Cars I have owned and/or Wrecked–to best of my recollection -
Written at suggestion of my Two Daughters who were amazed during a conversation about all the different cars I've owned in my life.
I will add pictures as time goes by of some of these. But unfortunately don't have pictures of very many.
Before I had a Car of my Own - like most kids I drove my parents cars...
I learned to drive in the El Rancho Trailer Park in North Sacramento, CA. I was probably 12 (my folks were from Southwest MO Farm Country) and it was my Dads 1955 Studebaker Station Wagon (2 Drs, V-8, Auto Trans, now extremely rare) and I got good enough that I was allowed to drive to the Wash Rack in the middle of the Park, which was also where the restrooms, trash, and pay phone were located. One fateful summer day (probably 1959) my bare foot slipped off brake as I was stopping after pulling up over the curb into wash rack area, and I hit the gas and bashed the front end into the telephone pole at the edge of wash rack. It was bad enough that Dad had to call the insurance company, and take the blame for the "Wreck" in order to get it fixed.
Fast Forward a couple years and we have moved to a different Trailer Park in Citrus Heights, I am 14 and in the 9th grade, my Dad didn't let me drive much any more (go figure), my Mom was working swing shift at a Coopers Donuts in Carmichael, and had gotten herself a 1955 Dodge Royal Lancer Convertible on the payday payment plan from Platten Motors (who I would later work for when I was in the 10th Grade, as a Lot Boy, when he moved to Orangevale). Well, on yet another fateful summer day (1961), my Mom had taken me, Bert Wickey, and Ronnie Morgan to a "Hare & Hound" Motorcycle race near Auburn CA, and the car was filthy. I volunteered to take it and wash it at the Wash Rack in the Trailer Park (a standard fixture in those days) before she left for work, well someone else was already washing their car, so we went out a back way onto a small dirt road to kill time for a few minutes, and I was showing off and going too fast on a curve when wham I hit a small ditch someone had dug across the road and lost control, bouncing off the "road" into a field, and hit a tree which redirected me through a fence, and into a stable, and as the car stopped the horse went leaping out and took off, it was indeed a really bad scene. A 4"x4" fence post was stuck through the shattered windshield and into the front seat between Bert & Me, and Ronnie Morgan was down on the floor in back. The property owner came out with a club or big wrench and was going to beat us all to death, except by then Morgan was half way home. Wickey was their Paper Boy so he got the guy to calm down a little while I went to get my Mom, who was in the tub. Oh that was some Fun. She was not Happy. They had to tell the insurance company I didn't have permission to drive the car, and my Mom, until practically her dying day, said I wrecked her dream car and it never was fixed right, and the upset property owner got his horse back and some money from the insurance and couldn't press charges against me because it was a private road.
Here's pictures of the Two cars.
L to R: my Dad, Elvin Elwood Rush, me at window, and Charles Helms (his parents were Managers of El Rancho Trailer Park)
We had a 12' Sears Aluminum skiff and picture was at Folsom Lake
Note the Upside Down Bike in front of my Moms Convertible - that was Bert Wickeys - he let me ride it a lot. Mom had just gotten this car you can see Temporary Sticker on Bumper
Here's what it looked like after the wreck ...
I got my license in my folks 1957 Ford 4 door sedan, V-8, stick, and drove it when they'd let me, taking the hupcaps off after I got a few blocks from home if going to cruise J & K streets in downtown Sacto. But in late 1963 I got my 1st Car and they weren't too keen on me driving theirs anymore but somehow or the other I got my 1st speeding ticket in my Dads 1956 F-100 6 cyl. Pick Up in Orangevale, doing 35 or so in a 25 and he had to go to Juvenile Court with me and probably helped me pay the fine. Thanks Dad.
Then my Mom got a 1960 Chevrolet Impala 4 door hardtop, with the big 348 V-8, it was Really Red and manoman would it go. I had to do some serious wheeling & dealing to get her to let me drive it and was only successful a few times (she never got over me wrecking the Dodge Lancer).
Here's pictures of the family 1957 Ford 4 Door Sedan (with my 1951 Chevy Sedan behind it), this must've been taken shortly after my getting the '51 since it looks totally stock.
And here's my Dads 1956 F-100 (small window), the last Truck he owned.
And a Picture of the 1960 Chevrolet Impala 4 Door Hardtop, and my '51 Chev also, now showing some painted wheels and skinny whitewalls and
lowered in front (heated the coils in Auto Shop).
Cars I Owned - starting with a "Partnership"
1. Model A 4 door Sedan (not sure of year) – bought as partnership for $20. or so with Gary Roberts, in 1963 – it didn’t have an engine and we never did anything with it, except get it somehow to Auto Shop parking lot where we left it until told it had to go away – I believe we sold it to Shop Teacher for $20. But may have just given to him. Gary thought I had more expertise than I really did, hoping I’d somehow get an engine for it and get it running. Dream on Gary.
All the rest I owned (or at least made payments on)
2. 1951 Chevrolet 4 door sedan, 216 Six Cylinder, with Automatic Transmission – Late 1963 - Paid $20. to a former landlord (of house we rented– when the Trailer we lived in got re-possessed - through most of my Sophomore Year and into Junior Year) – I was able to (barely) drive it home and almost got it into Auto Shop next morning – it died at the driveway into school. With Shop Teachers help I did an actual “Valve Job” and got it to run and drove it until just after Graduation and Boot Camp. Four Doors were not considered “Kool” but I did manage to “Kool it up” a little, it was Beige and I rubbed the paint out and got it reasonably shiny. Took some Chrome Trim off and put Masking Tape behind covering the holes, from 50 feet away it almost looked like I had filled the holes. I also got some cast off larger tires for rear that still had some tread, and heated the front coils in shop to drop the front, painted the wheels black and got a set of skinny “ Port-a-walls” (fake whitewalls). The transmission leaked really bad and I never fixed that, but It was better than walking.
Pictures above .
3. 1955 Plymouth 2 door sedan, 270 V-8, Automatic Trans. Summer of 1964. Saw it on a Used Car Lot – it was Black and had Maroon “Tuck and Roll” upholstery, some of chrome emblems had been removed and it was lowered slightly. They gave me $75. Trade in for the old Chevy and my dad re-financed his 1956 Ford Truck and I made payments to him while working at Georges Oak Room & Grill as Dishwasher after Boot Camp-and after I went on Active Duty in December 1964. This car got totaled in Summer of 1966 by shipmates (John Hummel & Ned Jarrett) who “borrowed” (without telling me) the car while I was on duty while ship was in San Francisco upon returning from my 2nd Western Pacific –Vietnam – deployment. Hummel got me $450. from his folks and I bought car #4.
I haven't found a picture of the ol' 55 Plymouth (but wish I could it was a sharp car) but did find one of me and the "friend" who wrecked it, I'm the Taller One, picture was taken before we got back from WestPac in 1966, I'd just made E-4 (3rd Class Petty Officer), ship was the aircraft carrier USS Ranger CVA 61.
4. 1955 Chevrolet Convertible. Stick shift. This car I bought for $450. in Sept. 1966 from a High School kid who had done modifications. It had a beautiful Green Paint Job and Black nylon top, it had American Racing Torg-Thrust Mag Wheels, no front bumper (Gasser Style), and a close ratio 3 speed gearing and a 4:10 rear axle. Which means: jack rabbit starts but terrible on freeway (engine running at high RPMs at Freeway speed). John Hummel (with my permission this time) used car to run to store while we were in Sacramento one weekend shortly after I got it and crashed into a tree (probably spinning do-nuts somewhere) on the rear passenger side. Either just before this or shortly after I turned off the key and had a major electrical melt down, leaving the headlights working and nothing else. This was car I had when I got out of Navy and ended up in Mill Valley working at Tiburon Lodge with my HS Buddy (part of Junior & Senior Year anyway) Ed Perry (who joined Navy reserve while a Junior, and helped me make decision to join when I turned 17 in my Senior year). This car was sold to Ed’s brother John Perry for around $100. Which was a deal but the clutch was going out and I didn’t see value of trying to fix an already wrecked car.
5. 1956 Ford Station Wagon. December 1966/January 1967. Paid. $150. This was classic fake woodie – plastic wood trim, with roof rack. I did no modifications to this. Just cleaned up. In late Jan. or early Feb.1967 we had decided that being Bus Boy’s and Room Service Waiters wasn’t the right Career Path.
And so we headed to Spokane Washington and meet up with Ed’s other brother Jim who was due to get out of Air Force and owed Ed money. Ed driving his 1963 Hillman Convertible (Ed had a thing for imports, in HS he had a 1962 Fiat sedan, and during Navy he had a mid 50’s Jag sports car) and me in my “Woodie.” Ed’s brother kept getting indefinitely extended and it was very cold and windy in Spokane. We decided to head to sunny Southern California where Ed had spent more time than me while in Navy. I had been to San Diego once, he had been home ported in Long Beach, but like me had been off coast of Vietnam most of his 2 years active duty. Getting low on money and not seeing need to drive Two – so I sold mine to John Perry for $150.
6. 1957 Ford, 4 door sedan, V-8, 3 speed, with overdrive. Spring/early Summer 1967. Paid $150. Purchased from one of the older guys who I was working in Oil Fields with. I doubt he had ever driven very far or very fast, shortly after I bought it I opened it up and the Distributor blew out of the engine setting off a chain of events that was going to cost far more to repair than car was worth so it was (I think) sold to Garage I got it to for a few dollars or else I abandoned it.
7. 1963 Puegot 2 door sedan. No idea why I bought this for $175. From an ad in the paper, it looked kind of cool. But it must have used a lot of oil or had an oil leak because shortly after I got it I drove to San Diego to see my Brother Dale (the Navy lifer) & his wife and the engine burned up and I left it in a Mission Bay Hotel parking lot.
8. 1957 Plymouth 2 Door Hardtop (Fury), V-8, Push Button Automatic Transmission. Gold. I bought this for $150. I forget where but I vaguely recall Ed being involved, either I got it from him or someone who worked for his dad. Really a neat car, I was driving it back & forth from Tustin to Terminal Island Oil Fields in Summer of 1967. I believe the engine seized up – I did not do a lot of engine checking or maintenance- and the Idiot Lights may not have worked- I pretty sure it was abandoned since it would have cost more to repair (and I didn’t have enough anyway) than it was worth.
9. 1951 Ford 4 door sedan, stick shift, not sure if 6 cyl. Or 8 cyl. I think I paid $100. No more than $150. In Fall of 1967. Slid into a high curb in rain while getting onto the Terminal Island Expressway and did major damage to front suspension. I know I Abandoned it.
10. 1955 Pontiac. 4 door sedan. V-8. Automatic transmission. Blue. Fall of 1967, early 1968. I doubt I paid even $100. For it. Engine smoked when I bought it-needed engine overhaul. I drove this and got several excessive smoke tickets. Had to fix it or Junk it to make tickets go away. Junked it.
11. 1960 or 61 VW Bug. Spring 1968. Black. I think I paid $450. or so for this, from Lutz Auto Sales in Long Beach, CA (Skip Lutz-Owner) making Payday payments. Had this for several years. It did not have gas gauge, old VW's had a reserve tank and a lever near the accelator pedal you flipped with your toe when it started sputtering, like a lot of people driving old VW's, I got quite good at this. I did cheap customizing things to it, for reversed wheel look you could actually mount the wide bolt pattern wheels backwards – if you cleaned and painted them silver – which I did. I painted the Glovebox door with my own design inspired by summer of love (the word Love as a Heart). One day I down shifted going too fast and suck a valve, completing blowing up the engine, I got it replaced by Lutz Auto, they added cost to my balance and I kept making payments. Had engine troubles again in late 68 (broken crankshaft) and believe I traded (with little $$) for #12, but I may have sold it for whatever I could get.
12. 1960 VW Bus – Transporter/Van. Late 1968 early 1969. UGH. Don’t remember what I paid but even if it was free I got a raw deal. A Terrible vehicle with stock 40 hp (or less) engine, could barely go on freeways and slightest crosswind would cause you to shift lanes. Had this when I married 1st Wife (Sueanne) in July 1969 and for a while after- she had a 1966 Bug that we drove- with me using Van just for work mostly. Sold the Van sometime in late 1970, driving wifes car to No. Calif. before heading to Tobago in Spring of 1971, where I didn’t have a Car, but after being there for a while I bought a used “Humber” bicycle (think old British single speed Bike).
13. Did not have a car when I came back to Southern Calif. in spring of 1972, 1st Wifes step dad got “her” a 1969 or 70 Toyota Corolla to drive since they had gotten rid of her Bug while we were gone.
14. 1963 Studebaker Grand Turisimo, April/May 1972, V-8, 2 door, White, very sporty, for $300. (some borrowed I think from In-laws) from the newspaper that after I brought home, in-laws gave me hard time about how much work it needed (needed a muffler for sure is all I remember) and so I took it back and somehow talked the seller into giving me my money back. Maybe it was my surf hippy appearance and they were afraid, I don’t know- but kicked myself after for not keeping it since shortly afte,r Sueanne and I broke up, I moved into a 1 Bed apt. on Redondo Ave. just off 7th St. in Long Beach, sharing with Hank Hannawalt, a musician in a band called Almost Like Flying, getting rides and walking most of Summer of 72, then I got #15.
15. 1956 Ford Victoria 2 door Hardtop, August/Sept. 1972., V-8, Automatic. (Not a Crown Victoria). I bought this for $100. From Keith Maynard who was from Tobago and one of the 4 surfers on the Island while I lived there. He left Tobago just before I did and was living in Inglewood under LAX flight path with a friend of his from Trinidad going to a Trade College in L.A. This was a nice Car. The Engine and transmission and seats were very good, paint not so good. This wasthe Car I had when I started school at Long Beach City College and worked as Bar Host at Hof’s Hut at PCH Marina. I had to park on busy street (Redondo Ave.) and one night (probably Dec./Jan. 1973) a drunk driver in a Cadillac took out the drivers side, people saw it, followed the guy to his house a short distance away, someone woke us up, cops went to his house could clearly see he had done it, but all he could be charged with was Misdemeanor Hit and Run (property damage only). I did not have insurance – and as a result his Insurance Co. (I believe Republic) treated me like crap and I ended up with maybe $150. Which I used at least part of for # 16.
Here's pictures before the wreck with Keith (on the Hood) & and Allan-also from Trinidad & Tobago, both here going to Trade School in L.A., and after the wreck.
16. 1957 Chevrolet Station Wagon. Feb. 1973. 6 cylinder, automatic. Green. Had some cracked glass. I doubt I paid more than $100. For it and can’t recall exactly why but I do remember driving it to Junkyard. Which means I probably had some serious mechanical issue and possibly even a excessive smoke ticket.
17. 1963 Rambler Station Wagon. March/April 1973. Cross Country 770 model. V-8, Automatic. Power Steering, Power Brakes. Light Blue. I may have paid $200. for this, possibly a little more. This was also about the time when I moved to the Garage Apt. at 3710 East 14th Street. I had this for a couple years- I had a Surfboard and wet suit and would still go surfing some, if I had gas money, and slept in it at the beach a few times. But this was also time of 1st big Oil Embargo/Crisis and Gas prices tripled or something. So I bought a 2nd hand 10 speed and started riding that around as well. Can’t remember why I got rid of but I do recall in Summer of 74 it had several repair bills (power steering was one) and I got # 18.
18. 1960-61 VW Bug. Fall 1974. No idea how much I paid for it. Or got for it when I sold. I was working at Todd Shipyards (started as Summer of ‘74 Job, which lasted into ’75) but the front end was loose (bad king pins) and it was a flat black, but it lasted at least until Spring of ’75. I remember having this when I met Kathy McQuire which was a serious relationship for a while. Fortunately she had a 69 or 70 Cheverolet Chevelle we went most places in.
19. 1964 Rambler Station Wagon. Spring/Summer 1975. 6 cyl. Stick. Red. Not sure why but this was a very short lived vehicle.
20. 1954 Rambler American, Summer/Fall 1975. Country Club, 2 door sedan. 6 cyl. Stick. A good car, which I drove for several months trouble free, but again my lack of care meant I rarely opened the hood, and relying on broken idiot lights or gauges caused it to overheat and it cracked the block. Fortunately I was working at Circle Motors VW at this point and the Shop Foreman, Tom Waldi, had a 1963 VW that had been rear ended he sold me without the engine for $100. And with a junkyard motor and a little power saw work became # 21.
21. 1963 VW Bug. Fall 1976.As it had been rear ended just before i got it, the decision was made that it would be cheaper to cut off the rear & put fiberglass Baja Bug fenders and rear cross piece on the cut off rear end, with a Black Baja Bug rear bumper/cage. Also got some White spoke 15 x 6 or 7 rear wheels with some 2nd hand wider fat tires (G70 I think). At first I ran with the Junkyard motor I put into it to get running, but it smoked real bad and I soon got excessive smoke ticket. Which meant either junk it (which proved it was taken off road) or fix it. I was laid off and Tom Waldi had left Circle Motors starting his own shop with one of the Mechanics “Sharon.” (Digression: When I first went to work there “Sharon” was off on extended time off-can’t recall particulars-and a couple of the mechanics would give me a hard time about something and say “just wait till Sharon gets back, she’ll set you straight.” And I’d think to myself, with a name like Sharon this guy’s not gonna scare me much. Well it turns out Sharon was a Female VW Mechanic (of German ancestry) and she could set you straight, though she & I did become friends). Her last name was Hiller so they called their shop HillWall Motors and they were still in business in 1990). Back to story: Anyway, Tom & I rebuilt the stock 1200cc motor, me buying parts and him supervising me and doing critical things, I was able to detail and paint it up nice, and along the way, within my limited budget, we hopped it up. We put oversize cylinders and pistons, making it almost 1400cc, with slightly higher lift rocker arms from the VW Variant (Knotchback), a power pulley, re-jetted the Solex carb, and had headers and trick muffler. Really not all that much, but combined with slightly lighter weight of car it seemed like a racer. I drove this during Summer I chased being an extra in L.A., was driving this when I became a Baha’i, Summer of 1977, and when I started working at Alan Pre-Fab Buildings in Nov. of 77. I drove in winter of 76 and 77 without a heater – part of having the headers meant giving up the VW Heater Box system. Didn’t bother me too much, I wore a Pea Coat and a Knit Hat, but it made a couple dates think twice about going out with me again. Sometime in Spring/Summer of 1978, the clutch was going out and I started thinking my Job required a car with some amenities. On to # 22.
22. 1966 Pontiac. Spring/Summer 1978. Bonneville Station Wagon. Paid $300. in Orange County. V-8, Power Steering, Power Brakes, Automatic, Air Conditioning. Gold. A very long vehicle. Was driving this on Pacific Coast Highway one day (Southbound, near Torrance), with my Mother and a Baha’i lady from Long Beach (I believe Vermell) and we stopped at a traffic signal and were rear ended by a Van. It hit the rear tail gate really hard, but this old wagon took it in stride, the rear window (power at that) still went up and down, and nothing was broken. I don’t recall exactly but I believe it must have developed engine trouble and I got rid of as didn’t think it was worth investing more than I paid for it to keep it. Was doing OK at Alan so had a bit more for used cars and got #23.
23. 1963 Cadillac. Winter 78. 2 door Coupe De Ville. V-8, all power, even windows. White with Red Leather Interior. Paid $600. Purchased from Original owner, had almost 100k on it but was very clean, it still had the Jacking Instructions Plaque in the Trunk and you could read every word. Unfortunately shortly after I purchased I found out the rings were bad in one of the cylinders and they would foul that pug and it would only be running on 7 cylinders. I tried a gismo that fit on end of plug holding it out further way from the cylinder but this made spark weaker and it too got fouled, the estimate to rebuild the engine was over a $1000. I sold for $550. And bought # 24.
24. 1965 2 door Coupe De Ville. Spring 1979. Paid $300. White with White Leather. All power. A little rough but the engine didn’t smoke and in fact never had any problems. It needed to have the Air Conditioning fixed which I believe cost almost $300, and it got horrendous gas mileage (something like 6 – 7 MPG) so I didn’t take any long trips in it. It needed some tires and I was at a Tire place near work in Paramount and they had some used American Racing Torgue Thrust Mag Wheels for sale, for like a $100. and I commented … it was too bad something like that wouldn’t fit my Cadillac, and the guy said; Oh they will fit. So I got the Tires mounted to the Wheels and it was a done deal. The tires were not radials, but big blackwall bias ply, it looked like a cross between a bad muscle car and a low rider and I cruised it until late summer of 1979, when the Transmission gave it up, and I decided to purchase my 1st New Car, feeling secure enough with my income at Alan Pre-Fab to make monthly payments. Enter #25.
25. 1979 Chevrolet El Camino. Summer 1979. White. Lt. Blue interior. I leased this vehicle, it sold for $7,700. I paid almost nothing up front and had $162, a month payments for 3 years. With a residual of $3,500. It was not a high end level, I got it with V-6 engine (looking to save money on gas) and Power Steering, Power Brakes, & Air Conditioning. Just a basic radio (as I planned to get that upgraded to AM/FM Cassette on my own). I got a solid bed cover (from Gaylords in Paramount), some alloy wheels (Turbos they were called), a sheepskin for the seat, and had the rear window tinted. And drove it for 5 years. I got into a slight fender bender right after I got it, I rear ended someone on PCH near home rubber necking in stop & go traffic. Didn’t hurt their car, but broke my plastic grille. Insurance fixed it. Some months later I backed out of my driveway (still at 3710 E. 14th St.) and sideswiped a car, not much damage to mine, maybe a new bumper. My 2nd wife, got her drivers license in it in early 1981. It had a broken crankshaft in 1982 after it was off warranty but I got it fixed. I backed into a big truck’s hitch in 1983 and dented the tailgate, and got that fixed. When the 3 years were up I re-leased it for Two more years for $125. a month (the bank Wells Fargo really made out on this vehicle) with I think a residual of $2,500. Anyway I ended up selling it for like $3,500. and having some money left. During this Time I had a Company Car in 1981. And we had a couple of 2nd cars.
This was taken while getting "dressed up" to be used as a Baha'i Float in a Riverside CA Parade.
Here's one of the El Camino without any decorations or people.
26. 1979 Oldsmobile. 1981-82. 2 door Cutlass Supreme. Dark Blue. This was a company car while employed at Insco Modular Buildings started in summer of 1981 and left in spring 1982.
Car is behind me, Fish are Trout that were caught at private campground with spring fed pond in Lytle Creek, CA.
27. 1971 or 72 Dodge Dart. Late 1982/Early 1983. Lt Blue. Slant 6. This was a 2nd car for wife to drive. It was not dependable and did not last long. Replaced with #28.
28. 1967 Pontiac. Summer/Fall 1983. Catalina Station Wagon. White. Paid $400. V-8. Automatic, Power Steering & Brakes. I remember the Air Conditioner worked really, really good. I would drive around Colton and San Berdoo on a hot summer night and have it blasting ice cold air.
29. 1984 Toyota Tercel Wagon. Summer 1984. 4 cyl. 5 speed. White. Another lease deal. Got a coupon from Wells Fargo saying we were pre-approved for a lease to a certain amount and went to the dealer and drove this home. It proved to be a great little vehicle. Oldest daughter and I went camping one time outside of Yosemite (sleeping in it) in late summer of 84.
2nd wife drove it (fully loaded) to Madison WI in 1989 and again in 1990 when we separated, and she had this little wagon for several years after. During this time I had several vehicles.
Here's what the little White Wagon looked like when it was loaded up ... with my Two girls standing next to it.
30. 1976 Plymouth Volare. Late 1984. This was a Station Wagon. 318 V-8, Automatic, Power Steering, Power Brakes. It had vinyl fake wood grain on sides and tailgate. Paid around $5-600. I remember I purchased in the area inland of Newport Beach. It set outside and the salt air moisture caused some slight rust around rear window. I don’t remember how I got the idea but it had Torsion Bar front suspension which makes lowering and/or raising very easy. I had it raised up several inches, put Air Shocks on Rear at Pep Boys, got some white spoke wheels and Desert Dueller Tires and had a (faux) Off Road wagon. And it did OK on dirt roads. I also got a AM/FM Radio Cassette player at Leo’s Stereo on D Street in Berdoo, and I had the front seats repositioned slightly rearward to have more legroom. This is wagon that had 3 water pumps in like 4 months one year, one on way to Fresno and on the way back – not good. The Transmission died for the second time and I retired it behind the garage on Valaria Drive. Old Wagons make great storage sheds. But since it had been an OK Wagon. I bought almost the same thing for #31.
31. 1977 Dodge Aspen. 1987. This also a Wagon. Paid $650. Exact same body style, engine, trans., etc. as Plymouth Volare, only no fake woodie look. Had the front raised, got the Air Shocks for the rear, took wheels & tires, front bucket seats (spray died the seats red to match back seat) and sound system out of the Volare, and Bingo, had another (faux) Off Road Wagon. This was the Wagon I was driving with my youngest daughter Nahrissa in 1988 (Summer?) in car seat in back seat passenger side when I pulled out onto Baseline and was T-Boned by a guy going way too fast who never even swerved to avoid me. Technically I was at fault but I must have looked that direction just as he was behind a pole because I know I looked both ways. Very Scary Experience. My side was caved in – I had to kick the passenger door open and get Nahrissa out. She was screaming and my legs were shaking. But we were ok. I did have a giant bruise on my left side for a week or so. And Nahrissa doesn’t drive, but I have no proof this had anything to do with that. Next vehicle was an interesting departure.
Here's Before & After Pictures of it ... Before also shows my Little Red Wooden Row Boat and was taken at Salton Sea, Spring 1988.
32. 1976 Toyota Chinook. Summer 1988. Paid $3,200. 4 cyl. (20R Motor), 3 speed Automatic. And it had same bolt pattern on wheels so I got to use the spioke rims and Destert Dueller tires from the wrecked Aspen Wagon. This was a Mini-RV. A Chinook is a “Pop Top” fiberglass camper conversion installed on a ¾ Ton Truck Chassis. It did not have a Toilet or Shower, but had a sink and fridge and table and sleeping space, etc., and made an excellent Camping and Day Trip vehicle. It was also used as a “Portable Office” for me while working as a Regional Sales Manager for Action Mobile Offices. I had this right up to end of Summer in 1990. Engine was a little anemic for all the weight, especially with Automatic Transmission, which had to be rebuilt, so when engine needed some work I had a slightly higher lift cam and a header installed. Should have had the engine rebuilt as it developed a slight lower end knock (bearing) afterwards. We were rear ended and there was enough damage that I had to decide if worth keeping and fixing to bring to WI or not. Decided it wasn’t capable of towing very much here, and by that time I had purchased # 33. Sold for $1,500.
33. 1967 Ford Pick Up. Summer 1989. Paid $2,200. White. Blue Interior. Still own it. Now a Two-Tone Hot Rod Truck, Deep Cranberry Pearl and French Vanilla.
This is what it looked like in Nov. 1990 when I left for WI, not shown is the loaded Two Axle U-Haul I was pulling ...
This is what it looks like now (Spring 2010)
34. 1984 Dodge. November 1990. Station Wagon. Paid $450. Blue. Bought in WI as winter car. Unfortunately heater did not work worth a hoot. Learned what the K- in K-Kar stood for: Ka-Ka.
35. 1985 Dodge. November 1991. Station wagon. Paid. $400. Another K-Kar mistake. Thought since heater worked in this one it might be OK for winter. Slid into a high curb and bent front wheel. Made repairs and sold for $400. All within a month or so.
36. 1979 Jeep Cherokee. November 1991. Paid $400. Station Wagon. Full Time 4 wheel drive, which was good since only intended to drive for winter use only. Broke the cardinal rule of used car buying, bought it in the dark. Not a good vehicle but lasted through Two full winters. The Automatic Transmission puked fluid real bad on a driveway on a sunroom appt. in Waterloo-and they complained to my boss who got it cleaned up. Embarrassing.
37. 1988 Buick. Spring 1993. 4 door. V-6. Gold. Bought from my Employer (Al A. of Kool View/Four Seasons for I think. $3000. I made payments (he deducted from commissions). It had a timing sprocket go bad which cost $4-500. to fix. I remember selling it for $1500.
38. 1981 Oldsmobile. Station Wagon. BIG Brown Station Wagon, 350 V-8, roof racks, rear facing far back seat, the works. Late 1993? Paid around $750. Drove for awhile, through at least one winter (no snow tires-slid through a lot of stop signs). I remember driving to Holiday Shores with Nahrissa in July for camping trip with a Canoe on roof and bad storms on the way up there.
39. 1994 Mazda 626 4 dr sedan, 4 cyl (16V) 5 speed stick. Summer 1994. Got this car New (leased) from Bob Tolkan Mazda in Milwaukee. Very nice sporty car, rear seats folded forward and open to trunk, much like a station wagaon, more sedans should do this. Had it up to a 100mph with power still to spare. Owned 3 years.
40. 1987 Ford Taurus Station Wagon. Brown. Paid $3000. V-6. Got me started on this body style, a good vehicle, V-6 gas mileage, roomy enough, & practical.
41. 1993 Ford Taurus Station Wagon. Light Blue/Green. Drove it to New Mexico to see Ken at Christmas. This was more Roberta’s than mine.
42. 1994 Mercury Sable Station Wagon. White. Blur cloth seats. Bought from Gordie Boucher on East Side.
43. 1995 Mercury Sable Station Wagon. Dark Green, Tan Leather seats, top of line LX Model, had digital dash, 3.8 V-6, one of my favorite wagons of all time. Got used, in I believe 1998, off internet search from a Lincoln Mercury dealer in Plymouth, MI, flew over and drove home. Didn’t trade for #43, decided I could sell for more than Dealer offered. Wrong. Ended up selling, finally, for what dealer offered, $1800.
44. 2000 Mercury Sable Wagon. 3.0 V-6 (24V). Red. Not my favorite. I think got it in 2002, never totally liked the “new” body style adopted in 1996. Got some front lower rocker panel damage that never got repaired. Got $2500. For trade in on #45.
45. 2005 Dodge Magnum R/T, AWD, Hemi V-8. Magnesium Green. Taupe Leather. Navigation, heated seats, everything. Got this in Feb. 2006 from Dodge City in Milwaukee with 22k miles for $22,000. Big V-8 Power, yet average 18 MPG, with 23-24 straight highway MPG. Probably my #1 favorite wagon, with #43 being close second. Sold in Dec. 2009 with 87,000 miles on it for $10,500.
46. 2008 Dodge Dakota Crew Cab (4 dr.) Pick Up. 4.7L V-8, Silver, two tone grey leather seats, Laramie Edition. Bought in October 2009 with 18K miles for $21,000. Added side step pipes, front Grill Guard, Fender Flares, & solid bed cover. Like having a 4WD truck but only gets average of 15 MPG.
47. Currently researching GMC Terrain (a small SUV/Wagon), Subaru Outback Wagon, and Mitsubishi Outlander.
AND, the winner was ... a Blue 2010 GMC AWD Terrain, with 12K miles, for $29K, has 16V 4cyl, fully loaded with Nav, Sunroof, Trailer Tow, even has a cool back up camera thing. 2 tone leather seats (Titanium & Black), very comfortable & roomy inside, liking much better than the Dakota P.U. which I did get a decent trade in on the Terrain ($18.5K). Looking forward to having for quite awhile, as it gets great mileage (avg around 21-22 MPG so far).
48. Have added another Summer only vehicle, not replacing anything as of yet: a 1947 Ford 2 Door Sedan that has been re-worked a lot. It has a 1999 2WD Ford Explorer chassis, front and rear, 4 wheel disk brakes, and steering. The body has had a PT Cruiser complete rear hatch added - it looks like it came from factory, and wood sides like a woody wagon or Ford Sportsman, except Ford never made a 2 door woody wagon, and the Sportsman was never available as a Sedan. It also has 62 Chevrolet Dash, late model Chevy V-8 Engine and 4 speed OD automatic trans. The rear seat is from a 2 door GMC Jimmy SUV, with the back seat folding completely flat. So was the front seat but I am replacing those with aftermarket (Corbeau) seats to get more legroom. Also replacing steering wheel with a smaller wood rimmed one. The entire car was painted Flat Gray with yellow striping and yellow wheels. I removed the striping, the fenders are being painted Sangria Red (a Maroon), and I plan on painting the wheels Antique White.
This is what it looked like when I bought it in Mid March 2014: