Saturday, August 29, 2015

Muscle Car limbo

It's a strange place to be.  That in between time when your ride is transitioning from being just another "old car" to a "Collector car."

So it is with my 1995 Formula.  It meets the definition of a muscle car  ( save for the year but who cares what GoodGuys thinks.)  It's got all the check boxes ticked including having the most powerful V8 available at the time (LT1), 2 doors, rear wheel drive and of course, it's completely impractical.

It also hits all those less attractive aspects like being unreliable, expensive to fix and forever in need of attention.

Right now I have to use the car as a daily driver but it is 20 years old so even with all the care its received over its life there's no hiding those liver spots.  

The catalytic converter's developed an annoying rattle, the rear end urethane bushings squeak like an old bed, the power windows worry me and there are times (like now) where it struggles to roar to life when the weather isn't quite to its liking.

In short it's an old car with all the requisite annoyances.  
Considering my meager income I've done a fair job of addressing a lot of the issues.  Projects that included things like replacement of a distributor, water pump, ignition system and radiator and some worn out interior pieces to name just a few.  It's a start but I know from experience that it's far from the finish.

It's times like these where I sometimes wish I had my old Toyota truck back.  That thing could run on a thimble of oil and two drops of anti-freeze and still take you across the country and back with the AC blowing ice-cold the whole way.

But it wasn't as fun.  Being towed home multiple times is a badge of honor for a collector car.  Even if it is inconvenient.  

Your Camry?  I Guarantee you're looking at after the first tow...  Besides, did you ever notice how collector cars never seem to look better than on the back of a flatbed?  That's soul baby!

I mean think about it for a minute, not many things with a Toyota or Hyundai badge can be said to have a "soul" and no Kia, calling one of your cars a "soul" doesn't make it have one.  Nobody will ever get excited over an Avalon when its 20 years old either.

Besides, none of those would respond as well to my pleadings to "just get me home baby."

This is where I find myself now and while I foresee a bright future for the Formula for now it's often the stuff of nightmares instead of dreams.

It's the test all car-guys must go through.  If you just give up and trade it in on a Hyundai I have no respect for you.  All great things must be suffered for.

...and god do I suffer...

But this is the stuff of legend.  The stories to be shared with others so afflicted. 

Of course this assumes I don't have to sell the dream for a couple of bags of groceries...