Sunday, May 03, 2009

Tales From Pontiac

The world's going crazy! It seems now we can't keep our wretched car companies. Can't we have anything? I was saddened by the recent news of Pontiac apparently closing up shop. We're going to miss seeing those cars on the side of the road. As luck would have it, I had two. Here's some happy memories.

It was a time of Gerald Ford, the Rubik's Cube and the Charleston, that's right the early '90s. While kids were zooming around in their Mustangs and whatnot, this is what I was in, a 1980 Pontiac Sunbird like the one pictured in this auto graveyard. Oh oh, where's the Nu Finish? Mine was painted a faint Poop Brown, the rust-ish color had faded with time. Surprisingly, this car wasn't a chick magnet for me. Believe it or not, it was just about ten years old when I got it. Given the changing times, it looked some much older on the road, especially compared to those sporty Chevy Barrettas and those corny early '90s Mustangs.

The Woe List: Plenty. The pickup on this was horrendous. Those who like their cars smelling good wouldn't have loved this one. The material used for the interior and the seats had an odd odor. Gosh, I miss it!

The Last Ride: Had it for about six months. I was driving along one winter's afternoon and saw big black clouds of smoke. I looked around and said , "I'm glad it's not me." Well, it was. The clutch burned out, other stuff was wrong, goodnight and good luck...

Is it a Sunbird or a Monza: Part Deux

After a year or so of hitching rides, another 1980 Pontiac like this entered the picture. Actually it looked a lot like this. It was the same color and a hatchback too. I got this when it was about 12 years old. This even had a nifty metal spoiler that was able to snap off on the highway. All told, this car was a bit better. It was a V-6 and frankly enjoyable to ride. I didn't have a muffler so it was even more fun. In fact when I did put a muffler on, that's when the trouble began...

The Woe List: Really everything was ok with this car until it wasn't. In about 3 or 4 months the car all but fell to pieces. This one seemed to have issues-a-go-go. The water pump went out a few times. The seals to the transmission leaked, a lot. Sadly, I'd have to carry bottles of transmission fluid around with me just to make it back home. Why those seals never really stopped leaking is anyone's guess...

Part 2: Excuse me, (crying) also I had the "treat" of driving this car without brakes, I had to push it to the floor just to make a stop. Heavy sigh. After a certain point, the door handle to the drivers side snapped off in my hand. From that point on I had to either get in through the passenger side or side through the driver's side window.

Part 3: More issues.... For some reason, the choke started to stick and then I had to get a screwdriver or something, pop the hood, unstick it and then drive off. Good times. Also the ignition switch broke off--had to start it with a screwdriver. Oh the horrors...

When You See Fire Under the Hood, It's Not A Good Sign: Imagine that huh?
This powerhouse started letting off sparks like the 4th of July and one day, let out an official fire. I was unfazed, put it out and again got my screwdriver and drove off. Oddly enough, I just couldn't start the car a little after that. Darn it, I want my money back!
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