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Musicians talk about cars they've loved ... or hated

Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
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I think some flash drives are too small. I've got a few that are probably less than 1/2" long. They're hard to plug into a USB port and extremely easy to lose. However, I've also got a couple flash drives that are too wide to use in a USB port because I have something else plugged into the USB port next to it, like, say, a keyboard.
I use a half inch flash drive in my car for my fav playlist. It slides into a slot in my side arm glove box that is between our seats. Never see the drive but can use it.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
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I use a half inch flash drive in my car for my fav playlist. It slides into a slot in my side arm glove box that is between our seats. Never see the drive but can use it.
I have a cassette player in my car. None of that high falutin' digital sound for me. I'm an analogue girl... ;) :D

1/2" flash drive... Huh... Next thing out of your mouth will be your car has a built-in GPS and keyless entry. Right? itd_3d_ani_w60_smiles_037.gif
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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Administrator
I have a cassette player in my car. None of that high falutin' digital sound for me. I'm an analogue girl... ;) :D
1/2" flash drive... Huh... Next thing out of your mouth will be your car has a built-in GPS and keyless entry. Right? itd_3d_ani_w60_smiles_037.gif
8-Track :p

While I'm not a gearhead, I've owned a bunch of cars. I also think there have been some really pretty cars made, so I've done some reading on classic cars. So, I knew off the top of my head that some had an option for a record player.

The first car to have a radio installed was a 1930 Ford Model A. Adjusted for inflation, it cost $2,047.41.

My wife and I both have < 6 year old Nissans. There's a "change tray" under the radio/backup camera monitor has a USB port. You could also do Bluetooth. Standard equipment. I have keyless entry on my car, but no GPS on either car. We both have iPhones, so no GPS isn't really an issue.

Other amusing car additions have been the VW Type I's ("Beetle") and some modern Beetles' flower vase, umbrella slots (Rolls Royce, IIRC), and hot plates, so you could make tea or coffee. Also ejector seats, machine guns, smoke screens, and oil slicks -- if you happen to be James Bond.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
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Never knew about "Highway-HiFi". Love it.

I always thought it would be awesome to own an old Volvo hearse or ambulance. Sadly, here in North America these did really not get used. An ambulance would be fun--since I know how to use everything it in. :emoji_head_bandage: And a hearse? Well, when that stuff in the ambulance didn't work out...:eek::oops:;)
 

saxhound

Moderator
Staff member
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When I was in high school I worked at a funeral home. Cutting the grass, sweeping up butts, plowing the parking lot, etc. Occasionally I was asked to take the "meat wagon" to the hospital or morgue to pick up a body. It was a circa 1971 Mercury station wagon that was modified in the back to hold a gurney. In the front under the dash was an aftermarket 8 track machine. It was kind of weird rolling down the highway with a body in the back, rocking out to Led Zeppelin, The Doors and Steppenwolf.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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Administrator
I once (1957) owned (in London) an ex-Canadian consular Ford V8 Pilot which had a mini-cocktail bar in the rear seat armrest. Boosted my street cred considerably.
You're right. I did forget to mention that there are refrigerators and mini-bars, too. Of course, there were also built-in phones, but that's not really that interesting these days.

I've seen many vehicles that were used as ambulances or hearses and ambulances and hearses that have been converted into daily drivers. Most of them are Cadillacs, but there are lots of exceptions. I can see wanting one if you need the sheer size to put stuff in, i.e. perfect for a band manager or something, but that 7 gallons to the mile kinda makes you look more in the direction of 4 cylinder cars.

BTW, yes, ebay does have hearses and ambulances for sale. This 1939 Cadillac Lasalle is only $48,000.

There are some Volvo hearses for sale in Canada, but not any near BC. I did find a nice looking one, tho.
 

Gandalfe

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Wow, that '39 Caddie hearse is amazing and the video is a nice touch. I used to own a '56 Ford Country Sedan that my brother and I hauled out of a farmer's back 40. We had a choice between that and at '57 two door delivery. We went with the Country Sedan because it was in better shape ... we thought. Had it for 4 to 5 years and then sold it back to my brother before I shipped out in '81.
Ford56CountrySedanSide.jpg
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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I've only regretted NOT buying one car, a 1956 Chevy 210, which, IIRC, looked similar to this, minus the mag wheels. $400 in the early 1990s. Had a couple interior problems. Needed new tires. That was about it.

I've regretted buying lots of cars. Highlights include the Nissan Altima I currently have (cost too much) and a 1984 Fiero, as that car was a money pit. That's some strong praise from someone who owned a late 1970's Chrysler Cordoba.

The best cars I've owned were a 1984 Chevy Caprice, as it was cheap and never broke down; the VW Type Is ("Beetles"), which were all cheap; the Nissans, which are/were very reliable; and my early 5th gen Mustang convertible, which was cheap and fun to drive (small V6, which matched the size of the car perfectly), but had 0% storage space.

Oh. Helen, I did own a Volvo 164 for awhile. Green. Automatic. Fuel injected. What was left of the seats was leather.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
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Oh. Helen, I did own a Volvo 164 for awhile. Green. Automatic. Fuel injected. What was left of the seats was leather.
That would have been the 164 E. It was the most expensive model ATT. It would have likely looked something like this...

1973 Volvo 164E.jpg




I have always stayed away from the 6 cycle engines. They were not Volvo's best engines. I have gone for the red block. The 4 cylinder engine is nearly bulletproof if you maintain it... Our 3 are doing great.

The only exception to the 4 cylinder rule was when we owned an 850 for nearly 10 years. It was expensive in repairs compared to the 200 series I have always driven. When I had a chance to crunch the numbers, compared to my friend's older 700 series we were selling for him when he moved back to Toronto, we opted to sell the 850 and keep the 740 with, you guessed it, a red block engine.

The 1989 740 is now our daily driver, while the 2, 200 series Volvos are collector plated and living the life of leisure in the garage, going out only on highway and country road drives to visit friends or for fun.

These were the 2 kinds of station wagons I was thinking might be fun to own... Lots of room for that bass saxophone and its sundry gear. :emoji_stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

And before anyone asks, no, I am not old enough to have worked in station wagon ambulances. ;) Here in BC the gov't had already converted to vans well before I was hired.

You can also see by the equipment in the ad this was early days of EMS. Hardly anything available for the attendants to use--compared to what we see in the ambulances of today.

15907980643_c8c175fb75_k.jpg
1978 240 Ambulance Ad.jpg
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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Well, we've gone from Infinitone to flash drives to cars ...

Yah. I'll see if I can do that. Un momento.

EDIT: Yup. Seemed to work. And I'm more than moderately medicated, so cool.
 
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pete

Brassica Oleracea
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Some further notes about me ...

* I used to live just a couple miles from the Pierce-Arrow plant in Buffalo, NY. I drove and walked past it quite often. This was about 50 years after the last P-A came off the assembly line. I'm not around 90 years old :).

* I had a friend whose father was a multi-millionaire. The father (deceased by the time I met my friend) had around 200 cars, including at least one P-A, and some other rarities, like the Kaiser Darrin. Said friend was the one that I was going to buy that 56 Chevy from. Unfortunately, a lot of the cars were stored out in a field in the desert under corrugated aluminum roofs and had been sitting for years. Only a few were in climate-controlled storage. I've also not talked to said friend in over 25 years, so I don't know what happened to all the cars.

* My ex-wife was a mechanic, so we always had a couple of somewhat junky cars around. For instance, the Volvo 164 I mentioned had virtually no upholstery remaining. The Caprice was missing one of those long metal and rubber strips along the door. The Cordoba was cheap, but the trunk/boot was rusted through. One of the VWs was missing a fender. You get the idea.

The newest car my ex and I owned was brand new in the 1990s. The oldest was probably one of the VW Beetles, which I think was from 1963. The most uncommon one was probably a 1989-ish Eagle Premier with the wide rubber strips on the sides. It was ... OK, but the tail lights stopped working a little bit after I bought it (used) and it was due to an electrical problem, which was waaaaay too expensive to fix.

I also live in the Phoenix, AZ area. Considering we get 299 days of sunlight a year and we don't get much snow, there are still a lot of older vehicles on the street. However, VW Beetles have almost completely vanished. I don't know why. Scottsdale is also relatively close and has a lot of classic car and exotic car dealerships (think Ferrari). There's also a classic car meet that's 5-ish miles away that meets every couple weeks.

One of the classic cars I'd love to own is a 1965 Buick Riviera GS. It's mostly impractical for anyone, at 10mpg and no airbags. Maybe no seatbelts, either. There are too many 1920s to 1930s cars that look spectacular for me to decide. Cord? Dusenberg? Bugatti? Delahaye?

The overall best car ever made, combining several car websites' lists, is an air-cooled VW Beetle (aka Type I). Various RWD Volvos also make the list. For me? I really like my wife's Nissan Rogue and my Altima is pretty OK. Toyota Corolla and Camry always make it onto the "best car" lists. Same with Honda Civics. I think Priuses (Priuss? Priuises? ) are fun.

==============

Again, not a gearhead or mechanic of any kind. I've just owned and/or appreciated a lot of cars.
 

saxhound

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Staff member
CE/Moderator
My worst - 1972 Ford Pinto Country Squire (Squirt?) station wagon. Fake wood (contact paper) on the sides. Possible explosion waiting to happen. My folks gave it to me my senior year in college. Couldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. The 2 litre 4 banger took about 20 seconds to get up to 55 MPH when merging onto the highway. That was frightening. I sold it for $500 as soon as I could afford something better.

My best - a 1977 Datsun 280Z 2+2 with a 2.75 litre six cylinder 4 speed manual. That car could fly and had some classic styling.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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Administrator
Made of Explodium - TV Tropes. If you've never visited this website before, you owe it to yourself to spend a couple hours there.

* Fiero: tendency to catch on fire if hit in the rear (depends on the engine).
* Corvair, Samurai, Reliant Robin, and many others: fall over if they corner too hard.
* Trabant: made out of cotton. Yes, really.
* I think there was a Volvo model in the late 80s or early 90s that allegedly would accelerate all by itself.
 

Carl H.

Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
The worst car I ever had was also a great car. A gold/tan, depending on the light, 1989 Volvo 765 ti. The thing had space for days, handled great and was pretty fast by anyone's standards. If it had been more reliable or even easier to get parts I might have kept it, but it stranded me twice and it took forever to get parts as the 89 was a one off year for engine management. Both times it stranded me parts had to be shipped from Sweden. When I finally sold it the guy who bought it called me the next day - the transmission had blown on him. I spent a lot of time working on that car to make it perfect and it always found some new way to let me down. I still have a bunch of Volvo parts in the garage I need to get rid of - though I did get the cargo barrier to fit in my Jeep like it was made for it.

My best car was my 79 F100. It only let me down once, when I couldn't get a radiator for it in time for a gig out of state so I bought another car for the gig. The car was a 2dr 73 ltd that was chugging pretty ferociously from under the hood when I bought it. Ended up being a leaky carb spacer I fixed for the price of the gaskets and a few seconds on a belt sander. Also a great car that ran like new and saved my brother's life when he borrowed it when I was on the road and wrapped it around a tree. But the F100 always started, and always did what I asked from it and was comfortable to operate. In fact I spent last week resurrecting it from where it has been sitting for the last 17 years. All that is left is a new battery, cleaning the gas tank, and getting my idiot nephew (son of my brother who totaled the LTD) to replace the window said idiot shot out and clean out the mess it created inside between glass bits and rodents now having access.
I drove that truck for college and even used it as a practice room for juries a couple times. I drove it to get our marriage license and also drove it from the death bed of my grandmother to my wifes bridal shower in another state that same day. It hauled everything from manure, to post 97 Red River flood filled sandbags, to sets for an opera company from the shop to the theater. In the years it has sat, the tires were still holding air even after sinking into the ground. Someday I'll tackle the rust and give it some fresh paint.
 

Helen

Content Expert Saxophones
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Well, this is a whole new thread then... :emoji_stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ...

After making the switch from VW to Volvo--much to my dad's disgust since he was a Master Mechanic &Trainer/Manager for VW/Porsche/Audi his entire career--in my early 20s, I have owned nothing but the RWD Swedish steel since. Including the "winter" cars I owned in the Maritimes when I lived there for nearly 10 years, I have only owned 8 of these babies since the 80s. Three of them I still own, and have since well before parts for them had to be ordered from Volvo's Classic Division in Sweden.

I have owned this 1991, 240 DL wagon since 2004.

P1000021_LI (2).jpg


This 1989, 240 DL sedan has been mine since 1996, and moved to NB with me. It was stored every winter, and then driven lightly every summer. It only has around 120K on it. For the trip back from the Maritimes it got a train ride, while the pets flew with us on Air Canada.

driver side.jpg


Because both my 200 Series are Collector Plate vehicles in BC--meaning there are serious restrictions on what you can use them for--we have an everyday driver as well. Yup, also a RWD Volvo. It is a well-loved, but mechanically 100% sound, 1989 740 GL. It still looks very pretty as well. It just isn't as pretty as the other 2.

IMG_0324_LI (2).jpg


My first car ever was a 1968 VW bug that my dad lovingly restored for me. I sold it to buy my first Volvo. I wish I could get another one. I almost did a few years ago, but with only 2 garage spots--and with BC's West Coast basically being a rainforest--it just wasn't practical. (As if having 3 cars for 2 people is.) :emoji_stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

The trick to keeping these guys on the road, is maintaining them right. This is something my dad taught me early on. Do the service when it is due. Get repairs done AS SOON AS they are needed. Read: that is whenever the mechanic notices that something will need repair/replacement. I have never gone to dealers. I have only gone to Volvo factory trained mechanics who have their own shops, and use genuine Volvo or OEM parts. Seems to work.

There is also a strong connection between Volvo & VW. Many mechanics have worked in both VW & Volvo dealerships, and have therefore trained and certified as both. Therefore, my name still carries a bit of weight, since my dad was well known in the VW world.

Sadly though, today's mechanics are not trained in diagnostics. For them, everything is plug and play--b/c of the complexity of modern cars. It is getting harder and harder to find good, solid mechanics for these old timers. I have lost my best local mechanic due to retirement. I now have to go out of town to get the cars serviced.

That is the only downside of owning an older classic like this. Even Volvo dealers can no longer work on these cars--unless they have a mechanic who has been around a really long time, or has been trained by someone who has.
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
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Administrator
First car. Hmm. I'm pretty sure it was a 1984 Mercury Lynx (here's a pic of a 1983; the 1984 looks identical). It was beige and had beige interior. Automatic. Bought used in the early 1990s. No, I'm not that young. It's just that I knew people that were going to where I wanted or needed to go, so I had no need to get a car. I don't think I got a license until I was 21. Said car was purchased when I moved to AZ from NY.

Anyhow, if you checked my link, you'll note that the specs on the Lynx mention it has a 1.6L I4 engine. That meant 0 to 60 in about 15 hours.

I did drive mine from Phoenix, AZ to Buffalo, NY once and had the car around for a few years after that, so it was somewhat reliable. I don't remember what happened to it. Might have been used as a trade in for something or just outright sold.

==============

I don't own any vehicle old enough to feel your pain, Helen. My 1980s Fiero had a computer, but the problems it had were fairly easy to diagnose, albeit expensive. My 1990s Olds Alero with the electrical problems could be considered mechanics saying, "We're fixing what the computer says is broken. We can't find any other problem."

Carl, my wife really, really wanted to buy a truck. Unfortunately, the F150 starts at $29K with a V6, which is $4K more than the Rogue.

The F100 is a classic and I see them out here in AZ every now and then.
 
This was my first car that was new, and really my car, not a company car, or a spouses car. We were just coming off the 70's gas shortages and Toyotas were selling at a premium, due to their high (at that time ) gas mileage. It was a fun car - 5 speed stick, looked cool, I brought a dish washer home in the hatch back and a huge Bathroom vanity, among other things. People would ask me if it was the new Celica. I think it still looks pretty cool today, 41 years later.

My loan was 18% not due to bad credit, but due to the monetary situation at the time. I waited until rates came down to 11.75 % to sell my condo and purchase my home in 1985, 5 years later!

Apparently other's liked it too. It was stolen from under the old Expressway in Boston (an elevated expressway, since taken down, and replaced by the "Big Dig") where I had parked it while going to work, and was recovered, wrecked ):.
 

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