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Sep 22, 2008 (9:45 am)
It was beat-up bad when my sister bought it in 1977. Top gone, interior in tatters. It had been parked, exposed to the elements. It did not run well enough to get her home. She put it in storage. The following year, I turned 16. My dad took it off my sisters hands, and asked me if I wanted it. We rebuilt the engine, put on new tires and brakes, replaced the top, put in a new interior, and had it painted. The guy doing the painting had never painted an MG before, it's a small town. I wanted yellow with black stripes, the kind that are on the side at the bottom. The guy called me because he couldn't figure out how the stripes went on, and he couldn't find a picture. He was trying to fit them to the hood and trunk lid.
The best aftermarket addition was the Haynes manual I picked up a few months after getting the car. You had to really baby this thing to keep it running. That dual carb set up was a real PITA.
It was a fun car. I loved taking it up to the local cruising strip. All my muscle car friends laughed at it, but the girls always wanted a ride. Kept the car through high school into college. It was a hoot to drive on the twisties in the mountains of western NC.
A particularly embarrassing moment - a friend and I had our eye on the same girl we worked with. We both offered her a ride home after work one night. She chose my MGB over his Gran Fury. hahahaha Well, we got in, dropped the top, and went on our merry way. Got about 3 blocks down the road and everything electrical in the car went blank. No lights, no radio, no instrument panel. So much for all my romantic intentions.
I sold the car to a friend in college four years later for $200. He wanted a cheap runabout while he rebuilt his Torino Cobra. He in turn sold it to a collector a few months later when he was done. About a year later I heard from him that it had been completely restored and was stored away. Lost track of it after that.
#243 of 281 Re: 73 Superbeetle -Automatic = Slooooooooow [lokki] (fezo) (steve) [hpmctorque] [steve_]
Sep 22, 2008 (12:25 pm)
You guys had it good with your '69 and '70 Volvos. Volvo actually enlarged the engine in '69 so that it had more power (OK, not much) and more torque. My father, at one point, owned a '68 144S automatic. That thing had to be driven to be believed. You could get a good approximation of its 0-60 time using a clock with no second hand.
#244 of 281 Re: 73 Superbeetle -Automatic = Slooooooooow [lokki] (fezo) (steve) [hpmctorque] [steve_] [bhill2]
Sep 23, 2008 (3:04 pm)
I can appreciate that one! I was always tempted t measure it with an hourglass....
#245 of 281 My first car
Dec 17, 2008 (6:45 pm)
Mine was a 1963 Dodge 440 , 4 dr. sed. It had a slant 6 (225c.i.) and a 3 spd. tourqeflite automatic with pushbuttons on the dash. It was cream with a dark brown stripe between the chrome strips. It had over 100,000 miles on it which was a lot in those days. I used to shift it mannualy, hitting the neutral button between first and second, flooring it and trying in vain to chirp the rear tire between gears. It had rust all over... and with the way I beat on it,, it did not last very long, needless to say the trans. was the first to fail. I ended up paying a junk yard $50. to take it, noone would buy a rusted out slant 6 Dodge with a blown tranny!!!!
#246 of 281 Re: My first car [Jost]
Dec 17, 2008 (10:44 pm)
Oooo, just wait until andre reads this! He would love to discuss Chryslers with slant sixes with you, I'm sure.
My first car ended up going to the junk yard too - it was 16 years old and had a quarter million miles or so at that point. They don't make Corollas like that one any more, although they still do a pretty good job.
Dec 18, 2008 (2:38 pm)
At least, the one that I bought with my own money, was a '79 Pontiac Sunbird coupe (or, cou-pay as they say on "Top Gear"). Beige with beige vinyl interior. 2.5L 4-cylinder - the infamous "Iron Duke" engine) coupled to a 4-speed manual transmission. No air, no tach, but I think it had an AM/FM radio.
Bought in the spring of '82 just before I graduated HS. Paid $3850 for it. It had less than 12K on it (an elderly couple were the original owners). I added the following "accessories" to it:
-> white fog (or were they driving?) lights
-> yellow fog lights
-> AM/FM Cassette w/ two box speakers - the rear shelf wasn't deep enough to allow for regular 6x9 or 5" installed speakers
-> aftermarket sunroof - my cousin and I did the installation - cutting a hole in the roof was a bit scary
Yes, I probably went overboard on the lights. They were wired independently, so I could turn them all on (with the high beams) at the same time. Got me into a spot of trouble with the cops on more than one occasion.
That car almost got me through college. I moved to Phoenix from SoCal in February of '83 - no a/c and vinyl seats were fine for cool California (I grew up close to the ocean), but not so good once the weather warmed up in Arizona. I looked into factory air, but that was going to cost over $700, so I convinced my parents to shell out $250 for a pair of real sheepskin seat covers. With the windows down and the sunroof open, it was tolerable in 110 degree heat.
Whilst living in Phoenix, I was involved in two accidents. First one was not my fault - a lady made a left in front of me and I T-boned her. The cosmetic repairs were fine, but the car never did run right afterwards. It had problems starting in hot weather and shifting became a problem - it wouldn't always find reverse. Took it into the shop multiple times - some of the issues I remember were a busted heater core and some broken motor mounts - but nobody was able to fix it and I was never really able to rely on it.
One morning about 3 months before graduation (summer of '85), I was on my way to a different repair shop to have the transmission looked at (again) and, while looking over my left shoulder to change lanes, the car in front of me slowed down to turn right into a driveway. I rear-ended the car (some sort of 70's battlecruiser) at about 20-30 MPH. My car went off on a hook, while the car I hit may have had a dent in the bumper.
The insurance company decided to total my car out. I remember getting about $2000 for it.
It wasn't fast, it wasn't sporty - heck, it wasn't even all that reliable towards the end of its life - but it was MINE!
#248 of 281 You're not driving my new car, so get you own!
Dec 18, 2008 (3:47 pm)
It came with 216 c.i., 3 on the tree, suicide doors, 6:00 X 16' wide whitewall tires, body by Fisher, chrome bumpers, seated 6 , running boards, and faster than a pregnant Nun going to confession.
'39 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe 4 Door
#249 of 281 3 on the tree!!
Dec 18, 2008 (5:12 pm)
That brought a smile to my face.....my brother had a '70 Dodge Dart ( Swinger I think) with 3 on the tree. I was working in a gas station at the time and remember a Mercedes with 4 on the tree....to a 16 year old whose only foreign car experience was ogling series 1 XK-E's and Triumph, MG, Porche's of the day that was a confusing car to drive!
#250 of 281 Re: 3 on the tree!! [Jost]
Dec 19, 2008 (6:04 pm)
Oh, in high school I had a Mercedes with a four on the tree! A 54 300. Loved that thing. My dad traded a $250 dishwasher for it.
#251 of 281 reply to 54 mercedes 300
Dec 20, 2008 (5:01 pm)
Wow, what a car that was for school. Certainly was rare at the time! anytime! Which 300 was it? I bet you had some great reaction in high school with a car like that!