Jump to content
CaddyInfo Cadillac Forum

What was your worst car owned - on the road?


Recommended Posts

Describe for all of us nostalgic members, your WORST ride.

This "beauty" has had to be actually licensed and on the road while you owned it. This would eliminate the old farm truck with no doors or hood... lol.

Lets see what kind of automotive disasters we all actually admit to driving around and being seen doing so.

To start it all off, mine was a 1974 Dodge Charger SE. I got it in late September to use as a winter-beater in 1982/83 as I had a street buggy (no heat, limited wiper capabilities and wide open engine compartment etc.) at the time.

When I was "given" this car (yup, wasn't worth anything even to the wrecker) it was 6 different colours. This was due to replacement body parts, 2 colours of bondo (as yet unsanded and 1/4" thick in some places), as well as the original colour. It had a landau top that was a light mustard colour which housed the famously sporty 3 slit windows on a slight angle.

My father insisted it be only one colour or it wasn't parking within a mile of our house. I painted it with red primer from spray cans and only masked the glass. I was young and not too experienced with a spray can (unlike some of the taggers of today) and got some just about everywhere it shouldn't.

It had a 318 CI V8 2-barrel "Family Pack" (as stated on the engine plate under the hood) and was an auto floor shift 3 speed. The 318 was a marvel for longevity but the rest of the car was not.

My friends would laugh at me endlessly for even owning this monstrous eyesore and even harder when the door handle broke off the outside of the driver's side. I had to climb through the window (if I could leave it open) or go through the passenger side and climb over the console and shifter. I fell into it more often than I can remember.

All 4 tires were different. 2 were whitewalls, 2 were snows and the rears were smaller (lower) than the front. The slant towards the rear was exagerated by the fact that the rear leaf springs were flattened due to age.

I put an 8 Track stereo under the dash and speakers on the rear shelf... it had a built-in AM Radio with 1 speaker in the front dash.

It had a trailer hitch which I pulled off the rusting frame by actually trying to tow something with it. Luckily, no incident with free-wheeling trailers as it occurred as soon as I tried to drive away with a 14' fiberglass/50 hp ski boat on it. The tongue of the trailer came up and whacked the trunk just above the tailights and almost rendered the trunk lid inoperable.

The only reason this car was on the road was because the previous owner (a friend of my Dad's) "allowed me" to keep it in her name and thus avoid the mandatory safety check to change ownership and acquire new plates. She had not yet been caught driving a "marginally safe" vehicle.

I managed to avoid detection myself until late March. It seems the rear fender had lost it's underside support and was flapping on the highway enough to have the Provincial Police haul me over. The cop said it was flapping about 6 or 7 inches at 60mph... not a good look I guess.

The officer ordered me to a government inspection site within 48 hours to check for road-worthiness. This poor thing didn't have a chance. I called 3 wreckers - 2 didn't even want it if I drove it there. The third said he'd take it but after establishing it's condition; offered no money and no transport to his yard. Sad because it ran like a charm.

My buddy and I drove it to the wrecker a fair distance out of town. On the way, we came upon a section of the country road where it dropped to 1 lane for a hairpin corner and a small bridge over a creek. There was a substantial guard-rail around the corner so I decided to run the corner against the rail. I never laughed so hard in my life because the sparks were flying like crazy. I got the car up to 40 mph going around the corner and we did it about 8 times before we took off.

The wheels were so far recessed in these old cars that I compressed the lower part of the passenger side about 4 inches inward and she still ran without any tire rub. We arrived at the wrecker safely and delivered the car. Later that summer I was at his yard for parts for my buggy (I had seen a couple of Corvairs there and my buggy had a Corvair engine) and he was using the old Dodge as a pickup in the yard... minus the trunk lid and doors. God rest her soul.

I promise you that had she been a Cadillac, my burial would have been much more formal and respectful.

Mike P

B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


1974 Vega CamBack! 'nuff said!

Chevy tried out a new kind of steel for the body. It became one huge rust bucket no matter what you did to care for it. The steel would actually bubble up under the paint!

I got airborn going over some railroad tracks and ripped the oil pan off! Blamed it on my little brother! We put a new pan on it and refilled the oil. It ran a little rough after that and we sold it for $1 to a family friend who needed a car for work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BY FAR the worst car I ever owned was a 1991 Nissan 240SX (5 speed), mid-life. In the wet weather it was horrible and I ended up having a bad accident with it in the rain. Where I rested my elbow on the door DENTED. When I was driving 65 the wheel well exploded off the car. And random stuff just fell out from under the dash. In addition the drivers seat wore out in 40,000 miles..... Never again... While I owned it I said to my self many times, I never had these types of problems with my Caddy's... and here I am again.

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In 1986, I bought a 1962 Fairlane 500 for $500 off of a friend of my brothers, who bought it off of an old lady that bought it new. It only had 32,000 miles and I bought it with the intent on restoring it. The bad part was the old lady brush painted it to keep it from rusting. It was white with a red stripe down the side. It drove like a tank and the muffler had a lot of holes in it. I could have had body work and paint done for $1000 but being "young and in manure" I decided to trade it in, after I found foam in the oil. I managed to get $1200 on a trade for an 85 Toyota "Japanese burner" 4X4 extra-cab truck. If only I had restored that diamond in the rough.

I was going to say a 1979 pinto, but that was one of the best cars I have ever owned. It was white with orange stripes and an orange vinyl interior, 4-speed, very reliable and cheap to work on, I had 132,000 miles on her when I traded her off in 1988. I still would see it now and again for a few years after that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lime green 1972 or 1973 (I forgot which) Vega hatch back. I despised that car! I bought it wrecked, needing only a right front fender and left rear quarter panel. It had only 11000 miles on it. I had $500.00 in it when it was finished. I did the work myself. The front fender was easy, but when I went to replace the quarter panel, I found that it had been replaced before, and whoever did it BRAZED it on! What a job trying to "unbraze" a quarter panel.

As far as the car went, it was a gutless wonder. It had a "Feel Every Bump" suspension. I used to say that you could tell if a coin was heads up or down if you drove over it.

Usually I form some sort of attachment to the vehicles that I owned. Not so with the Vega. The ONLY thing on that car that was worth anything was the emergency brake lever. Someone actually put some thought into it. (Hey, at least it worked).

I sold it to a co-worker, he has never forgiven me. ;)

tmpafford has it right on the body metal. It wasn't limited to Vegas either. I also had a 1974 Chevy Pickup that I bought new, It rusted out quicker than any other vehicle that I ever owned.

Thanks poopdeville for bringing back fond <_< memories. :P

Britt

Britt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow a lot of mid 70's iron...

Mine was a '74 318 Dodge Dart "Custom"... Wow was that car a total piece of crud... Green with a Black vinyl roof...The thing would stall at the drop at a hat and the windshield leaked into the glove box.

And that electronic ignition system… I think I still have a ballast resistor or three kicking around… You used to keep a spare one in the glove box just so you could make it home… Then of course when you needed it…It was underwater and you would spend most of the drive wondering how much damage this massive wet short was causing to your electrical system….

But on the plus side you gotta love the ol’ Chrysler starter…

caddy.jpg

Easin' down the highway in a new Cadillac,

I had a fine fox in front, I had three more in the back

ZZTOP, I'm Bad I'm Nationwide

Greg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1974 International Scout I owned in about 1994 . Rust everywhere , pop rivets , sheet metal , & expanding foam put it to acceptible . Holes in floors , you could look down & see the road , exhaust had soup can patches at at least 2 spots . Bias ply tires only became round again a few miles up the road . BUT it ran great & I never got her stuck ( Lick & stick inspection & drove for about 7 months ) Then I sold to my cousin for a couple hundred bucks . :D;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would have to say my '75 Buick Apollo, I bought for $50 for a winter beater in September of 82. It was very rusty, but the really detuned Buick 350 had only 50k on it. It was a little more rusty than I thought, within one month, one of the doors wouldn't even close, and then the gas tank started leaking. I started to fix that, but when the tank straps desinegrated in my hands, that was enough. It was a blessing in disguise, because I bought my first Caddy a week later. A '69 2 door Calis(is that spelled right?)which turned out to be winter car I've ever owned. :rolleyes: Jim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike P. Great Thread! I had a 70 chevelle stationwagon that started to rust in its 2nd yr. It was a fine car but I traded it in for a 73 chevy station wagon (Wife and 3 boys) really wanted a 70 Monte Carlo that was on the showroom floor. Later found out that both ford and gm imported Japanese Steel in the early 70s that may be the cause of the 70s rust buckets. As for my worst car I will have to think about it. Mike P.S. bought my 70 Monte Carlo in the lat 80s when the boys were grown.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My worst car was a love/hate relationship......During the summer between my junior and senior year in high school I bought a 1962 Mercury Comet 2dr hardtop.I really loved this car but what a POS it was mechanically....I owned it for about 9 months total and in that time I replaced the transmission 2 times and the rear end once :blink: ....Nevermind the fact that this thing was so rusty, the bolt for the leaf springs broke 1 night and it pushed the spring through the floorboard under the rear seat... :angry:

Now, dont get me wrong, I really loved that car....Nothing else looked like and with the fins and all the chrome-it was just a cool car to drive....The thing that it really needed was to pull the 6 cylinder out and replace the driveline with a v8 and a 5 speed trans....When I replaced the rearend, I used a mustang II 8inch...Those mods would have made it a cool cruiser.... :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1987 Plymouth Reliant --- Bought in 1989 and only a few months into owning it the passenger door literally fell off while I was at a stop light. Apparently the single bolt in the door hinge snapped and the door fell off. What a joke. Traded it on a 1991 Ford Ranger XLT... nice truck.

My most reliable car was a 1993 Mazda Protege' LX. Bought it new and kept it until 1999 with 90K+ miles. The only non-routine maintenance repair needed during the whole time I owned it was to replace a cracked bracket that was holding up the muffler. Simple and cheap fix. That was a great little car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Take your pick ... a 1971 Capri from Ford of Germany with a V6 ... bought it in 1978, and a 7 yr old Capri was like a 20 year old Yugo ... if it could break, it did.

A close second was a 1980 Datsun F10 .... Nissan's first fwd effort. Blew the engine 3 days after purchase, and the rebuild would never run with correct timing ... it needed to be advanced for any guts, but would run on forever. People would point at me as I walked away from my burping, farting POS which refused to turn off. Oh, yeah ... the key was broken inside the ignition cylinder and wouldn't come out, so I painted it black to hide it .... as if anyone would ever steal the car.

1989 FWD Fleetwood, Silver

1995 STS Crimson Pearl on Black leather

1997 STS Diamond White

1999 STS Crimson Pearl

2001 STS Silver

2003 STS, Crimson Pearl

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Out of 120+ cars in my life, I owned 1 import, a 1979 Toyota Celica. What a POS! It got 30 mpg but only about 100 miles to the qt of oil. It rattled and shook, nobody could fix it, but the charged a lot anyway. I know 25 years is a long time, but I didn't get a good taste of "Toyota reliability". :rolleyes:

Next would be my wife's '78 Dodge Magnum XE it stayed at the dealer more than home! ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But on the plus side you gotta love the ol’ Chrysler starter…

You mean the one that sounded like it was saying, "I don't wanna, I don't wanna, I don't wanna..."?

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The vehicle I owned that now made no sense to me now that I think of it was my 1987 Chevy S10 Blazer 4 x 4 with a 2.8 liter engine bought with full custom body kit. It was heavy and so underpowered and embarassing to drive on the highway since it went no more than 60mph max up any type of a hill.

What's funny is I did a complete 180 for my next vehicle and got a GMC Typhoon with a 4.3 turbo engine. Sure the engine was a ticking timebomb, but after the bullet proof rebuild of the engine I was able to run in the mid to high 12's in the 1/4 mile

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back in the mid 80's I worked for the WVDOH as an inspector for paving of I-77. I was given a 4 door Chevette to drive. It was the worst tin can I was ever in. It had a 4 banger with an automatic tranny. When I would WOT it on the on-ramps the engine would roar like a banshee, but at the top of the ramp you might be going 40 mph. It had no power at all. I complained to the DOH that they were going to get me run over because I had to do alot of starting and stopping in traffic, so they sent me a Dodge Omni that the rear glass would implode on you. Not as bad as the Chevette but almost. The best car they gave me was a 1978 Dodge Aspen. It had a lot of power and a big interior. They gave me a late 60's model International Scout on a landside job once, full-time 4X4, top speed 50 mph, and no seat padding. I contemplated parking it too close to the blasting area. Oh the memories!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, the one that tops the all time bomb list for me was our '73 plymouth Duster. Talk about a rolling piece of crap!! :P Talk about your econo-box car of the 70's! It was so plain it didn't have carpet, just rubber floor (and the rot underneath it!) The tired slant 6 used a qt. of oil ever tank of gas, and it sounded like a typewriter clicking away...

I have to admit, it was given to us by my Mother-In-Law, so no initial money being spent there but I should have turned down the offer. I have never been stranded or scared so bad in another vehicle in my life. The parts were litterally falling off it as you drove it was rusting so bad. One time I had just filled the tank and was in front of my dad driving to their place and the straps holding the tank let loose dragging the sparking tank on the blacktop behind us! :o I thought the exhaust fell off, and when I pulled over the look on my dad's face said it all! :blink:

The final death statement came on a stormy night as we were plowing thru this deep snow when all the lights began to flicker. I was going to keep going as I knew I would get stuck if i stopped. Then the dash seemed to light up again, when I suddenly realized it was from flames! :o It actually had smoke and small flames pouring out of the defroster vents as I pulled to the side! :o I managed to get the fire out by disconecting the battery cable (via a heavy tin snips i had in the trunk) and tossing snow under the dash... Towed it home, never to be driven again! :lol:

'09 Cadillac CTS-4 3.6 direct injection, 128 K mi.
'15 Chevy Tahoe LTZ, 5.3i V8, 125 K mi
'70 Firebird Formula 400, Bored+.04, RAIII heads, M21 4spd., in-process restoration!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MAN O MAN...

What a fantastic range of stories about such a wide range of cars...

There are a few common dumpsters but for the most part a convoluted mess of sad automotive experiences.

Thanks so much to all of you forum members for giving us all some laughs and some recollections of days gone by.

I will read as long as Bruce lets it go but let's just say we all remember the bad... and according to Ted's thread; the good too.

Cheers gang and enjoy the fine marque you possess now...

Mike P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...