses were supposed to set the intermittent speed. That was rarely ever the case, even after replacing the $40 relay on it, and more then once during torrential downpours it would just stop working entirely and I’d have to don a pair of dirt bike goggles and ace ventura it out the window the rest of the way down the road. I used it as a highway cruiser to get between school and my parents house on the weekends, about a 300 mile trip or so. The tiny, heavily sprung gas pedal (which had almost no effect on the wheezy VR6) would become a chore to press so you’d try cruise control, but it would randomly kick off, sometimes after 10 seconds, sometimes after 10 minutes. There was an issue with the transmission where it constantly thought it was in downhill mode, so as soon as it kicked off the car would engine brake down a good 10-20 miles per hour in traffic. At a stop, the transmission would slip out of gear as soon as you stepped on the gas, then bang into 1st which definitely impressed the ladies. The seats were terrible, offering zero in the way of lower back support. Only half of the windows worked at any given time. Door locks would break or refuse to work. Let’s see... water pump and alternator also failed within the two year period I had it. What a mess. At least it held its liquor.
Damnthisburnershitsux regales us with the joys of his buddy’s Renault Le Car ownership.
Although I didn’t own it my best friend had a Renault LeCar 5 door (Renault 5 to the rest of the world) in high school, I had no car so it was also my only means of transport, which made it feel sort of like my car too in retrospect as I often chipped in on gas or a repair so I could avoid the bus and have the freedom that a car gives a young man in high school.
It was the worst car I have ever been in.
It smoked and it vibrated horribly over 30 mph, the gears ground even when properly shifted, and it topped out at 50 mph. It was a shade of red that blended well with the large number of rust spots and bubbles. Heat barely worked and no A/C. Traveling on the highway was frightening and arduous turning a comfortable hour long drive in a decent car into an hour and a half torture test leaving you ready to hitch hike the way back.
Towards the end the reverse went and we had to push the car out of it’s spot unless it could be driven forward. Then the starter went. So there we would be at the end of the day in high school, me first pushing the car out of it’s spot, then pushing the car forward to pop start it and then running through the cloud of black smoke to get in the car.
Double dating was a nightmare as well, the back seat was not big enough for six foot tall people like my friend and I so we would end up putting the girls in back, which meant no action, and given the ride we stood a fair chance of seeing our dates go home with someone else later, if for no other reason than to avoid more time in the Le Car.