Welcome to Garage of Horror, where we share your worst wheeled experiences. Today we have three stories, all of which have to do with bad luck. Ever feel like your car is out to get you?


Bad luck, of course, is relative. Crashing one car? Bad luck. Crashing another car the same day? Probably bad luck, but maybe stupidity. Crashing a third car? That's just being a dumbass.

Getting stuck into, underneath, or outside of a moving car? To hell with luck — that just sucks.

Our first tale comes from reader Jason M. It's a story of coffee, friends, and strong seatbelts:

After a late night out with a friend at a 24-hour coffeehouse, we decided to leave just before the sun came up. Ours were the only two cars in the parking lot, and my friend had backed his beat-up Tercel into a spot in order to get a clear shot out of the lot. As he got into the car, I saw him drop his wallet. He started the car, put on his seat belt, and put it in drive before I caught his attention. When he figured out what I was trying to say, he opened the door, reached down to pick up the wallet, lost his balance, and fell out.

If it had ended there, it would be a mildly amusing story. But the car — an automatic — was in gear, so when his foot came off the brake, it began to roll forward. He was out of the car but still tangled in — and hanging by — the seatbelt, trying desperately to free himself. The car slowly rolled out of the parking lot, dragging him alongside.

Faced with that, I did the only thing a true friend would do: I laughed so hard I cried. He finally freed himself, chased his car down, and recovered his wallet. To this day he denies these events ever took place.



Except when he wants to look good in bars or get laid. Then it's just "Oh, yeah, I rode that thing down the street. On the roof. With a whip in my right hand and a beer in the other."


Then there's this story, from a reader who goes by the name "Burnout Boy." Need proof that open differentials are evil? Here you go:

Back when I was in eighth grade, I was at a friend's house and about to leave to head to the house of another friend. His mom came to pick us up in her Daewoo, and she parked on my friend's dirt driveway. This was during a drought, so the driveway was about as loose as packed sand. I got in the car's left rear seat and left the door open with my left foot out. I didn't know it, but the car wasn't in Park. The friend's mom took her foot off the brake for a split second, and the little Daewoo idled straight forward... onto my foot. It pushed me down to the floor of the car and climbed all the way up on my ankle, the wheel not even touching the ground.

Surprisingly, it didn't hurt as much as you'd think. I told the driver she was on my foot. Shocked, she tried to back up, but the stupid open differential decided to only let one drive wheel spin, which just dug a hole in the driveway. The car went nowhere. After sitting inside a car that was on top of me for fifteen minutes, my friend's dad got it jacked up high enough to free my leg. Aside from a tread-shaped bruise, a relatively deep cut, and a completely ruined shoe, I was perfectly fine.


Our final story comes from Steve L:

Back in the late 1970s, I was a Chevrolet dealer in Northern Colorado. I had an office manager with a not-too-swift son that was having a hard time finding a job. Because I liked the guy, we hired his son, whose name was Peter, to restock parts bins and shag parts.

One day, the service crew pulled a broken-down car into the service department on a chain. They left it there for a moment and went to move some cars to bring it into the shop. Peter was told to go to a local wrecking yard to get an engine at about the same time. He walked out into the service department and saw the pickup truck, chain and all, sitting there with the engine running.

Peter got in, put the truck in gear, and started to leave. The chain was still hooked to the other car and it didn't want to move, so Peter pushed harder on the gas pedal. The truck started to move and. Because there was no one steering the car on the chain, it went to the side and bounced off of two parked cars in the driveway. Nobody could believe what had happened, but we gave Peter the benefit of the doubt, unhooked the chain, and sent him on his way.

He went out to the wrecking yard, picked up the engine, and started back. A couple of blocks down the road, a light turned red and Peter slammed on the brakes. He had the engine clear at the back of the truck's long bed, and it slammed forward, taking out the front of the box, the back of the cab, and the rear window. When he got back, we decided that he hadn't loaded the engine and he was young, so we once again gave him the benefit of the doubt.

That afternoon, Peter was dispatched on another run. All that we had left was our Chevy LUV, so down the street and around the corner went Peter. About half a block, a tow truck was stopped with all his lights flashing. You guessed it: Peter drove right into the back of the tow truck.

It took me some time to get back from the accident scene. My guys had gotten a used truck to run the errand, and I told Peter that we'd talk in the morning. About quitting time, my service manager came in and told me that they couldn't find the used truck they had commandeered for the errand. Most everyone had left by that point, but one of the parts guys said that he thought Peter might have taken the truck to the Ford dealer for parts. They also thought that, after the day's events, he had walked. The service manager and I drove over to the dealer and, in front of the parts department, there sat our pickup, the engine still running. Peter had driven over, got his part, and then walked back to our store, forgetting that he'd driven over.

Needless to say, my decision the next morning was pretty easy.

I knew someone like this once. I think he decided to become a teacher and work with kids. That's bad, right?


Have your own Garage of Horror story? Email it here with the subject line: "Garage of Horror."

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