58 thoughts on “Car Talk”

  1. sturge, thanks for posting this nugget of wisdom from pete.  am reposting in case mixers weren’t yet up at 4:48 a.m.


    Pete Buttigieg on the CNN report yesterday against
    : “There are always these parlor games of trying to gin up drama in an administration that has been incredibly focused and disciplined to deliver a win on infrastructure that has eluded president after president.”

  2. My first car was an ooooold 1970-something, AMC Hornet.  It looked like a Mustang.   My boyfriend at the time, borrowed it after his sister tried to drive his car through a metal fence whilst drunk and trying to evade police. To ~thank~ me for letting him borrow it, he decided to give it a tune-up. He put type F transmission fluid in it. That is for Ford models and it’s very thick. It blew out the transmission fluid lines. I told you it looked like a Mustang.

    My favorite car is always my current car, as long as it’s working well and paid for…but I would swear that recall notices are to get you into the dealership so they can find something else to do.

    Saddest program was the cash-fir-clunkers. My friend’s kid worked at a dealership. They had to pour something in the engines to make them seize up, so they couldn’t be resold. What a waste. If folks made more money, many of them would want to buy new cars more often.

  3. 73 VW bus. Red with white. Pancake engine. Decent power and decent heat. Rear seat bed conversion and huge sunroof. Loved that bus.

  4. The Hornet had a straight, six-cylinder engine. She picked up speed quickly until, you know, she was mistaken for a Ford.

    She needed blue paint, so I got some car spray paint. It didn’t take and every time it rained, she left a blue puddle.

  5. Craig – That Olds is what we fondly called a land yacht. Any idea how many miles to the gallon it got? Did it have a bench seat in front to fit as many as you could squeeze in? Oh, wait. It was a 2-door???

  6. I’ve had many land yachts, and an Alfa-romeo 4-door sedan, a 56 rambler, 3 pick-up trucks, and 3 V W buses, but the pride of them all was the 56 chevy.

    I shall attempt it, in no order:
    64 2-door caddy
    60 Bonneville
    70 Olds 98
    70 sedan Caddy
    72 chevy caprice
    probably some more, have to think……loved them all.
    Had access to these parental cars:
    60 olds 98
    54 olds 88
    58 olds 88
    58 olds 98
    haha CARS!

    I’m kind of like The Automobile Graveyard….where the autos come to die.

  7. Friend of mine bought an old super-sized Chrysler with a Jesus sticker on the back……yep, he called it his Jesus Chrysler

  8. not withstanding the beetle, the coolest car i ever had was an old studey el presidente – talk about get up and go. that thing was made for speed.  too bad the roof liner kept falling down tho’.

    Image result for studebaker el presidente


    best things (i miss with modern cars) in both the beetle & the studey were the vent windows.  when you live in FL and the ac is on the blink (which was most of the time in those days) you need all the vents available plus a workable sunroof.

  9. Could you sneak people into the drive-in movie theater in the trunk of the Batmobile?  You could in a 56 chevy convertible.   As many as you could cram in there.  Get inside and they would all come up over the back seat.

  10. My favorite car was my first new one..   a 73 Toyota Celica…  gold with a racing stripe down both sides.  It was a guy magnet.

  11. Sturg,
    Yeah, cars. 
    I I started with a land yacht – 1960 Plymouth Belvedere that I bought from my grandmother for $250 – only car I ever made money on when I sold it.  Green and white – rectangular steering wheel and push button tranny.  Had A/C so all my friends liked driving around in it from May or so through October although it was butt ugly.  Did have a big V8 so it was pretty fast, but didn’t turn for shit. the 20th century list went something like this:

    1960 Plymouth Belvedere
    1958 Chevy pickup (stepside)
    1968 Fiat 850 Coupe
    1968 Pontiac Grand Prix (borrowed from Mom when I got tired of planing the Fiat’s head and replacing the head gasket)
    1972 Chevy Vega (Tied with Yugos and Pintos as worst car in the history of cars)
    1964 VW Beetle
    1968 VW bus
    1973 VW Bus
    1974 Toyota Corolla
    1973 Ford Ranger
    1986 VW Jetta
    1987 VW Jetta
    1990ish Audi 100

    After that I bought one very used 1998 Audi A8 and for the last 18 years have driven Mrs. P’s hand me downs – an Isuzu Trooper (around 2000) and two Audi Q7s – the current one a 2015 that I may just drive until the wheels fall off (or until Mrs. P gets the itch again).

    Parent cars I had access to pre college were typically Olds 88s – my dad loved them – and a Ford Galaxy that dad kept for less than 6 months. My favorite parent car was Mom’s 1964 Olds Cutlass 2 door hardtop – 330 engine, burgundy with white top and interior.  Ran like a scalded dog.

    Just for shits and giggles –
    2000 MB CLK 320 (Probably use it less than 1000 miles per year, but it’s fun with the top down)
    2001 Honda 750 ACE (Havent ridden it in over 2 years)

    But for thrills, Mrs. P (before she was Mrs. P) had a Dodge Stealth when we met – twin turbo, all wheel drive, all wheel steering, 5 speed standard – 0-60 in less than 5 seconds and drove like it was on rails.  (And unfortunately for two struggling lawyers in the start of their careers, ate tires. brakes and rotors quicker than you could imagine at great expense and so was sold to a young thrill seeker).  She still wants that car back so I keep an eye peeled for one just in case…

  12. 1954 International Travel All. 
    “Olivia de Travelin’ ” 
    I bought a 54′ International  half ton pick-up with no gas tank, and no  bed on the back sitting in a field for $25 bucks  a few months later. 
    I was after the snow tires.  Wired a anti-freeze  can with a little gas on her , threw in a battery and towed her of to get her started.  The thing ran like a sewing machine.  Took her to Texas twice. 
    Built a flat bed with oak stake side fences , painted the whole thing black and yellow , with a brush and latex paint. 
    Bought 56′ 3/4 ton 4-wheel drive International.  “Bluto”
    Turned “Olivia” into a 4-wheel drive. 
    The 52′ thru 56′ Internationals were all interchangeable. 
    The engines had 3 sizes  220 , 240 , and 260 cu. in.
    The Black Diamond, the Blue diamond , and the Green Diamond. 
    God I loved those trucks. 
    I got a picture of the 4-wheel  “Oliva” if the flood didn’t kill it last year. 

  13. My favorite car story.   Don and his buddy grew up in Rapid City.  His buddy’s dad went off into the mountains and ran a hose from the exhaust into the vehicle and by doing so subsequently died. It was quite some time before anyone found him so the old car got pretty rank inside.   Well, long story short Don’s buddy winds up with the car. They figure if they can clean it up enough they can go double dating in it.  So they scrub and scour and scrape and eventually remove most traces of the dead body which had been in there.  It was fall going into winter when they finally got it up to ask out a couple of girls.   So there they are tooling around Rapid and one of the girls asks them to turn on the heater which Don’s buddy did, and then turned it to high. The heater fan began to blow out flies.   Hundreds of dead flies all over ‘em.  Don explained it as being pretty gruesome and the girls got away.

  14. If it was safe (bike lanes), I wouldn’t mind riding a bike to the office if weather permitted.

  15. I wanted to buy a Corvair. My dad wouldn’t let me; he said they’re “death traps.” So, I bought the Hornet. The back-up lights didn’t work and I promised him I’d never put the car in reverse if he didn’t make me get it fixed. He didn’t go for that. Thank goodness it just need 50-cent bulbs. Parts used to be cheaper.

  16. So with the 60 Belvedere (only car I ever made money selling) I never named it – my buddies called it the Green Monster or Batmobile depending on who you talked to – but if I had to name it I’d call it Ol’ 250.  I got a sweet deal on it at $250 from my Grandmother just when I turned 16.  Put a new interior in it (cost me $30 from J.C. Whitney as I remember it) – put in new floor cover (rubber instead of carpet) for another $30 or so and painted it in the garage with my dad (and while the color wasn’t what I had hoped, it was real shiny and had very little orange peeling) for about $50 for the paint.  So, all in I’m at about $360.  So I drove this car for 2 years and on my way to school one wet morning with the car filled with my sister and her friends I turned left when the light at the intersection at the new 4 lane near the school changed and a car coming toward me thought he’d run the light but laws of physics and all he slid into the intersection an d almost got stopped but hit the front of the car and did a bit of damage.  Car still ran fine but looked like, well, it had been hit in the front.  His fault, so his insurance company sent me a check for repairs in the amount of, yep, $250. My dad worked with a guy who did car body repairs and painting on the side so dad took the car to work to see if he was interested in fixing it and the guy kinda liked it and offered my dad $250 for the car, and he accepted that offer on my behalf so I actually made $160 on it after driving it for 2 years.  I threw $300 in with the $500 and bought the Fiat 850, which is probably the 2nd favorite car I’ve owned after the 73 bus, other than the Q7 I have now.

  17. Coming back to the Mineral Hot Springs  from Denver  my first winter in Colorado , we did  a 360 crossing a icy bridge near “Crow Hill on US 285.  I was in the back seat of Al Jensen’s Beetle. 
    This thing had 3 different colors on the fenders , and those old round truck turn signals mounted on the roof.  They looked like ears.  So he called it “Micky” .
    Al used to pack snow on the windshield  over his expired inspection sticker. 

  18. Too many cars and trucks to remember, and I do not have pictures of many of them anymore.  I liked my 65 Corvair, basic car with optional heater, no radio.  It was like a Beetle because once you got it on top of the snow it could drive around like a motorized sled.  My 36 Chevy best a blast to drive around in, lots of room front and back.  55 Ford was held together with Bondo, soup cans, baling wire and some kind of tape.  62 Fairlane was great date car, bench seat but small enough to be together.  69 Ford F100 which was creamed in the rear and the bed folded up over the wheels, sold that to some Mid Eastern types, at night, cash deal.  Have no idea about it except shortly after that some war broke out in the MidEast.  For all around fun was my 89 Ford Bronco, built the engine for that one, it moved.  I am happy with my current 04 F250 long bed diesel and 19 Transit, I fit in them. 
    Foreign cars – my 2001 Hyundai was great, it just needed cruise control to have been perfect for zipping around back roads of Virginia and Maryland.  For a few years I would buy cheap, very cheap, cars, clean them up, tune up, air freshener, lots of polish and a bit of Motor Honey in the transmissions and resell them.  I think state law was no more than five each year, so I must have only done five each year.  One of those was French, something from the early sixties.  I paid $25 for it, and put a tow bar on it and dragged it home.  Then I opened the door and climbed in.  The farmer had welded extensions on the pedals so his son, medical condition of very small body, could drive it.  Oops.  I ended selling that one to someone with special needs. I could not drive it while I had it.  But, overall too many cars.
    The one car I wanted but did not have money for was a 1956 T-Bird.  Built for a Ford executive.  His son had it in high school and later on when I was in college wanted to sell it for $1,000.  I did not have the cash at that moment.  Sigh.  It was a great powerful car.

  19. The LZ at Afton Wyo.  This was after Iranian Revolution , and the beginning of the digital one.  This was the war for finding oil. 

  20. speaking of land yachts

    This song and accompanying montage tells the story of how an autoworker who assembled luxury cars stole the pieces to make his dream car from the Cadillac factory he worked in.

  21. A Detailed Look At Johnny Cash’s Cadillac From One Piece At A Time (hotcars.com)

    Musicians have a love affair with Cadillacs. Maybe it all started with Elvis Presley’s famous pink Fleetwood. Or perhaps the infatuation began with Chess Records offering Cadillacs to Rhythm and Blues musicians such as Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry. But it was Johnny Cash who sang the most iconic song about a Cadillac in American history: His 1976 hit “One Piece at a Time.”


  22. Motor honey and STP (probably still have an STP sticker around somewhere) – memories of days gone by.  
    Ah, Ms. Bronc – the one that got away – I had a shot at a Volvo P1800 back before I could afford one – probably was about the time I bought my first VW beetle.  It was for sale for about 3x what the Beetle cost me when the Vega was doing its death dance at a quart of oil every 300 miles, so I couldn’t swing it on my pizza delivery and bicycle mechanic pay.  I loved the looks of that car – British Racing Green (or maybe it was gray) with tan interior.  Thing was beautiful.  Was about the time by best friend bought a Porsche 912 – went to Nashville to buy it.  I followed him back to Tuscaloosa and told him he needed to check the oil ‘cuz I saw white smoke every time he accelerated or decelerated.  It used almost a quart on that 250 mile drive – about like the Vega.  He took it to his mechanic to check it out and the guy told him he’d just bought a shit birthday cake – very pretty on the outside, but the engine was terrible and the pan was close to rotting out.  He took it back to Nashville and got the guy to take it back – but it was pretty dicey. Took the threat of a lawsuit as I recall.

  23. Renee and Blue – so jealous of your cool Celica and Hornet! I learned to drive in a 1969 Plymouth Valiant, not at all cool and the hood was for some reason painted a different shade of blue than the rest of the car. Pictured is one that was a little nicer than mine.

    I vote “Pink Cadillac” by Springsteen for best Cadillac song.

    1969 Plymouth Valiant for Sale

  24. My 1st car was that 54′ Ford  I have posted here with  that 38  shaker van paint job.  My mom sold it for 6 books of S&H Green stamps. 
    But I bought an Indian motorcycle before that , it had been converted to a dirt track bike long before I got it. The lights  ran off a 6 volt battery.  It was one lung tower of shiny aluminum.  Purple with a snake head seat. 
    Reading all these dreams , we’d all be rich if we had just sat on our iron. 

  25. I only got to ride in it, but it belonged to a close friend and I loved it.  It was one of the last 200 Cadillac El Dorado Convertibles made for the bi-Centennial.  Nothing quite like waiting on a corner and having it glide up with the gentleman leaning over with “Hey lady need a ride!”  

    It was equipped with a full speaker system and often used in parades for visiting political types.


    Years Available: 1976 only
    Number Built: 200 (199 replica cars, plus 1 actual last car)
    Paint: Cotillion White (paint code 11)
    Convertible Top: White (top code A)
    Interior Trim: White Sierra Grain Leather with Dark Firethorn Seaming Laces (piping on seats) (trim code S072)
    Accent Striping: Blue (color code 26A) and Red (color code 76A)
    (Red accent stripe is the lower stripe, and continues on door; Blue stripe is upper stripe and is only on hood)
    Price: $85.00 (Accessory Code E45 SR Last Convertible Replica Decor Package)
    Body Plate Notes: Number listed before BDY should range from 13801-13999 (14000 was actual last car, retained by Cadillac Motor Car Division; see example at left)
    Special Notations On Build Sheet:

  26. Craig –
    I was so pleased with this post ,  when I saw Car Talk  . I asked  “do what” ? 
    Let’s name it , ” Take it Easy Tuesday ” .  One can not live on bread alone , he must have peanut butter. 
    Insert smiley face here .

  27. Note that there were zero  comments  about , ……………….. well we all know what.
    A real toddy for the mind and the soul. 
    Let me break the glass , Biden is moving to ban  any development with in 20 miles of Chaco Canyon. 
    That is a big deal . And woman  from the first nation is driving it. 
    They need to point this out. 
    Haaland Takes Important Step to Protect Sacred Chaco Canyon from Fossil Fuel Extraction

  28. BiD

    That whole show was great.  I remember the bug, but don’t remember which song went with it, but I think it was You Can Drive My Car.


  29. Oh, crap Poobah. You reminded me that I forgot about a Karman Ghia I had. It was an early 70s cabriolet but would have needed a bunch of work to be a good car so I sold it pretty quickly after acquiring it. Plus it was orange on black and had that smell that imperfectly buttoned down convertible had back in that era.

  30. Dave Chappelle Uninvited from High School’s Fundraiser: “They’re Canceling Stuff I Didn’t Even Want to Do”


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