Monday, May 16, 2011

What was you or your family's most unfavorite car?

For us it was this ugly green Ford wagon that the family dubbed "The pickle". When fully loaded the brakes would fail and need replacing on a regular basis. It was supposed to carry nine people or was it six adults and three small kids? Maybe in the late 50s when families didn't heft the tonnage they do today that would have been true. Not so now. When fully loaded and no where else to store the luggage a roof rack was required adding to the stresses on engine and suspension. Not uncommon to wear out a wheel bearing or two. So our wonderful "Pickle" would be in the shop for its' umpteenth brake job or bearing replacement. And the stock tires were no match for a family looking like the Okies headed for Calif in the 1930s when out for an out of state vacation. After some research I find that this wonderful machine was based on that notorious of all car models of the 50s the Edsel. This being Fords' idea of the cheaper family wagon model.

Okay so let's have your picks. Was it a pink Pinto, a vulgar Vega, or maybe an early rice burner that should not have been produced?


Tom Harper said...

A '62 Ford Fairlane. It was the car I learned to drive with. Automatic transmission. It had an evil intelligence that would put Christine to shame. It knew exactly when to stall for maximum danger and/or embarrassment, i.e. a red light where there's miles of traffic behind me.

Or my favorite: I'd be waiting for a chance to pull out into traffic, and finally, "OK, I can pull out right now if I hurry" -- CLUNK.

S.W. Anderson said...

My family had a glossy black '47 Chevy four-door, notch-back sedan for awhile. The car had a nice-looking, comfortable interior and decent heater and radio. Those were the good points, now for the bad points.

The 47 Chevy had a vacuum-assisted gearshift. This brilliant bit of engineering made the column-mounted shift very hard to operate. Like lifting a 30-pound weight getting it up into second. It sure built up Dad's right arm muscle.

The straight six delivered decent power, better than our previous car. However, from a couple of months after we bought it until we finally got rid of it, the Chevy had carburetor problems. A series of mechanics cleaned, adjusted, rebuilt and completely replaced the carburetor (twice), fuel line and filters. We might get as long as a month without trouble, then back to hesitating, surging and stalling — it was one long, expensive nightmare.

We replaced the Chevy with a 56 Plymouth that ran like a charm the whole time we owned it. It was fast, maneuverable, had better visibility and a cool push button automatic transmission. The only problem with it was that it was horribly rust prone, and after three winters the rocker panels were goners.

A neighbor of ours bought a sexy-looking 58 Chevy two-door hardtop — a true factory custom. After one winter the floor panels had rusted out so badly he put his foot through the one on the driver's side, right down to the garage floor. He had steel plates welded under the floor pan, then got rid of the car the following month.

The good old days? Not so much.

The Blog Fodder said...

When I was very young Dad had a Ford Model T, then a Ford Model A. When I started school in 1953, he bought a 48 Ford flat top V8which was one of the newest cars in the neighbourhood at the time. When I started high school in 1961 he bought a 53 Chev which I learned to drive. Then a 57 Plymouth which was a lemon. My grandfather had a 58 Edsel and it was a great car, with a funny name. When he died in 67, my father bought it from the estate and drove it for several years. any car that lasted 10 years was considered aq piece of junk by then and it was.
As SW said, car quality was the pits in the good old days. But at least they didn't all look the same. They had class.

jadedj said...

I lived with my grandparents from age 8 on. My grandfather had a '51 two door "humpback" Dodge. I learned to drive in this car. It would hang up in first gear and my grand dad would get under the hood and bang on something (I have no idea what). And brakes...forget it. It was constantly in the shop for that problem. Plus it was an ugly pee green color. Total dog. He finally traded it for a '56 Ford with an automatic transmission. A heavenly vehicle compared to the Dodge. My grand mother drove that car for twenty years after his death.

Randal Graves said...

You guys are all so old.

My great grandma had an orange '78 Chevette, but that car kicked ass.

Anonymous said...

In the UK, a fifties Morris Minor :-(