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Beaters

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
The boss and I just got done talking about the junkers we have driven in the past. Like my old Willys station wagon that when I hit a mud puddle, my feet got wet. Or conversely, my old VW bug that had a water leak somewhere (I never did find it.) and the water would build up on the floor pan and slosh to the rear when I accellerated and to the front when I braked. I finally drilled a hole to let it out. Any others?
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
My current Daily Driver, the once ubiquitous, 1985 Volvo 244 GL.
I bought a 4' x 6' tilt trailer for it last week. Now I have the load handling capabilities of a pickup truck for an additional $400. We took it camping this weekend. Small trailers sure are handy.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Yeah, my land rover is approaching beater status, although she still looks pristine. Yesterday I was tinkering, checking fluuid levels etc. and discovered that the hood release is breaking. When you pull out, the hood doesn't pop, but if you yank on it it opens. Driving on the freeway this morning doing 85mph, the hood popped open on its own. I now have a bungie holding it down

*sigh*

My best beater was a '72 Plymouth Duster. I would intentionally hit stuff with it. Highway construction barrels, street sign poles, mailboxes, whatever .

Dont even get me started on my Yugo.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I opened this thread expecting to see a post about dead kittens.

As far as junker cars go, I drove a 1984 Buick Skylark for about three months in 1995 while disputing with Pontiac over who should pay for a new engine. My first car was a 1972 Ford Torino, which was in rough shape when I bought it, but I turned into a pretty mean muscle car. Other than those, I have driven good cars.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
My favorite was my previous car, a 1988 KCar. The great thing about it was its manual 5 speed transmission, and not caring about the car. I can remember being at a bike race, helping to set up and we needed to take some things to teh top of the ski hill. we loaded my car up and drove up the hill, bouncing along and not caring if anything bad happened to the car. The funniest thing was packing my bike in the car =$1000 , bike = $4500. The worst was teh day it died, new years day, minus 40 plus wind chill, the rad froze over night and I did not realize until about 30 minutes into the drive home when the engine overheated and blew the cyclinder head and 2 pistons. Not fun.

My current car, 1994 jetta, is starting to get to beater status. If I keep it for another year it will definitely enter beaterdom, unfortunately it is an automatic and I just don't think donuts on the ski hill will be as much fun.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
In 95 I received free use of a 5-speed 95 Dodge Neon coupe for 6 months. That was a license to abuse if ever there was one. On a back road I was giving 'er hell, and dropped it from 4th gear into 1st. It took a little leverage to get it to engage, but once it did and I let out the clutch.... my chest was bruised from the seat belt holding me in place.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
I currently drive my granpa’s old 1994 Buick Regal. It rocks! It has leather bucket seats (C-O-M-F-O-R-T) and “cool and sporty” bike racks!! Also it has two nicknames, The Gray Goose and/or The Granny Getter!

She ain’t pretty, but I love it and wont change until it dies, then I will get a jeep wrangler.

However…I do try to walk most places since I live in an urban environment.
 

prudence

Cyburbian
Messages
688
Points
20
A '79 Ford Fairmont Station wagon. I loved that care, but only drove it for a year. I had an AM radio in the was part of the molded dash...I cut it out--actually hacked--and installed a aftermarket radio...never sealed the hole so you could pull the entire radio out if you wanted to.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
I had a 1979 Toyota Celica that I drove until 1996. It held up admirably. The most I ever spent on repairs was 300 bucks. I was sad to see it go when it finally died. I replaced it with a 91 Ford Escort, which was by far the worst car ever produced. I had it for 2 years and it wouldn't go 2 months without something breaking.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
cars

My current wheels ia a 94 Geo Metro, all three cylinders of it. 158 K and still chugging along on the original clutch. I shiver at the thought of car payments, so this one is going into the ground. I just hope it tells me when.

My 73 bug was the only car that deserved a name (Ole Paint). I had that car places unknown to cardom. A friend of mine in N. Maine had one and drove it to a Skidoo get together. He didn't own a snow mobile and no one told him not to drive. He said the "parking lot had 100 snow mobiles and one car.

My Dad had a bug in the '60s. He worked in a steel mill near Pittsburgh and like everything there it was at the bottom of a horendous hill. After one bad snow storm he found that there were only three people at work in the morning. Himself, the night watchman and a friend who rode a horse. Bugs were great.
 

pete-rock

Cyburbian
Messages
1,551
Points
24
I had a '72 Mercury Montego while in college. There was a hole under the driver's side floor mat that would allow me to apply brakes Flintstones-style if I wanted to. But it had a muscle-car engine that won races on two-lane highways in Indiana (during my "experimentation" with redneckism).

I also had an '88 Mercury Tracer that I drove into the ground. It had about 200,000 miles when I traded it in (for $300) in 1998.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,853
Points
39
In high school, my sister and I shared a '73 Chevy Nova which survived a dunking in the Atlantic up to the tops of the doors. My sister had it towed from the water, and actually managed to drive it home. We drove it for several more years after that.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,465
Points
44
AHHH the gutless cutlass

I had a 88 Olds cutlass seara as a winter beater. I picked it up for a six pack of beer from a guy who just inhareted his dad's mustang. It had about 130k miles, overheated any time I drove it for more that 30 min at a time, and the U joints where going bad, so we packed the boots with grease. (and that drained all the water that was trapped in there) The windows where stuck, and it had one rear sping that was broken, and would lean. It ran well, (when it was not over heating) Best part about it... the next spring, I sold it for $200. Best case of beer I ever bought. (oh and when I first bough the car, I helped him kill off have the case)
 
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Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
35
My one and only car has been my '96 Escort. It has not achieved beater status...yet.

I think my dad had a few beaters when I was younger ('57 Chevy Nomad Station wagon, '72 Chevalle, '74(?) Mini).
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,406
Points
32
Geez, where do I start....

62, chevy Pick up
69, chev Impala
69, cougar
69, pontiac bonneville
76, Subaru
79, impala
82, chev citation
81, reliant
 

Queen B

Cyburbian
Messages
3,179
Points
25
My first computer goes with this car story.
Old 60 something chevy impala. No reverse. But my husband drove it and was careful not to park anywhere that required reverse.
Our new computer comes in. I am paying $3000 for the most up to date machine. They call me to tell me that it is in and the only car that I had was the chevy. I am so excited that I jump in the car to go get it and pull into the parking in front of the store.
Yes, you know where I am going with this story.
They had to push me away from the curb after they loaded that computer.
That rates high on the list of dumb stories.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Queen B reminisced
Old 60 something chevy impala. No reverse
I can sympathize with this. I forgot about the tranny going in the KCar, it started with reverse failing then 1st and 2nd. Good news was I found another tranny at the junk yard and drove it for another 10 000 km. It must have been a sight to see me revving the engine, riding the clutch to get moving, then popping the clutch and accelerating like a bat out of hell.
 

OhioPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
304
Points
11
I had a sky blue 1985 Dodge 600. The airconditioning didn't work and I lived in South Texas. That in and of itself is major torture. But hey it ran good.

But they I got in a minor fender bender that cause the hood to tuck under the front frame grill area. This meant that you could never open the hood.

I had to save my pretty pennies and get a very low end auto shop to pull the frame until the hood could be pulled out. They rigged it so that I could get in to change the oil. Hey it worked and it was only $100 .

The inside roof cloth hung down. A very common problem. I painted metal tacks blue to match the interior. It work pretty well for a while and then they would just fall out. That's not so fun to sit on a tack.

The day I sold that car and got my first brand new car was one of the happiest days of my life.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Sadly, the Land Rover pissed me off for the last time today.

After 142,700 miles, and dealing with broken hood latches (i.e. dangerous!) , broken defroster fans, broken seat switches, and a perpetual check engine light on for NO discernable reason (but a $1700 estimate for repairs), rust spots appearing in "hidden" spots on a supposedly aluminum body, and 9 MPG with the AC on, I *finally* bit the bullet.

After a few weeks of looking at alterrnatives, from conservative high MPG hybrids, to used Euro sport coupes, I decided to have an early mid-life crisis. I put down a deposit factory ordered a new Jeep Wrangler "American Spirit" special edition. Black on black, black soft top, all the RUGGED accessories.

No buyers remorse.

Yet.

Maybe I'll actually finally install the satellite radio that I ought 15 months ago....

Now, back to house hunting...
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
My total hatred of car payments means I'm driving my current little truck into the ground. I don't think it's quite beater status. But then beater status in Alberta is *much* worse than any other place I've lived. I have a 93 nissan pickup (girl version... automatic transmission) that is in decent condition. It has it's problems... but I don't think it's *that* bad. Plus, I have a great mechanic... a very rare treat for me! So I think I'll own it quite a bit longer.

My boyfriend owns a rustbucket that has awesome mileage... an 86 Jetta diesel manual. Good car, but nothing nice to look at.
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
When I was last stationed on Okinawa while in the Marine Corps back in 1987 I had a 79 Toyota Starlet (manual transmission).

I had bought it for the cost of registration transfer ($25) from a Marine who was rotating back to the states. It's tires were completely bald and the rusting body was held together with duct tape.

Mrs Runner had the good car a 79 Toyota Corona (automatic transmission) which I had bought from a dealer for $1200. I suspect it had originally been in mainland Japan as it was in excellent condition.

Both cars were right wheel drive side with rear view mirrors mounted halfway down the hood.

Oh, and thinking about it reminds me; the maximum speed limit on Okinawa was 60 KPH and that was on the toll expressway. Most main roads were 30 to 50 KPH !
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
Beater criteria

1. Something disfunctional: Electric windows, AC, Hood latch. If you have to reach outside through the window to open the door with the outside handle - extra points.

2. Driver's seat shot.

3. Trunk full of tools, extra parts.

4. Rust showing, holes better.

5. Undetermined noises, rattles.

6. Old Grateful Dead, Carter/Reagan for President stickers.

7. Coat hanger for antenna.
 

plannerkat

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
My car always makes our bright-eyed idealistic interns cringe. Yes, with a masters degree, you too can be the proud owner of a 4 speed manual 1994 Toyota Tercel with peeling paint and ripped up pleather seats! 105K miles, currently in bad need of a couple hundred bucks worth of maintenance (engine light on, idling rough, can't remember my last oil change), but I have no car payments, only costs $13 to fill up, and if past experience with this model is any indication she won't get any uglier than she is now and will keep going for at least another 80K miles with no major problems. Of course, I've probably jinxed myself with that last statement.

My first car was the most beat-up: 83 Tercel, rusted hatchback, driver side window would always go off track, no a/c (in Florida!), and would stall at the most inopportune moments in its later days. But, it got me through high school & college and had over 180K miles on it when it was finally left my possession.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
First car was a brown 1985 Nissian Sentra, I loved that car to death. Seriously. The back drivers side door would only open fromt he outside, the back passenger door would only open from the outside if you had someone inside kicking it while you attempted to open it. Our muffler fell off on the way to school- sparks flying and everything. We had those little kitty stickers on it, it was awful, but I loved her-
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,896
Points
27
Being married to someone in the automotive field means we've had lots of junkers over the years. Inevitably my husband always manages to find some "great" vehicle that he must save from abandonment or destruction.

There was the Toyota Corona (we called it Corroda) that was literally rusting away... and the old Fiat that smelled of mouse droppings for more than a year despite numerous cleanings...

My favorite, though, is the red Suburban that had been a fire chief's truck. I cried when he brought it home, aghast that he would buy this enormous fire truck!. When my husband pulled out the wretched upholestery with plans to redo the interior, he found that parts of the back floor had rusted through. Months of body work later, the Suburban was still a horrible, loud rust bucket with no back seats or carpeting. I was thrilled when he finally gave up and put it up for sale. Ah, the satisfaction as I watched the buyer drive it away...
 

pandersen

Cyburbian
Messages
243
Points
9
My Beater(s)

Ah beaters, so many stories so little time.

When my family moved out of Toronto to the country, dad bought an old 1973 GMC suburban (from a wrecking yard) that had previously been a CN Rail Crew truck. Before you even contemplated a short drive in this fine machine you would have to pour in a quart of oil and pump up the tires. After leaving it outside one winter, we discoved that mice had chewed through 2 feet of the ignition wiring harness and that once thatwas fixed,the torque converter had seized. Did I mention that the headlights shined off into the bush.

We had several late 1970's Ford Pinto's as winter beaters. One of them was a station wagon with a peppy euro-style Ford Capri 6 cylinder. Unfortunately, this beater rear ended someone so dad went and found a donor vehicle (that was lying on its roof) as a source for front end components. From what I was able to determine, the donor vehicle had been an airport service vehicle so it was also well past its prrime by the time we got it.

Like many of the others relpying to this post, I too have numerous VW Beetle beater stories (some of which are quite funny). Our last VW beater had a section of garden hose as a fuel line - after a few miles, vacumn pressure would force the line shut and the engine would stop. Rusty floors, no problem we fixed the with cement. Nuff said.

I guess I've had my fill of beaters, right now I'm driving an 1984 BMW 318i that gets stored indoors in the winter - great little car. In the winter I drive a gas guzzling V8 Ford explorer.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
bturk said:
Sadly, the Land Rover pissed me off for the last time today.
I know the feeling and empathize your loss. I don't think the R. Rover I had qualified as a beater, the body was in excellent shape and looked gooood - complete with the black on black pimped out brush guards) but the damn thing broke down constantly and cost a fortune to fix ($800.00 for 1 CV joint!). So although I had to let her go I still a ting of want everytime I see one.

That check engine light may be the signal telling you to change your oxygen sensor - It does that about every 80K miles, or its just the electrical system completely breaking down as it will in just about every British vehicle.

My very first car was a beater supreme. A huge 1978 Pontiac Grand Prix known to my friends as the "Grand Prick." It had bright red vinyl bench seats, I believe I could carry the whole basketball team, and a paint job that rubbed off everytime you touched it (so no washing was needed). This thing was ugly as homemade sin but it had a kicking suped-up V8 so it was fast, when I could get it cranked. I only drove it for a year and half and being only 15 years old and driving, it was probably for the best that I didn't have anything nicer.
 
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Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
biscuit said:
That check engine light may be the signal telling you to change your oxygen sensor - It does that about every 80K miles, or its just the electrical system completely breaking down as it will in just about every British vehicle.
The chk engine light was a problem from day one. O2 sensors have been replaced twice. Vacuum hoses replaced, plugs, plug wires, etc. replaced. Fuel pump and filter replaced. The dealers solution now was to remove and replace the heads, valves, etc. Mamma didnt raise no fool - time to get out.

Now every day is like the day before christmas, waiting for the dealer to call to tell me the Wrangler is in.
 

Bullwinkle

Cyburbian
Messages
176
Points
7
bturk said:
After a few weeks of looking at alterrnatives, from conservative high MPG hybrids, to used Euro sport coupes, I decided to have an early mid-life crisis. I put down a deposit factory ordered a new Jeep Wrangler "American Spirit" special edition. Black on black, black soft top, all the RUGGED accessories.
You should have gone for the Rubicon. Selectable lockers front and rear, Dana 44 axles with 4.11 gears, those are the RUGGED accessories - and with a factory warranty!

You'll like the Jeep, though. It will be much better than your Rover.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Bullwinkle said:
You should have gone for the Rubicon.
It was a fleeting consideration, but I decided the extra $4500 wasnt worth it considering the less than 1% of road use it'll probably get.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
35
One step closer to Beater status...

Timing belt went on the 'scort yesterday. No warning - just a sudden loss of power as I was driving along at 120km/h.

Only 4 more payments and it's all mine!
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Timing belt went on the 'scort yesterday.
That is what you get for looking longingly at another car.

Hope the engine is a non interference type and not too much damage was done. Having to make payments on something that does not work anymore would really suck.
 
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nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
Something new has happened to my car... it *just* started making that squealing noise when one of the belts is too loose. Fairly easy to fix, but boy it sure sounds terrible. Especially when you first start it up and you hear the big screech.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
donk said:
Hope the engine is a non interference type and not too much damage was done. Having to make payments on something that does not work anymore would really suck.
Older escorts had that problem - it was fixed by '96.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
35
donk said:
That is what you get for lookingly longingly at another car.

Hope the engine is a non interference type and not too much damage was done. Having to make payments on something that does not work anymore would really suck.
Yeah, the car is fine. I got some additional work (brakes, new plugs/wires, transmisison fluid changeout) done on it while it was in the shop. The replacement of the timing belt only set me back $250 (plus $90 for the tow).
 
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