The Monte was much nicer, since it had more power, quieter and comfortable, and it had A/C!!!
It had the capability for 4 speakers (which was a treat), cruise and tilt. It was burgundy
with a burgundy vinyl half-roof (like a Landau) and a burgundy interior with the typical wood
faux on the dash and doors. It had the standard 229, 3.8L V-6, computer-controlled carbeurator,
3spd automatic with lock-up torque converter. It too, would squeal the right rear tire from a stop.
However, after only a year, the A/C started loosing it's charge. After a re-charge and it again lost it over
the winter, I left well alone figuring it would be $$$$$ to fix.
A few more stereos later and keeping it looking great, I was involved in an accident where a lady pulled out (not looking my way), T-boning me in the rear. The good news, I got a complete repaint and new vinyl roof. Boy, did it ever look nice! I then replaced the crappy Invicta tires with some Kelly Grand Am's. The white letters gave it a slick touch. Once again, I was blessed with luck. It was in the summer of 1991 or was it 1992? Anyway, I left a 4-way stop rather hard and *CLATTER*, *CLATTER*, *CLATTER*!!!! It sounded like a diesel engine. Not only was the noise embarrasing, but it left a plume of blue smoke so thick, you couldn't see the car behind. Long story short, since the body was flawless, I spent money on a rebuild of the V-6. Once apart, it was discovered that the fuel pump had a bad seal, allowing fuel to get into the oil--NOT A GOOD THING! Turns out, the gas ruined the rear-most connecting rod bearings. That was the clatter heard during hard accelerations and the smoke that followed. So, with a fresh engine, I repainted it the original baby GM blue. Boy, did it look and run nice! A turbo muffler and custom dual exhaust (similar to an SS), and I felt like I was the envy of the town. It was so cool to just cruise around with a fresh wax job and armour-all-ed tires. I drove it for another year and a half until I got tired of only getting 19~22mpg and at those prices ($1.20~something), for the wage I earned, it went too fast for how many miles I put on in a week. The tranny was starting to tell me "rebuild me, please" and I didn't have the bucks for that. On one winter day, I bid it farewell on trade for my next car.
I bought a 1988 Chevy Sprint, predecessor to the Metro. It had the standard 1.0L, 3-banger with a 5-speed! No air, but not hard to reach over and roll the other windown down if need be. It was peppy, roomy (with the rear seats folded down) and fun to drive. I sure did smile at every gas station I frequented. Mileage stayed consistently in the 50's, and once in a while 58mpg. I owned it from 1993 until 1995.
I then traded it for a really cool 1989 Suzuki Swift GTi. Bright red, 100hp, 1.3L 4-banger, 5-spd, racing seats, giant tires mated to a Metro body. FASSSTTT!!! Mileage dropped down into the low 40's. It was reliable and super-fun to drive. A bit buzzy, but the pull of the engine was impressive. 0-60 times right around 8.0 sec. I'll sure miss that car.
That got replaced with a more domesticated 1988 Ford Taurus L sedan. Once again, another burgundy automobile (like the Monte Carlo). The reason for this major step down was out of courtesy to my now wife. Her 4x4 Ford Ranger was not ideal for long trips seeing both families, so it was my car we took. It was not an ideal car for her comfort. So, bye-bye after only 1.5 years of driving the GTi. The greatest disappointment with the Taurus was that the A/C never worked (never again shall I buy a car in November!). The tranny was an even bigger boner courtesy Ford. The tranny worked just fine, it was the design of the beast that was annoying. It shifted so slowly between gears, you'd swear it was slipping, but under heavy acceleration, it shifted more naturally. I can't argue the economy of the thrifty 3.0L V-6. On the highway, I got high-20's and once in a while 32 on the interstate. A comfy cruiser, very taught suspension for original shocks at 80K.
A change in job prompted me to sell the Taurus outright, since my company car was to be a 1995 Ford Aspire. (terrible compared to a Metro). My wife traded the truck in for our first NEW car. A 1995 Mercury Mystique. It had the V-6 package amongst tons of other interior goodies. The V-6 is the Duratec 170hp 24valve, DOHC engine, mated to an all-new electronically controlled 4-speed tranny. The package included a touring suspension, quick 16:1 steering, anti-lock brakes and the optional traction-control. What power!~ How many automatic cars will chirp the tires during a shift into 2nd gear under full throttle? We still own this car.
***As of September, 2001, I had the misfortune of striking a many-point buck in the wee hours of the night. Click HERE to see what damage it caused. I'm in the process of getting it back to normal. Pictures will follow as I progress.
After quitting the job that provided me with a company car (which I opted to buy from them because I could), I traded it in for something LARGE. I needed to haul things from time to time and between the Aspire and the Mystique, I couldn't do much more than luggage.
I now am an owner of a 1995 Ford Aerostar, XLT, extended, 4x4 option, dual A/C and the typical power accessories. I bought it with 96,000mi on the clock. It had a fresh rebuild (recall) of the transfer case and a new driveshaft. It was a 1-owner and I figured, if the previous owner liked it enough for 100,000 miles, it must be a decent truck. Sure enough, I put another 40,000 miles on it with minimal/typical repairs. I've since serviced the plugs and wires and had all drive cases changed of fluids. The flex section of exhaust had a tear in it so I had just that piece replaced. Still ORIGINAL exhaust! Unfortunately, one CV boot tore up front, so I had to buy a whole axle and had the other repacked. Other than that, it still hauls like nothing else. I suspect Ford made some improvements to the tranny prior to '95 because I've seen so many '93s with bad trannys. Mine still has lots of life left in it, considering what I pull behind the van sometimes.
A recent addition to the driveway is a 1994 Ford Taurus SHO. It is one of 2,495 built that year with the rare 5-speed. Autos were built in the numbers of 20,000-ish. Ironically, similar to my first car, green with a tan interior. This one has ALL the options, in fact, the only omitted option WAS the automatic. I've never been witness to such power and poise before. It's in the process of being "all fixed-up". It is in need of some small items tended to. The SHO is a 3rd car for us, since the van only gets 15~18 mpg, no matter what. Now, with (two) kids, we won't have the time to deal with a "downed" car. Now we'll always have a reliable and ready spare.
***I'll be looking to sell this car come late spring due to the addition of 2 more EXPs. If anyone is interested, feel free to write me. I have some nice pictures of the car all polished up.
Who knows what vehicle I'll end up with next.
Well, as odd fate would have it, I just picked up a car my wife once owned. A 1982 Ford EXP. Rust is typical but the details to this car are more valuable. I paid $300 for it and nothing is wrong with the car. The only broken part is the side molding on the front drivers fender, near the side marker indicator. It was repainted some years ago from silver to black. It has 156,000 miles on it, 4-speed, sunroof, std guage pkg, cruise all in a red interior. Mechanically it is sound enough to be a daily driver, but it's going to be stored for a while until I have the time to tear the interior out and replace the rusted floor pieces. After the body is tended to, it'll be safe to invest into the engine and tranny refurbishment.
Here are a few photos of it before I picked it up...
I am planning on retrieving TWO more EXPs. Perhaps you could call them "twins"... both are 1982 Medium Light Blue (baby-blue), 4- speeds, similar in condition but one has air, while the other has the moonroof. In addition, both come from within 15 miles of each other. When I take posession, I'll be selling my SHO because I don't want to have 6 cars in the driveway, also my black (silver) 1982 EXP will have to go as well.
I keep hoping for that Dodge Challenger.......
A good friend of mine since about kindergarten owns this...
It is a 1987 Dodge Charger Shelby GLHS. It is one of 750 produced exclusively for Dodge that
year by Shelby Automobiles in California. There were some upgrades that Shelby Auto. did to the
standard Shelby Charger, like; intercooled turbo, Koni struts, larger sway bars, engine mods to help
it breathe better, unique wheels (his shown are aftermarket) and body decals surrounded by a stealthy black paint job. The interior is only
specially marked by a dash plaque which has Carrol Shelby's signature and the production number stamped
into it (remember, only 750 produced ever!), also the dash has a CERTIFIED speedometer with a
supplemental sticker taking the stock 115mph dial up to 135mph, along with the removed stop-peg.
Click on these to see more photos, including the engine...
Here is a photo of another GLHS found at someone's house (note the STOCK wheels)...
Thanks for visiting!