A Few Cars I Loved or Hated

Five I remember fondly

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1970 Camero60's Alfa late 60's Lincoln Continental  A boat!Need I label it?The beloved early Mini
1970 Camero
1970 Camero
60's Alfa
60's Alfa
late 60's Lincoln Continental  A boat!
late 60's Lincoln Continental A boat!
Need I label it?
Need I label it?
The beloved early Mini
The beloved early Mini

Let's hear in comments about your favourites or nemesise

We have all had motor vehicles which served us well and we liked, as well as the lemons which gave us nothing but trouble from the day we drove them off the lot.

Often, it wasn’t the fault of the manufacturer but the woes were due to the misuse a used car had had in its previous life: heavy-footed drivers, riding the clutch, a lack of oil and water, sporadic or no proper service and high mileage. Then there were those never much good, said to be finished at 5 PM on Friday night when the factory workers had their minds on other things: same first thing Monday when the effects of a hedonistic weekend was still with the assemblers. Lastly, there were the unhappy lot that were just plain not fit for purpose: cheaply made, lousy design, perhaps a bad model from an otherwise reliable manufacturer.

My feelings towards the vehicles which have shared my life - briefly in most cases - are colored by my age (at 18, if it had wheels and gas in it nothing else mattered on my single-minded, hell-bent journey towards the location of the current squeeze and her glutinous pleasures).

Money, too, determined the quality of my chariot. I mean, I bought a 1947 Woolsey, already ripe for the scrap man in the 60’s, that survived being painted all the colors of the rainbow by “friends” when I was away at Suez in the Pusser (Navy); the only car crash I have ever had in which the beleaguered old girl said “screw this,” spinning round a few times and colliding with a sycamore tree…I knew it was sycamore, because several of those curious little airplane seeds were glued to the blood on my head when they cleaned me up in the hospital. The police swept a full bucket of rust from the scene and the Woolsey ended her days as razor blades or something. I had paid 25 quid for the old gal and we had had some fun…but I never loved her.

After going through a Triumph Herald (blah) and a Vauxhall Cresta (not GM in those days), mum bought me a new Morris Mini (she made me get a driving license first!). Yes, folks, this was my first love. There’s nothing like a new car, is there? I can remember this particular smell to this day (50 years later). There was only one odor more compelling and HP/Google will shut down my ads if I mention it. This little box had the miracle (back then) of front wheel drive and effortlessly pulled its way across Britain’s winter snow and black ice. But what did stoopid do? No - remember, I said I had had only one accident? I traded it in on…a used Jaguar!!! Yes, a Mark M, 3.4, full leather and 120 miles per hour. Minis? Ha! Now I only had to cast my baby blues towards the Broadstairs promenade and the passing lovelies would come tumbling into the rear seat.

But, love my sleek and fast saloon as I did, I couldn’t afford to run it. Not the petrol; mere mortals could afford that in the 1960’s: it was the repairs. British cars were, let’s face it, crap! Which is why all Europeans still buy German and French today (plus Japan of course), We just couldn’t build a reliable car; they were pretty, but pretty awful, too, and hopeless Britain has no car industry today.

I then escaped the pregnant girlfriend and the creditors baying outside the window over my failed scrap company and leapt aboard a ship to Australia, the land of milk, honey and more crappy cars.

Yes, they were British, early Jap., and the odd Ford Falcon back then in Oz, except for one local manufacturer, Holden. (Now owned by GM). After I had managed to scrape up a couple of hundred Ozzie dollars, I plumped it down on the second love of my life since my Mini - a Holden EH. This was a much beloved car in Australia and I soon saw why. It was so comfortable you could sleep while driving it - and it went so slowly, you almost really could. (You can sort that adverbial clause). (All Aussies would say, “Oh, yeah, mate, an Eee Haitch, that’s the only ridgy didge Aussie car!)

That lasted until I found one of the best cars I have ever, ever owned: in Oz, the UK or the States. It was the Ferrari Testiclerosy…(stop licking your lips, I could never afford one of those!), no, it was an Alfa Romeo Spyder Veloce - a convertible with a sweet 6 cylinder engine and still, as many purists will agree, one of the best cars ever made. I can still feel that crisp handling and responsive acceleration - no bloody smog devices back then.

In 1969, I set sail again for the great USA, land of all our dreams, just ahead of the Sydney Motor Squad who were after me for some nonsense or other - as if I would try to sell a car still on HP!.

There, I started work selling cars for Richmond British Imports near San Francisco, so I didn’t need to own a car for a year…the top grossers like moi got to drive an E-Type fer god’s sake! Then Helen (Ozzie import) and I decided to head down to Mexico, so I bought wholesale from Hutch (owner) an old Chevy something or other…it may have been an Impaler or something like that (Impala?). It was a great car! My first V-8 with a three-speed shifter on the steering hub. We towed an old speedboat down with us which got “lost” when we left…insured? ‘course it was, mum didn’ raise no stoop!

That began my love with American automobiles. They didn’t have the quality and cornering ability of Eurometal, but I loved the chat of those big V-8’s and there’s still been nothing like ‘em (except that Alfa).

I opened a TV business then, and began my Camero period I had the notchback one first then the fastback; then a Buick Riviera Sports fastback: they are all old hat these days and unaffordable gas-wise, but they were a revelation to a spotty bloke from the UK weaned on Minis, which would fit in the trunk (boot) of a US road-boat.

Then…wait for it, a mist green, full leather, 6 liter, automatic, heated seats, cruise and climate controlled. Are you about to climax!? Yes, Lincoln Continental! I took that to Mexico a few times and they addressed me as Senor Presidente, (or was it Gringo Cabron?).

About this time, Huntsville beckoned and I paid for various indiscretions involving Columbia and a certain white powder which obviated my need for a motor vehicle for some years (read hubs).

I went to live in Mexico after this and discovered what is probably the best car aver made and certainly the most affordable…the VW Beetle (an International conspiracy has resulted in the cessation of its manufacture and I am not kidding). I had about 5 beetles through the years (OK, girls, I know you hate them, but you never did have any sense where cars are concerned…you buy the pretty ones!) There’s not a woman standing that knows you can change the engine in a Beetle by undoing four bolts. I still love them today (as well as the Golf) and will end with what I now drive, because it’s an honest, sturdy, economical all-terrain little work-horse and I love my Suzuki Jimny to death. (See recent hub on this car).

In the interests of brevity have excluded many cars I once owned. The two worst were a Citroen C5 and a Ford Escort made of compressed kitchen foil. I must mention I had an Oldsmobile Delta 88 that I loved, great car. Always wanted a Corvette but didn’t get round to it.

In general, I dislike cars these days: better to walk and use the bus!

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Comments 25 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

For sheer style, I've always liked the 1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria, 2 door hardtop, (with no center post).

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Ha! my first car was a '57 Packard with a Studebaker engine. First car with air conditioning (mine didn't work) and a scanning radio (sort of worked). Big Boat for sure.

Favorite car is the one I have now the Chrysler 300C Hemi. I just have to point it to where I want to go and it goes there. Sweet.

Worst car - Ford Pinto What? (definitely Fix or Repair Daily. And crappy brown to boot.

Car of my dreams - A Rolls Royce complete with driver and one hundred year old wood for the dash. I've already called RR up and told them to plant my tree.

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Hi, Lela!

The car we drove to Arizona was a '53 Studebaker with a 283 Chevy engine. I sure wish I had that one back!

diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Will. That's when they all had fins, no? Or just before. I don't remember that Ford. Bob

PS I had a Studebaker Lark with the Golden Hawk engine in it once, really went!

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

My ex had a Golden Hawk with a Golden Hawk engine. He also owned a Silver Hawk with 8,000 original miles. I think my son sold them both for college money. My son still goes by the handle "Studes4ever" and he does still have the 63 Studebaker Pickup.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

That Stude Lark was built like a Mercedes, I think it was a late 1950's or early 1960 model, I bought it in Australia. I could get about 50 yards wheel spin out of it. Great car and designed differently from most US boats...Bob

writeronline 5 years ago

Cars and sex. Can't beat it.(Not a Freudian slip.)


"...nothing like a new car....I can remember this particular smell to this day ...only one odor more compelling"....

I was going to say that you'd be one of the few of our impecunious era who'd have had the pleasure of experiencing both heady aromas at the one time.

But then I read; "This little box.....effortlessly pulled its way across Britain’s winter snow and black ice", and I'm thinking, is he still talking about the car? Because if the other kind of 'little box' had those skills, as well as the heady odour, you should have married the girl and put her on the stage!!

Then the Chevy 'Impaler'? For God's sake Bob! Did you have a Viking helmet with 'Vlad' emblazoned on it as well?

Like I said. Cars and Sex. Night and Day. Black and White. Yin and Yang.

I enjoyed this...thanks Bob.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Thanks to you, WOL, for a very funny and readable comment. That sort of box might suit a polar bear; it certainly adds new meaning to frigid!

Take care, Bob

Xenonlit profile image

Xenonlit 5 years ago

One day, I will have my Cherry Red Camaro back. After I win the lotto, of course.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Are they so expensive now? If I win the lotto it will be a Porsche Carrera GT Bob

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Men and their cars. What a love affair. Great enjoyable hub.

diogenes 5 years ago

Thanks Hanna. Men and their cars...women and their...shoes ?? Bob

bristeg profile image

bristeg 4 years ago from Manila

The boattail Riviera's (71-73) - truly an unsung chapter in automotive design.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 months ago from North Texas

Think the worst car I ever had half-ownership in with my #2 was a 1080 Dodge Diplomat purchased new. Chrysler/Dodge was in trouble of going out of business permanently and Lee Iacocca, their CEO, was doing TV commercials trying to persuade everyone that buying a Dodge right then when Dodge was in such awful trouble would be the patriotic thing to do. My #2 listened.

From Day One, the car was a POS. Every time I would slow down to make a turn or start up after stopping at a red traffic light, it would just sit and cough and gag and not move period. When making a turn across the oncoming lane to my left, the car would be fine until pretty close to centered in the lane (horizontally) and then start the coughing, choking, gasping thing, and just sit there as oncoming traffic bore down on me, not slowing the slightest bit.

Thought it tried mightily, it never succeeded in getting me killed -- as you can see, because I'm still here to write this. The car behaved the same way when #2 drove it, and even when various salesmen and mechanics, etc., drove it to try and figure it out. The Company men (Dodge) finally gave up and said there was nothing they could do. They had no idea what could possibly be wrong.

Finally got rid of it in 1982. Traded it for a new Volkswagon Rabbit Diesel. Dodge did NOT stand behind the Diplomat though we bought it new. The warranty on it was worthless. We were not the only people in our city who got stuck with a Dodge Lemon for our/their patriotic efforts.

As you may imagine, I have never since, and will never again buy a Dodge or a Chrysler product, used or new, even if I have to walk a thousand miles to my destination.

Seeing as how Dodge stuck us with their lemon, failed to honor their own warranty on it, and did NOTHING to correct the vehicle's problem, I will naturally NEVER say anything nice about Chrysler/Dodge. Not because I hate them, although I do, but simply because I don't know anything nice to say about them.

They could have fixed the problem by if nothing else, exchanging the car. Then again, maybe the reason they didn't do that is because they knew that was the only kind of car they had -- the coughing, choking kind.

Dodge did nothing. NOTHING!!!!!!!!! The only thing I would ever trust Chrysler/Dodge to do in the future is NOTHING!!!!!!! Their product is such garbage they should have been allowed to go out of business, but of course our government bailed them out way back then, now 36 years ago.

Since then the most expensive POS I have gotten stuck with is a Samsung Galaxy S5 Smartphone. $752. Hasn't tried to kill me yet that I know of, but even though it has been replaced once last May, it's still a POS. The battery lasts a wopping 3 hours. The phone has never worked right from moment one, though initially the battery was quite dependable.

So those are 2 things I would highly recommend everyone avoid.

My best vehicles were a Karmann Ghia and so far, a Saturn. But the Saturn is 22 years old and limping. I really need a sugar daddy to get me a new car, cuz getting a new car one part at a time isn't working -- they aren't making new parts anymore because they aren't making Saturns anymore.

Hope all is well with you Bobby, and that you're feeling better, and in much better humor than when you left your last comment. Take care . . . xx

diogenes 4 months ago

Yes...had a tooth extracted today...One of the last! I am going to Mexico in October for 6 weeks to get dental work done in La Paz (dentist friend), and to see the old crowd..

I like Karmann Ghias, but they are girly. A good car for you would be the new Audi TT, fast and pretty.

No sugar daddy then? I'm diabetic, might fit the bill!

Bob xo

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Odd, I have had my Chrysler 300C with the Hemi engine and it is by far the best car I have ever owned! It's 8years old now and I will be buried in this car, LOL. Love it.

Maybe it was the Dodge part that was bad?

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

WB - did you just wish for me to die? Why do you hate me so much? What did I ever do to you?

Wild Bill 4 months ago

What the heck are you talking about??? I am talking about getting one of these cars.

Can you please stop your slander campaign against me?

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

I don't even know who you are. How can I be slandering you?

Wild Bill 4 months ago

Let's see; you have created a forum about me, talked bad about me on the PO's hub, and now you are fabricating that I said that I want you would die. You even ran to your little buddies and stated that falsehood there even after I explained what my comment was. You and Paula have also been spending all of your time researching me and that you have 'proof' that I am a moderator.

Why don't you stop trying to hijack this Hub for your own personal agenda and try to move on with your life.

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Well, let's just see. Are you willing to bury the hatchet and stop following me around accusing me of harassing you? I'm not the one bragging about how you reported me and Paula and had us banned.

The forum I created was about trolls in general. Are you one?

Wild Bill 4 months ago

Don't lie. You named me by name in the forum.

And please respect this gentleman's hub and stop using it for your own personal vendetta and slander campaign.


I'm sorry this happened but it was out of my hands.

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

I named Wild Bill, yes. But since you won't sign in and reveal yourself, I can only assume that WB is your Troll identity.

Bob, don't worry about these posts. They are only increasing your views of this fine hub. I'm sure you are well aware of Troll and Stalker tactics.

Wild Bill 4 months ago

You and I both know I do not have an account. I have explained myself many times at people who attack me for not having an account. I am a reader, not a writer, so it makes no sense for me to have an account when HP allows me to come here, read Hubs, and make comments on what I have read. I also have no clue why you guys keep bringing up the fact that I don't have an account; it has nothing to do with any of the discussions.

You try to play coy like you didn't troll me, but you know you did. Your explanation just showed it.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 4 months ago

Hello Diogenes, I love cars even the first and worst "What the Hill is a Hellman" it was the worst but the most fun.

Next to the worst was Honda Civic, every time we had a freeze the clutch cable snapped and had to be replaced (3 in one winter season) but cute cars and good gas mileage.

Best was Buick Wildcat, Mercury Monterey (old model) and the Chevy Camaro (the most beautiful) but about 10 miles per gallon.

My favorite is the Toyota Prius 2008. But even that has a minor problem, the grommet on the hatch handle was melting, I went to a Toyota dealer to buy the grommet and replace it myself and was told they have to take the hatch apart to replace it at a cost of $400.00, that went over like a lead balloon. I called Toyota and talked to a lady who called me back and she called the dealership and had it repaired for free. Got it back yesterday.

Enjoyed this hub.

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