I just packed a bag with all my car detailling stuff to give my car a much needed spring cleaning tomorrow. Of course, there's always this one little item that decides to take a hike over winter. So I had to look through all my tool boxes, tool-related-stuff boxes and related to tool-related stuff boxes etc...

In this process, I found rattle cans and touch-up pens from all the cars I ever put significant mileage on.

Like my mum's 626 GD wagon in fire engine red (couldn't find a red one, but this is pretty close with the unpainted bumpers and plastic hubcaps) that decided to kiss a road sign in the Austrian Alps while I was at the wheel with a freshly minted driver's license. I think it wanted to get a new nose or something, but blackmail doesn't sit fine with me and these plastic bumpers can be mended with a lighter and bare hands.

It blew the head gasket at 200k kms and my dad was to lazy/stubborn to get it to the shop, so the engine died an early death from constantly overheating after a few weeks :( Loved that thing! So many memories! Like that time we went to the Netherlands and ..... dashboard apart .... something .... something ....

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She got a GW in BRG next. Due to it's aenemic 1.8l it quickly got the nickname "wandering dune". My GF backed it into a rock with some force, luckily while my parents were away. One shade-tree hillbilly rattle can bumper respray later and they never knew what happened. The usual Mazda rust problem made them get rid of it and buy a 6 wagon turbodiesel.

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I didn't care. I already had my own car!! Burgungy GE sedan with the 2.0. Upgraded speakers, amps (plural!) and an equalizer were the first mod. It was a bit of a chick magnet during my social service (equivalent of joining the Army just with full diapers instead of guns, mandatory at that time) and early semesters at Uni. While my fellow students had an old Golf at best, this was a fast, comfortable sedan perfect for road trips. "Friends having a party 300 kms away? Let's go there, sleep over and go back the next day!" More than enough time to charm her. ;)

The soft, american-style, suspension and no steering feel whatsoever made it feel overpowered, while being absolutely safe, almost idiotproof to drive. Slow car fast and so on. Loved it so much that when facing a high repair bill, I jumped ship and upgraded...

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...to an almost identical GE hatchback with much lower mileage and a few more creature comforts. And man, sedans suck! This wasn't even better looking, it was so much more versatile. I slept in that thing a few times...

or used the cargo area for other stuff.

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BTW, this is what happens when you try to be a cheapass and run old tires that still have a little tread left before you bite the bullet to get new ones. Right front tire completely disintegrated on me on the Autobahn a few days before I wanted to scrap them. Re-attached the missing bumper piece dorifto style with black zip ties, even passed the notorious TÜV inspection with that "modification". Drove it another year and a half without spending a dime on maintenance until the ECU developed weird habits and I scrapped it.

And then I got the Honda, but you've all seen that numerous times.