Illustration for article titled What quirk gives your car its personality?

In a world of increasingly homogeneous motoring experiences, quirky car traits are harder to find. (Remember Saab's console-mounted ignition key?) But all car lovers have at least one thing that makes them love their cars all the more. What quirk gives your car its personality?


I have to go back to my first set of wheels, a 1973 Buick Century sedan (Kojak style), which I bought from the original owner, a frugal, elderly man who insisted his purchase be delivered with no creature comforts (but somehow checked the box labeled "350ci V8.") It had a three-speed manual, with a column shifter. (Yes, they still sold midsize sedans in the early '70s with three-on-the-tree.)

I loved how weird that thing was, despite it being a supreme pain in the ass. The linkage was so byzantine, it would fail randomly, freezing up in whatever gear it was in. Under the seat I kept a mason's hammer, which I'd use to free the mechanism. I'd crawl underneath — most often at stoplights — and bang on it, drowning out a cacophony of angry car horns, until it became unstuck (which required tedious trial and error).


Later I had a transmission guy install a Hurst stick — it cost more than the $500 I'd paid for the car. After that it was more fun, but far less quirky.

(QOTD is your chance to address the day's most pressing automotive questions and to experience the opinions of the insightful insiders, practicing pundits, and gleeful gearheads that make up the Jalopnik commentariat. If you've got a suggestion for a good Question of the Day, send an email to tips at jalopnik dot com.)

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