Yesterday I wrote about the ten best cars I’ve ever owned and ranked them. Those were all really great cars that I’d love to have back. These five...are not those cars. I’d like to toss these cars in a sack, throw the sack into a river, and hurl the river into space. In short: fuck these cars.
5. 1964 Plymouth Barracuda
The worst part about the Barracuda was that it could have been awesome, but there just wasn’t enough Barracuda left to do anything with. In fact, I started calling it “Barelycuda” because it was so god damn rotted. I bought the car on eBay in New Jersey, which I won’t be doing again...the seller said the car was solid, the floors were good, etc etc. This was not the case. I ended up selling the shell for $400, the engine for $100, and the transmission for $500...so I lost $500 on the car. It could have been much worse.
4. 1998 Cadillac DeVille Concours
Say it with me: NORTHSTAR HEADGASKETS.
The car was making white smoke when I went to see it, but it was a cold day, so I didn’t think a ton of it (this isn’ t true, I pointed it out and my dad didn’t think much of it because Northstar head gaskets weren’t known like they are now) because it basically went away when the car came up to heat. Of course on the first hot day of the year when I had to run the AC it puked its coolant all over Airport Road. I tried some Bar’s Leaks (haaa, has that ever worked for anybody?), and when I brought it to the local Cadillac dealer, they told me it would cost more to do the gaskets than it would to just put in a new used engine.
When I sold it, the guy didn’t drive it and barely looked at it. He emailed me the next day with a list of complaints that he would have been aware of if he drove the car, which I ignored and he never contacted me again. I don’t remember if I lost money on it or what, but still.
3. 1986 Merkur XR4Ti
The ad said it was solid underneath and had heated black leather seats. In reality, it was super rotted and had no seats. This was going to be a LeMons car, and I let my heart rule the purchase, which was a dumb shit thing to do. I ended up having a guy scrap it, I think he gave me $150 for it, and I felt that was a good deal.
The worst part of this was that, knowing I had to tow a trailer, I took my truck to Tasca Ford to get a light problem fixed. I told them to make sure the trailer lights worked, they said they would. I got to UHaul, and guess who’s trailer lights don’t work? I should have taken this as a sign that I shouldn’t do this, but instead I rented a truck to tow the trailer. This whole transaction blew.
2. 1990 Dodge Daytona Shelby
I paid $1200 for this car with like 200k on it. I spent another $1200 on the paint job you see it wearing there. On top of that, I dropped $600 on tires, $400 on a 3" exhaust, a bunch of cash on gauges and engine parts...and then it stopped running and I sold it for $1200. Remember the ‘95 Trans Am from yesterday’s top ten list? Thats what I sold to buy this piece of shit. It turned me off from turbo Dodges for...like 6 months until I bought an ‘88 Daytona Shelby. I am not a smart man.
1. 2004 Dodge Neon SRT-4.
Fuck this car. Fuck it to death. Fuck everything about this car.
I think it was a 2004, I don’t know, I try not to think about it. It spent more time broken than it ever spent being driven. Two days after I bought it this squeak started...I diagnosed it as the rear upper strut mounts. Bald Hill Dodge couldn’t replicate the issue, which of course meant it made the noise as I was leaving their parking lot (fuck Bald Hill Dodge, too, and some asshole named Chuck in particular). I bought the parts, brought it to Firestone, and they fixed the problem.
A month after that I did a dumb kid thing and raced a guy in a VW GTI. I kicked his ass, didn’t even push the car hard, and afterwards it made a loud whistling at idle. Turned out it blew an intake manifold gasket. After it was fixed, the car never made power the rest of the time I owned it (roughly three weeks).
And just for good measure, the third gear synchro was shitting the bed. I drove it very carefully 50 miles to Dedham MA to trade it in on yesterday’s #1 car, and by the time I got there I couldn’t get it into 3rd gear no matter what I did. For whatever reason the dealer didn’t drive it though, so good for me.
I hope that car is at the bottom of a lake somewhere. I don’t even want its parts out there polluting other good, decent SRT4s. Fuck this car.