So it turns out people are interested in what cars I’ve owned, so I’m making a thread about it. You can share your cars in here too! Let’s enjoy cars!
car 1: ’84(?) Subaru station wagon (manual). This was a hand-me-down from my mom at age 16. I used it some but it had a lot of major problems and died after a few months, and I didn’t drive again for another year+. This is real far back so it’s hard to remember the year, I think it was an ’84 GL. Like this but without rust and, if I recall, blue trim, or maybe it was just sun damaged to blue lol.
Definitely not as cool as its sibling the leone:
car 2: ’79 toyota corolla (manual). Hand-me-down from my stepmother. This thing ruled and I wish I hadn’t burned it out trying to race a miata, honk. The speedometer only went up to 80 and I thought I could do a limit break. I blew the god darned head gasket and the valves went with it not long after, obviously. This car ruled and if I had a garage I’d get another one. It was very 1:1 in terms of what you did vs what the car did. hand rolled windows (that used to be something I insisted on in cars lol), manual transmission, real wheel drive 4-speed, tiny but zippy 4 cylinder engine with a robust 59 hp, but if nobody else was in the car it’d get you there quick.
Mine was actually closer to this color:
car 3: ’72 dodge dart (automatic). This is the first car I bought for myself. Amusingly I briefly considered getting a first-gen prelude that was for sale for $800 around the corner but declined when I found out its speedometer only went to 80. HONK.
Anyway my dad was working in the electrician’s union and his buddy bought a car for his daughter but she hated it. I think it was one of those “BE ME!!!” situations where he liked the old american classics and she was like who cares, it’s old and sucks. So I got it for $400 and drove it for ages. I put speakers in cardboard boxes and sat them at the back windshield. I had the whole sound system wired up myself direct from the console since all the old wiring was bad. Listened to a lot of Mammoth Volume in there on my way to my construction and record store jobs.
Anyway, it had a slant-6 engine which every old guy at the construction site liked to talk about. I think it’s like that joke:
oh, what is that, a MEYER lemon?
(says the guy who know about a second type of lemon)
the slant 6 was a variant of the straight 6, obviously 6 cylinder engines. the straight 6 cylinder engines had a high profile and meant the engine compartment had to be huge. The slant 6 was canted 30 degrees and meant you could have a thinner engine compartment, which made for a smaller more economy-looking car, which is laughable now considering how huge the thing is. It also meant when you revved the engine hard the whole car would shift to one side a bit, which I think people really liked. It also meant the engine mounts on one side wore faster than the other!
It looked exactly like this except without the stripe on the back. it was completely blue outside and in.
I drove it until it completely collapsed. brakes were shot, it’d stall in intersections, the lights only turned on sometimes, but I did like that car. I drove it back to the bay area from Los Angeles that way (it was my first car during college too), and wound up selling it back to the government to turn into a cube (very sad), for $500, so I made $100 profit since I did any and all repairs myself up til that point (and I did a lot - I’d go to the junkyard and get replacement parts for whatever broke).
As you may know, when you sell your car back to the government like that they have to test to make sure the car is working, because they only get the money for taking a working old “polluter” car off the streets. They turn it on, drive it forward, stop, and drive it backward, and that’s it. These were excellent examples of all the things my car was extremely failing at which is why I was getting rid of it. I got a bit choked up when the car performed all this perfectly in its final run, as though to say “I still work!” ;_;
car 4: ’69 pontiac tempest (automatic). Got this right after the dart died. A guy round the way whose wife sold eggs from the house sold me this car. I got it for $1,800 which frankly was too much considering how much I had to spend after that. He was a hardcore gangster type dude who told me “I never thought I’d listen to anything but oldies for my entire life.” He rode a motorcycle mostly and decided this car was more trouble than it was worth, which I should’ve probably listened to.
I did a lot of work on this car. I put the passenger-side seat in myself (changed from bench to buckets), drilling holes in the floor and bolting it there! I had to put the back windshield in with sealant because it was sitting in the back seat! good thing I never got in any serious accidents with it. It had a big block 455 engine from an oldsmobile in it, which is just a GIGANTIC engine, lord. Here’s info about the relatively rare 455 (the 454 was more common): https://www.liveabout.com/gm-455-cubic-inch-big-bloc-726346
It had HUGE torque and you could burn out your tires from a standstill no problem. Once I was fueling up by the in ’n out in el sobrante and some folks came up to me and asked if I’d join their drag racing crew, but I was too spooked by other teens to say yes. I said maybe and took their number and promptly lost it. But dudes would pull up next to me and go “light it up!!” and I’d always oblige. You could burn rubber on the freeway if you were going 30 mph or less just by stomping the accelerator.
It was real hard to stop this car and it was an absolute tank, and I used to joke that you didn’t steer it so much as aim it. But it had a lot of issues - that big torque engine (from an oldsmobile mind you) meant that the transmission burned out fast, and the transmissions you could get that would fit an oldsmobile engine and a pontiac frame in (at this point) 1999 weren’t exactly plentiful.
If you remember the time when Hercules tires were exploding and there was a recall, turns out I actually had hercules tires, and one DID blow out on me while I was going 90 mph in the fast lane on highway 5 from the bay area to LA, and by some miracle I was able to check all my mirrors and get over two lanes to the side without hitting anyone or causing problems or flipping over or spinning out. that sucked!!!
But I couldn’t let go of this car. I painted it with some racing stripes and kept it for years as a secondary car… mostly just collecting parking tickets but it did come in handy sometimes. Also I just liked it!! After a I got to my 2nd prelude I had to retire it, especially since a panel truck or something had hit my driver’s side door making it tough to open, and my insurance wouldn’t cover it. I sold it to a dude in richmond who promised he’d get me another $200 later and would also show me the progress as he restored it. he never did either of those things ;_;
They only made this model for 2 years. I was once driving along the freeway and for the first time IN MY LIFE I saw a second person with the same model, same year, and he pulled up to me on the freeway as we slowed down to 40, annoying everyone. He asked me to roll down my window and was like “do you want to buy this car!?” and I was like “I’m trying to sell mine!” and he’s like fair enough and drives off.
Here’s what it looked like, though this again is not the actual car. I do have photos of these cars btw it’s just a pain to find them. Imagine it way more busted.
car 5: ’89 honda prelude 2.0 si 4WS (manual). My newest car yet, ha ha. Once again I got a car that was 100% blue, outside and in. not a bit of it that wasn’t blue, wheels aside. It has those delightful flip-up lights, which I love. My mom’s friend was a doctor and he was getting a new car, so didn’t need this one - I got it for $1,200 in I believe 2004 and I loved the heck out of it. I instantly understood modding and import culture after being in this car for like 5 minutes. It did exactly what I wanted, when I wanted. It also had 4-wheel steering, so if you turned the wheel all the way to one side, the back wheels would slightly turn the opposite way of the front wheels, letting you spider around corners better.
it had a 4 cylinder 5-speed engine, but it actually felt faster than my tempest in a lot of ways because, well, the engine wasn’t meant to rocket into space. the tempest would just spin the wheels for ages before it could even catch. maybe if I had fancy road tires it would’ve been different! But I didn’t have the money for that. but yeah, anyway, the prelude felt like it was just an extension of my body when I drove it. This also got me into trance music, no lie. I had seen initial D, and I was like oh - I get it.
I used to take it on my own personal touge run in the el sobrante hills and dam region, there were these amazingly curvy tree-filled roads that you could drift round. The car would just do exactly what I was thinking as I thought it, and I got really accustomed to drifting in this car for very short distances. I never learned to do it properly, as I’d later find out!
This car wound up having a problem where it just wouldn’t start if you turned it off hot. Sometimes for 8+ hours. I had a lot of weird dates this way where they’d invite me up for a drink or whatever and I’d be like… sorry… if I turn my car off I can’t turn it on again for a really long time so I’d better not. Imagine somebody saying that to you!! Lord. I didn’t think about how that sounded. It was true!!
We (my dad and I, and my step brother at this point who used to steal parts out of hondas ha ha) thought we had the problem narrowed down to this one vacuum advance unit. I bought a new one and it didn’t fix the problem at all. I thought I was gonna have to turn it into a cube like my tempest so I started the process. I finally got a date for cube times, and I realized it just wouldn’t start to get it there. So as a last ditch I went to the pick’n’pull (junkyard) to pull an old one out of another car. And the car worked perfectly. Turned out the new unit I bought was busted, and this old one worked great. This really sucked because it was two days before I had to take it in and I had, critically, already bought a replacement car. I didn’t want to sell it but I couldn’t keep THREE cars, especially since this one was sitting in front of my stepmother’s place, which she absolutely hated because my dad always had 2-3 broken cars there, and my stepbrother was doing it too, so I felt like I had to cube it. It sucked!! That car ruled. I also found out like 2 weeks later that tim needed a car (when he was living in the bay area). The worst.
It looked like this:
Car 6: ’98 Honda Prelude SH aka Super Handling (manual). This is my current car. I bought it when my existing prelude had been “dead” for too long and I was tired of my tempest being finicky and huge and ridiculous. the doctor who sold me his last prelude coincidentally had a ’99 for sale, but it was an automatic. I took it for a test drive and was like: 1) this car rules 2) I am absolutely buying a manual. The difference in responsiveness was massive.
So I went looking and found this already modded-to-heck prelude from a dude whose uncle ran a body shop. I have continued to take it there for service which is kind of fun, because he really cares about this car.
This car is fast and low and I like it a lot, but I DO NOT know how to drift properly in this car. I have taken it on my personal touge run but I go all grip because: one time I tried to drift round a corner in downtown oakland and wound up doing a 180 instead, miraculously not hitting any parked cars or oncoming traffic. That one experience was enough to be like - okay, you’re not a race car driver, let’s calm down.
I do still rev my engine and friendly-race with other hondas when I see them though. We’re a fading breed so anybody with a nice prelude or civic or whatever else, we rev our engines and wave to each other, it’s great. Honda bros!! I was telling my girlfriend about the honda bro thing while we were in the car, and just then passed a prelude that was getting on the freeway. I tried to slow down to say hi with a couple revs in neutral but they didn’t notice me. But then all of a sudden they came zooming up from behind waving and saying “wohoo!!” and dude’s girlfriend was waving, and we waved, and I was like yeah… honda bros.
I’m not sure what car I will get if this car dies, but my feeling is a scion fr-s at this point. That’s the only new car I feel like fits my car ethos.
So that’s all my cars! I’ve driven loads of others, including a 2017 GT-R, a stock car, a variety of trucks, and my girlfriend’s various Mazda 3s. I drive any car I’m offered, and swapped cars with my buddy who likes audis for a day (real nice feel on that one). I’ve determined I don’t like the close-together gearbox of the Subaru WRX.
I guess I just sort of fall into a rhythm and like what I like, and right now, that’s preludes. I have a neighbor who has tons of hot cars, and I am hoping some day he’ll let me mess with them. he’s got an NSX, a wrx, a lancer, an s-2000, and some bmws which I am biased against (lol).
UHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhh I spent too long on this. Cars!