THE CRAB DIARIES – THE K-CAR OF STRESS
If you grew up at any time during the 1980’s you had to have been in one or knew someone who owned one. You saw these things EVERYWHERE and almost every neighborhood had that one resident with one in the driveway or parked on the street in front of their house. Our house was no different and I have to admit that it was a decent looking vehicle, but the operations of said vehicle did not follow that same feeling. I am not for certain where the vehicle came from, but I was told that it came from my grandmother, who was still alive at the time and living in Washington, D.C. She was getting older and was in no need of a vehicle, so my father gave it to my mother for her personal transportation. Still to this day, I am not 100% sure where the vehicle came from or confirm the origination, but I can tell you sure that my love for this car was not shared with many.
We had a 1986 Dodge Aries, brown with tan interior, and was always under some mechanical or maintenance service. I’ve never seen a car that had their brakes worked on as much as this vehicle; nearly every weekend I saw my father working on the brakes. The car was loud and embarrassing to drive, but my father didn’t dare drive it unless my mother put up a large enough fuss, however, my father would claim that there was nothing wrong with the car. Okay, I suppose the car hesitating as you are crossing the highway or pulling out of a turn is just all in our minds! It is not a good feeling when your mother turns the corner to cross the road and the car hesitates so bad that it feels like it stalled out. You look to your right and see a van come barreling down the road, expecting you to move or anticipating for you to move and is not slowing down. Then suddenly, the car kicks in and you nearly spin tires just to get out of harm’s way. YEP! Our imagination is so strong that we can make things happen in reality.
I can’t tell you enough how much I hated this car with a passion and did as much as I could to avoid being picked up in from school, friend’s houses or anywhere in between. It was loud and always had something rattling underneath it, and what made it even worse was when the interior ceiling cloth began to sag. This made it even more embarrassing to be in and around the car, and my mother soon just got tired enough of it and torn down the interior ceiling cloth. BOY! Was that a mistake! Each time you got in the car you had to dust yourself off because all the particles that were being held in place by the cloth, began to fly around inside the car and just infiltrate your hair and clothing. You dared not to eat in the car because tasting ceiling dust with your hot and ready McDonald French fries was not healthy! There was never any motivation to fix the car and have it stay in the family for years on end, no motivation to put money into it so that my mother would have a safe ride, but my father was doing okay with his car so why should he bother?
I often told my mother, as she came to pick me up from high school, to come in through the rear parking lot and I’ll just run to her! She understood completely about how I felt being in that car, but it was her only transportation provided to her. I am not sure if she was working at this time or not, but she wasn’t able to buy another car for herself; and what made it even worse was that the car was in my father’s name. Anything in his name he wanted to keep until it wasn’t worth keeping anymore, or attempt to trade it in and wonder why he gets laughed at. How can a mother and son feel being in this car when suddenly you hear your muffler detach from the bottom of the car, hit the road and just drag along the ground making that awful metal to concrete noise that you can never forget! Driving with your hazards on, trying not to look horrified as cars pass you staring at you and just trying to get home so you can be ready to set on fire! Not really, but I wouldn’t have been hurt if it she did.
My father decided that the best way to fix said muffler attachment issues was those thin metal hangers. The very old school way to reattach a muffler until you was able to do it permanently, but I am not sure if that ever happened. This car was just simply a death trap and my mother did everything she could to avoid driving this P.O.S.! Thank God when I started driving we didn’t have this car anymore and my mom ended up with a brand new Dodge Neon, emerald green. I don’t know what possessed my father to give my mother this car, but it was one of the worse decisions he ever made for our family, which have been many! I am not 100% sure of what happened to the car, but I just know that our terror with this thing was finally over. The loud noise, the smoke it caused, the overheating, the failed power steering, the ac unit going down numerous times, hubcaps missing, interior lights working intermittently and numerous dirty stains on the seats and carpet. In recent years I’ve seen a few here and there, but in no way the shape that our BROWN DEATH car was in, and much quieter.
My father’s side of the family was cheap and/or frugal to the point that they would keep a car so long until it wasn’t worth the money anymore. I understand that some vehicle and brand names you do just that, however, if the car is CONSTANTLY giving you the same issues over and over again, either replace those parts with brand new parts or replace the whole system or just GET RID OF THE DAMN THING! I love working on cars and trucks and customizing them and spending some time on them, but once you start getting into the electrical parts of the car, unless you know someone or have an idea of how to fix those issues, it’s time for that car go. My mother did what she could to have this car stolen, blown up, damaged or just not work anymore so that she wouldn’t have to drive it. It was so bad that if she drove it more than five miles it was a fear of it overheating and not starting. I, mean, the stress of this damn car was just overwhelming and finally it was out of our lives FOREVER!!!!
I don’t ever want to sit my ass in one ever again, unless somehow they reinvent it completely like the Dodge Charger or Challenger. I don’t see that happening anytime soon, but of course you never know!! My most hated car in history!!
What was or is your worse car ever?