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09-09-2016, 10:38 AM   #1

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Cars, trucks, motorcycles you have had...that are your favourites and why ?

What are the cars, trucks or motorcycles you have had that you wish you never got rid of....or maybe still have ? Why are they so treasured ?

I've had a few. My '67 Camaro RS coupe, 327 (5.3 liter) V8, 4 speed Muncie manual transmission. To my eye it was a stunning looking was Marina blue in colour, had red line wide oval tires (this was back in the '60's), Chevy Rally wheels, radio only, no PS, no PB, a stripper....less weight that way. It's gone.

My first car, a 1961 VW. It took a real kicking from me, was reliable, durable....and did I mention it was my first car. It's gone.

My 1962 Volvo PV544s with a B18S engine...twin SU carbs, grey. Wonderfully precise shifting of it's 4 speed gearbox, best clutch I have ever used and I've used a lot. Handled well, but leaned a lot...somehow it managed to hold on well in tight corners. Just saw the Brit show...Wheeler, Dealers and Ed worked on a '62 Volvo PV544s....just like mine. I would love to have had that car. It's gone.

Motorcycles...I had a 1965 Yamaha YDS3C....Catalina Super Sports. It was a 250cc sport bike...28.6 hp @ 8600 rpm, big , effective drum brakes and that YDS twin cylinder 2 stroke that Yamaha also based some of their road race bikes on. It had a wonderful 'yowl' when I ran it through the gears. It's gone.

My 1967 Matchless 750cc Scrambler...a CS (competition Spring...or some say the S stands for sport). It has the Norton 750cc Atlas twin, with sports cams, twin carbs, open pipes. It was a factory job, the idea being that if they stuffed their most powerful engine into into a lighter Matchless would be good for desert racing in the SW USA. In my case it was used as a street bike. I still have and still love it. Oil leaks and all. It's here.

My '78 Yamaha SR 500....big 4 stroke single, kick start only. It is # 209 off the assembly line, for the North American market. Lot of low end and mid range torque, not a lot of HP...but I like big, torquey singles that handle and brake well. It's here.

Well that's my list and why...what's yours ?

09-09-2016, 11:59 AM   #2
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Motorcycle - When I was a teen a Honda 90. I just had a lot of fun on that little bike. It went anywhere we wanted it too. Often with three of on it.

Cars are little tougher. Never owned what I would consider a dream car. Best car I ever owned was a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix. Got it used with 8,000 miles on it. Sold it 5 years later with 176,000 miles on it. I used it for work and got paid on average 45 cents per mile for most of that mileage. Out of that came all gas, insurance. maintenance and repairs but I did make a lot of money off of that car.

The only truck I owned was a 1984 Chevy S10 pickup. Long bed model. Handy to have little truck. Got quite a bit of use out of it and it pulled our popup tent trailer when we first got it. Stick shift and needed a new emergency brake cable every year as it would rust up and not release. I miss the old cables that had grease fittings in them for this very reason.

Our 1989 Ford Areostar van was an awesome family vehicle. Fit the 4 boys fine and took us on some epic family vacations. One lasting 5 weeks and involved 9,000 miles of driving.
09-09-2016, 02:29 PM   #3
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For motorcycles....I had a 1977 Honda CB550F that I rode for years. It was a high performance version of the series of the 550cc four cylinder bikes Honda produced in the 70's. It came with stock 4 into 1 pipes. Here's a video showing off one that is almost identical to mine except I didn't have the chrome engine guards on mine.

I bought mine in 1985 for $695 as an inexpensive ride. I figured I would get a couple of years out of it and find something else. I never though for a moment that I would still be riding it until 2008. The looks changed over the years. A fairing on the front got added and the paint changed to gloss black. I crashed twice on the highway. I don't count accidental drops of laying it down on grass or dirt as crashes but there were a few of those too. After the first 100K miles, I put another engine in that came from a 1974 550K that had under 20K miles. Somewhere in the late 90's, the speedo cable broke and I never replaced it because parts were becoming difficult to find and expensive. The second motor began developing oil leaks after the turn of the century. The main cause was just gasket rot and time. I rode it a lot, 8-10K miles a year. Still running, it began loosing power which I suspect was due to age combined with oxygenated fuel (ethanol or MTBE). I finally parked it in 08. I really didn't have the ambition to restore it. I took up garage space until 2013. One of my wife's co-workers has a son who was learning to be a mechanic and wanted a motorcycle he could fix up and ride. I happily gave it to him along with my parts bike all the other stuff I had accumulated over the years. It's still going! The kid fixed it up and I see it around from time to time.

I'm now riding a 2012 Harley Sportster Superlow. I love this bike as much as the old Honda. It's a different ride but actually much better as far as ergonomics go for my aging body.

I owned a few small/midsized GM pickup trucks that I ran for many, many miles. The first was an 84 S10 followed by a 96 Isuzu Hombre (identical to the S10 and built in USA). Both of them were close to 300K miles when I retired them due to rust issues. I replaced the Hombre with a 2005 GMC Canyon (sister to the Chevy Colorado). Unfortunately, GM was going downhill and the Canyon didn't hold up as well as the earlier GM small trucks. While I got 200K miles out of it, the frame broke this spring. I have replaced it with a Honda CRV. I have a utility trailer from Tractor Supply I use when I need to haul something.
09-09-2016, 02:48 PM - 1 Like   #4
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One of my favorite cars was an Oldsmobile 442. It was a beautiful gold, with hood scopes, and spoiler. Black interior. It would definitely get out & move!

Another was a less known Mark Donahue Javelin. Bright blue, again with hood scopes and spoiler.

Last car that I really loved was a white Subaru RX.

Had over 20 motorcycles; but my favorite was a Honda 500 Turbo! Loved that one!

Trucks; of course, my Subaru Brat!

09-09-2016, 04:57 PM   #5
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'67 MGB convertible with Laycock overdrive (red, of course). I have yet to outgrow my mid-life crisis. Maybe I will have one again, one day ......
09-09-2016, 05:41 PM   #6
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My parents had a red over black 63 Impala SS I was dying to take over at age 16, but they sold it and found me a 'slower' car >>

1967 Volkswagen Squareback age 16 through college. Nightclub on Wheels. I'm certain part of the reason it is on my list is sentimental - it was my first car and transportation for virtually every date I had before I met my wife. >>

Never had a motorcycle, but I did have a Paris Sport #500 23" full Campagnallo racing bike that was stupid expensive to ride around a college campus. Hand made frame, nice blue top coat, hand striped and decaled. I don't recall all the particular component, but it was pick 'n choose for pretty much everything. Was once stopped for speeding (!) on that bike. Clocked at 37 in a 25. At the time I thought it was pretty cool, but really it was just an enthusiast club rarer built in New Jersey.

1977 MGB Lapis Blue with tan leather and white side stripes. Traded the VW in the MG right after college. I got $700 for the VW and the MG was $3,995. On a spec.'s basis no rational person would ever buy that car, and I shouldn't have. It was awful - and the most fun I've ever had driving a car. I actually used the tonneau May - October. mrs. monochrome said yes to our first date ONLY because she had never ridden in an MG. Damned thing worked every third Tuesday, but those were really fun Tuesdays. >>

Traded it on a bog standard 1989 Volvo 240 Wagon baby hauler. Aerodynamics of a brick pizza oven but what a great car. Absolute tank; never broke, always ran, comfortable as can be, logical, predictable and undeniably hip in an understated status way. My son wrecked it in 2009 or I'd still be driving it.

All the craptacular corporate GM products in between are steel wool now.

Last edited by monochrome; 09-15-2016 at 04:00 PM.
09-09-2016, 06:00 PM   #7
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Passed my motorcycle test on a silver Honda CB100 which I sold to pay for the engagement ring for my first wife(I think I regret the loss of the bike more than the parting with her!!)

Favourite car is a toss up between a 1992 Honda Prelude and a 1998 Audi TT.

09-09-2016, 06:44 PM   #8
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I've been thinking this over all many great cars...and bikes...I can't honestly pick a favorite.

High on the list would be a '72 Mercury Cougar with a 351 had the sweetest sound of any car I have ever owned.

Mine was the same color and was a great drive.

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When you have had so many cars/bikes you have dearly loved, you must be a lucky guy...and I think I have been!

09-09-2016, 06:57 PM   #9
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I shuttled that exact car back and forth to college for a girl in my class. Her father paid me $100 and an airplane ticket back to my origin (so I could drive my own car back) for my trouble. You are absolutely right about the engine.

I would have paid for the privilege.

Last edited by monochrome; 09-10-2016 at 07:07 PM.
09-09-2016, 07:12 PM   #10

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I will say, even though it is a technicality because the car was my mom and dad's car, the first car I drove and I still wish we had it today, was a 1964 Ford Fairlane Ranchwagon with the 500 package on it. It only had a 200 CID under the hood and a 2 speed auto transmission in it, but it was a cool car.

It was black with a red stripe in the chrome trim down the side of the car. Red seats, and dash with chrome trim on the inside. This was a car that had a jump seat in the very back that faced to the rear and because of that, it would seat 8 people.

What was funny about this car was that we traveled back and forth between Indiana and Colorado. The car would get hot in the summer with all the glass that station wagons have. So one day, my mom made curtains for the rear side windows to cut back on the sun while in Kansas. Well with the car being black and now the curtains, it looked a lot like a hearse.

I didn't mind it at all.
09-09-2016, 08:21 PM   #11
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My favorite car, by a small margin, is the '73 Chevy Vega I had in high school. It was the (slightly souped up) "Millionth Vega' hatchback coupe, nice little 4-banger and a 4-speed Holley powertrain. FUN little car to drive... Bought it from my aunt for $75, put a new engine in it, drove it for 3 yrs and sold it for $750 Wish I'd kept it now...

Second place goes to my very first new car, an '84 Chevy S-10 truck. Perfect size, fun, economical. Ended up selling it when our son came along. Dammit.

Bikes, I really wish I still had my Honda CX500. Very comfortable road bike, shaft drive, liquid-cooled engine, smooth and quiet. <sigh>

09-10-2016, 09:21 AM - 1 Like   #12
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I tend to love all my vehicles in one way or another, (Pretty much a precondition of me buying a vehicle is that they must be lovable in some way, whatever they are, I'm going to be fixing them up a long while, regardless, I say, so ones easy to care about are pretty key. Maybe extra-special or interesting ones, some'll have seen.

One, my '75 Duster, saw me through high school and into college until kind of tragically lost to illness and homelessness: began life as a slant-six and auto, ...upgraded courtesy of a donor car with a dodgy diff (Thing had been drag-raced) that I'd hoped to get rebuilt, to a smallblock and 4-speed. This particular Duster was magic, a bit like going to high school with Herbie, and could basically do about anything. Especially after V-8 power. It took some finagling to get the engine to idle with the mystery-camshaft someone had clearly put in, but I scored some Accel ignition system and had that actually burning cleaner than a new Honda of the time by the emission standards of the time: that was the last year she even had to pass em. Yes she did burnouts. Though I was only the type to do that in emergencies.

Also a little guy I miss sometimes, ...a 77 280Z rescued from a police auction for, believe it or not, 250 bucks. (For all we could know the engine was trash, but I hardly had to do a thing there. ) We were parted too soon, after a season of fixing up, but actually #2 on my list of 'Cars I want to have someday' fulfilled. The appeal is pretty obvious, and as practicality goes, would have been fairly OK as the objective was just to get me able to try and take a paying job somewhere. I (haha) scored some of those 70's style louvers no one wanted anymore so I could have shade in the back if I really needed. The black and Chrome American Racing mags took a couple hours to grow on my at the time, but I decided I liked them. Spunky.

Current Ratmobile is a 93 Volvo 945, ... old photo here, but she's coming along well. Running very well, presently sporting some van-style ladder racks I lightened somewhat and would probably like to lighten more, and some cheap fogs I haven't actually hooked up yet, ..still going through suspension improvements, which are a bit held up by my physical limitations on some of the maintenance-oriented front end bits, and braking upgrades are similarly- in the cards. Got rotors and brake lines kinda sitting here waiting. This summer's been too hot to even want to try things most days. Let's see, since last report, did a full AC delete, that actually improved balance a lot, little more weight reduction, (got rid of third seat early on, for more storage and weight savings, when I was still verry verry poor I certainly wasn't about to carry a carload of kids or anything anyway.) A.... pretty substandard tint job on my part but that sort of thing's best left to people who do it every day, converted certain bits of the engine control stuff to less-expensive/touchy parts where possible, and most of the mundane maintenance stuff you'd expect like cooling and externals, ...running full synthetic diff oil and ATF, now. Got a custom instrument pod project that I'd been planning for last winter (but we didn't really have a 'last winter.') which is hopefully to be a prototype for something I can sell a few of to other Volvo fans. By using surplus upholstery from that third seat, I hope to make it look like a factory option that never was.

Anyway, this ol' gal's actually a real good fit for me and what I do, she's like a little truck that turns, (and is going to be more turney,) Come down to it, newer cars can be just as heavy and have a lot less capacity with all the high-tech and safety stuff in them. She's light by comparison with other vehicles of this utility. Oddly, I parked next to a newer Mustang and was kind of doubletaking that they seemed to be the same external size. I ought to look that up. Also I have improved sound-damping a fair bit of the way: I hope to pick up a little power eventually by kind of streamlining the exhaust system a touch, but for now I've replaced the Volvo 'bendy pipe' with its two 90degree bends with something that sounds nicer and looks prettier:
09-10-2016, 04:52 PM - 1 Like   #13
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my 1964 Pontiac grand prix. the rear window was concaved. turn it ass backwards to the drive in screen. put a blanket on the trunk and you had a perfect place to cozy up and watch the movie.
09-11-2016, 09:49 AM   #14
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My nomination is a 1987 Nissan Sentra. This was from one of those periods where Nissan made the same car for too long, so sales were poor. The engine was the same boring 1.6l they had used for years: pushrod, carb, maybe 70hp. It was a boring silver. It was the least practical Sentra bodystyle, a 2 door sedan. We had to buy a car just after getting married because my wife had just totaled her 1981 VW Rabbit, an unreliable car. I very optimistically thought it would be a good time to teach my wife to drive a manual transmission, so the car had a 5 speed. It was used with 25000 miles and a very quick respray paint job, $6700 in 1988, not actually that cheap.

We kept that car from Pennsylvania to Connecticut to New Mexico to North Carolina. It was the car we ended up in for everything: getting a new dog, vacation, moving, buying lumber, evacuating from a hurricane. When we decided to move to Kauai, we sold the "newer" car because I was going to buy a pickup, and shipped the Sentra out there. It had 178000 miles, all the same clutch. It was going to be happy going 40mph on two lane roads. Then a tourist in a Dodge Avenger didn't see me and pulled out from a hotel driveway.

The Sentra limped on for a little longer while we extracted $1500 from the rental car insurance company, also keeping the car. It even drove OK but you had that borrowed time feeling. I finally got my pickup, took the 10-CD changer out of the Sentra and sold it for $150. I only saw it once after; it probably did not last long.

I don't think that car ended up costing us more than $600 a year, even including tires and oil changes.
09-11-2016, 12:57 PM   #15
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When I worked in field service I drove a succession of Chevy Astro vans; 1986, 1990 and 1996 models.
Over fifteen years I drove many thousands of miles in and around New York City in them.

They were comfortable, but handling was squirrely, thanks to the short wheelbase, high CG, RWD and a lot of power.
It didn't help that I normally carried a relatively light load of computer parts and spares.

My 1990 Astro was stolen. When recovered it had what appeared to be bullet holes in the passenger door.
I guess the thieves were pretty clumsy stealing it; the steering column had to be replaced.
The repair shop forgot to install a brake light switch. I'm glad I didn't find that out the hard way.
Later I found 9mm shell casings inside. I guess the NYPD missed those.

Later I survived a near-drowning in that same Astro, in a flash flood under the FDR Drive around 14th Street.
On my way to Bellevue Hospital from my office near the South Street Seaport traffic was stopped, so I exited.
The small car ahead of me hit the brakes - and then floated away.
At the bottom of the ramp was an abandoned police car, only the roof lights above water, and still flashing.
A line of cars was stopped behind me so I couldn't back up. I was in water deep enough to reach my windows.
The engine was still running. With nothing to lose I made a quick U-turn and aimed for the ramp for the FDR Drive south.
Had the engine stalled or if I hit a hidden curb, median or other object I would have had to make a swim for it.
But miraculously I chose an unimpeded path and the van kept going. Surprisingly that vehicle ran well for years after.

Not unexpectedly I was rather shaken by this experience, but my supervisor insisted I go to my service call anyway.
Meanwhile he had closed up the office early due to the storm and was already safe at home in Queens.

Most of my driving for work was of course far less eventful.
Those Astros were definitely an acquired taste, but the price was right.
No cost, no worries. There's nothing like having a company car.


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