The Car Corner


(Phil H) #1

With all the talk of automobiles going on in the ‘What book are you reading’ thread I figured was call for a place for the petrol heads among us to do their thing without having to muscle out Dostoyevsky and his mates.

I have to be honest and confess I’ve never really been a car man but I did have a two year love affair with a pale blue temptress that was my very first car. I learned to drive in Australia and during one of my spells there as an impressionable 20 year old I bought my first set of wheels. $200 got me a 1974 HQ Holden Belmont. 6 cylinder, bench seats, 3 speed column shift and, even though it was only 6 years old, already rusted to f**k. The paint job was so oxidised it had transformed into a patchwork quilt of every hue from cobalt blue to bleached white and it handled like a petulant donkey. But lord I loved that car. If I won the lottery tomorrow and could have any car I wanted I’d get me another one of those.

I have a couple of old photos of her somewhere but don’t currently have a scanner so these pics from the old interweb will have to suffice as a clue to her old school charms.



(scherpschutter) #2

Not a car man

I have a driver’s licence, but that’s all
I use my bike or public transport as much as possible, and only take the car when there’s no other possibility

This has, by the way, nothing to do with the greenhouse effect or similar problems


(Silver) #3

I’m also not very much into cars as a whole…just the American muscle cars, and particularly ones from the 60’s/70’s… And i hate small cars! My dad had a Mini Clubman in the 70’s and virtually had to throw me in it any time we went somewhere!


(ENNIOO) #4

Not a car man. Do like old classic cars though. In fact I cannot drive. Never interested me in driving and most of my friends cannot understand this. I cycle everywhere in rain, snow etc… does not bother me as that whats I am used to. Do use other modes of transport on business though.


(autephex) #5

:smiley:

That does look like a fun little car Phil. What is it about first cars and fond memories? My first car was a small 1985 Mazda RX7, 6 speed manual, only 4 cylinders but it was so small and light… so much fun to drive. In the winter, being lightweight, a manual, and rear wheel drive, it was a deadly risk to go anywhere :smiley: Even on a warm summer day, you could easily get into some wild driving.

One time in my highschool days, at the day’s end, with a line of cars behind me, and kids walking all over, I got the bright idea to peel out from a stop sign. The back end of the car proceeded to swing out of control, sending me out into the road, circling around and down a grassy hill into some poor folk’s yard, where I then did another 360 and took off back up the hill, getting a small lift at the top and back onto my planned route, leaving scores of cheering kids in the street

My days with this car are filled with such moments… I’ve been awfully (w)reckless in my younger driving days.

I’m also no huge car man, but I do appreciate nice & unique cars. There are some beautiful ones out there… and sometimes there is nothing like a nice drive.


(Silvanito) #6

I love driving and I drive a lot, but it doesn’t have to be any special or expensive cars

As long as it runs it’s fine with me :smiley:


(autephex) #7

Figured I would reply here…

Yep, I’ve got both the V8 and the HO(high output) version with dual exhaust. Pretty nice find, I only paid $2300 for it.

These cars are certainly more at home here, however they are starting to become impractical for the amount of gas they require. My car is larger than I’m used to though, and sometimes can be a bit nervous about it. When I bought the car, the steering was very bad, the alignment was severely out of whack, and the front end needed an entire rebuild. The car would randomly swerve off while driving straight, so you’d have to hold the steering wheel to the side in order to drive straight and constantly make corrections. I had to make a couple of multi-hour drives like this, and one point involving the narrowest two lane bridge I’ve ever seen… at night… was seriously scared for my life … but when it comes to getting a busted up car from point A to point B, you gotta do what you gotta do :smiley:


(autephex) #8

I can also appreciate alternatives to cars… Rode a scooter for a couple years pretty much everywhere I went. Can get pretty cold in the winter, but they’re fun also.

[quote=“Lindberg, post:6, topic:2102”]I love driving and I drive a lot, but it doesn’t have to be any special or expensive cars

As long as it runs it’s fine with me :D[/quote]

Agree with you there. One of the main reasons I decided to give it a go with restoring a classic, was because I had very little money to buy a car with, and my only option was a piece of junk that would probably break down after a month and require much money in fixing. Actually this had just happened to me when I bought an old Honda and after my first week with it, broke down on a roadtrip!

So instead I decided if I would spend my little money on something that could become much more…


(Bad Lieutenant) #9

Never felt the need to own one. And if I´m with some other person in a car, I let him or her drive me, because I´m lazy. I live in the middle of The Hague, which has good public transportation and is now largely being turned into a car free zone anyway. Used to drive a Porsche 924, which was my mum´s shopping car, to school. But of the course the people who know some shit are going to say a 924 is not a real Porsche. A fun ride anyway. Of course did a lot of speeding, but never got caught.
Even though I like watching Top Gear, I don´t care much for cars. But if I had money to spare I´d buy a Chevrolet Impala. I like the look of that one.


(autephex) #10

Yeah, the Impala’s are nice… one of my favorite cars- the old ones that is. I generally don’t care much about new cars, they all kind of look the same any more.

I’m sure that the 924 was a really fun drive, whether its a “real” porsche or not… those are another set of cars that are really fun… I had a 944 turbo for a while, top speed I hit on that one was 155… got pretty crazy with that one also :smiley:


(Silver) #11

Yes i can imagine them being pretty expensive to run! And that drive of yours sounded pretty scary…but believe me, it would be so much worse if you tried it down any of our country roads… ::slight_smile:

Anyway, glad i’m not the only one into these cars…though i don’t have any female friends who are! And i constantly get stick from the other half and one of his brothers (who really don’t like them!)

Hell i’d definitely be having one of those! And some more besides… :stuck_out_tongue:


(Phil H) #12

I guess it’s like your first girlfriend. You still remember her fondly even if you know she wasn’t that great.

My old Belmont was a case in point. For example, despite only having 3 gears (my son still laughs at the idea of a car with only three gears) the transmission was a nightmare. If you didn’t take it nice and easy when shifting from 1st to 2nd it would lock up completely at which point you had to pull over, clamber underneath the car and wiggle the linkages to free them up again. The upside was that no one ever wanted to borrow my car. :smiley:


(autephex) #13

I can imagine its hard to find them, but I generally have a hard time finding anyone that’s into what I’m into :smiley:

[quote=“Phil H, post:12, topic:2102”]I guess it’s like your first girlfriend. You still remember her fondly even if you know she wasn’t that great.

My old Belmont was a case in point. For example, despite only having 3 gears (my son still laughs at the idea of a car with only three gears) the transmission was a nightmare. If you didn’t take it nice and easy when shifting from 1st to 2nd it would lock up completely at which point you had to pull over, clamber underneath the car and wiggle the linkages to free them up again. The upside was that no one ever wanted to borrow my car. :D[/quote]

True yes, always remember the first :smiley: That’s pretty funny about the transmission, I’m sure driving anything with a manual transmission after that was a piece of cake


(Silver) #14

Heh…that’s the story of my life!


(Spaghetti Monkey) #15

I actually am a bit of a car guy. Grew up on a farm where you learn to do everything from plumbing to working on the farm equipment (why pay someone else?). My grandfather had me doing brake jobs before i was old enough to drive m’self.

Anyhoo, my first truck was a ‘84 Chevy K5 Blazer - no longer have :’(
'94 Toyota 4x4 pick-up - still have it
’94 Acura Integra - my wife’s car when we married, still have it
’95 Jeep - we bought just for fun, still have
’96 Nissan Pathfinder - the good car, my brother-in-law sold it to me for $1,500. Interior and exterior are in very good shape, but it ran like shit. Spent another $2,000 getting it to run properly and look the way i wanted, but still well worth it.

Sounds like autephex has my dream car, or at least close to it. Love those mid-sixties Pontiacs. My fave is the square Tempests with the stacked headlights (always forget which year is my fave as i like a few from that era).


(autephex) #16

Here’s a view from the front

That’s cool you know what you’re doing with these things :smiley: I’m just kind of stumbling my way through at the moment. Have always wished I knew how to do the work myself


(Chris_Casey) #17

Here’s an interesting twist on your statement, Phil…

My first car was one of those horrendous Ford Pintos! It literally blew up on me, unexpectedly, as I was driving down an Oklahoma highway at about 55 miles per hour without a care in the world. Big boom, black smoke, flames, the whole bit.

So, my first car has mirrored all of the relationships with my subsequent girlfriends (and one ex-wife).
Just when everything seems like it is moving along smoothly…the damn thing explodes!
;D


(autephex) #18

:smiley: very funny Chris

I never knew if the stories about Pintos blowing up was real or not


(Reverend Danite) #19

Ha ha. I’m also without a car - simply don’t need one, and I can have a drink without worrying (liver aside :P). The only cars I’ve ever owned have been ‘crap classics’ but I’ve loved em for the most part. I didn’t pass a test til I was in my 30s - always worked on the (sexist) principal (actually it wasn’t … jus’ the way it worked out) - get a girlfriend with a car and I can have a drink.
I’ve only ever owned 4 cars. Firstly, a 1956 (split-screen) Morris Minor. One day the kingpin broke and the wheel fell off - sort of collapsed under the car. I literally ‘banded’ it back on and could drive in a straight line to a garage I knew not far away that new about old cars. There, he had a 1968 Triumph Herald which I got off him for 700 quid. I had that car for 10 years and it did me proud.
Other than that, a 1979 (rag-top) MGB gt which I could’ve had a round the world cruise for what it cost me every time it broke down, and a series3 landrover.
I’ve been without a car now for probably 5 years or more (and “no chaps - I haven’t lost my license!”) - my carbon footprint is admirable and I’m pleased to be ‘out the loop’. Seems to me, they’re just a magnet for trouble (break-ins, scratchings, etc.). What I save by not having a car more than pays for travelling by taxi or by rail. Oh, and did I say, it allows me to not worry about having the odd tipple as well? ;D

[Edit - I’ll see if I can find a piccy of the ‘one-eyed jack’s’ crap classics, tomorrow (that is what we called them btw)]


(ENNIOO) #20

Well yes Reverend we can have as many scoops as we like ;D .