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Old 12-12-2015, 12:40 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Portland, Maine
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Everyone's car history

Hey everyone! I thought it would be cool start a thread about cars we've had in the past and what we're driving now. Including what you learned how to drive in, the first car you owned, what you drive now,and everything in between, as well as what you thought of them. Just a discussion thread to breathe some life into this board.

I'll start... I learned to drive in a 1988 Volvo 240. Very comfortable car. Soft leather seats, soft suspension, good steering, but very heavy and I really had to put my foot down to get it going, and really take it easy around corners.

First car: 1989 Honda Accord LX. This is where I learned how to drive a stick. The clutch and gearbox were actually quite forgiving. I didn't stall it too many times, and there were very few jerky starts in their learning period. When I mastered the transmission, it was great. Also surprisingly zippy for only 98 horsepower. Shifted smooth, handled great and the interior was mint. The exterior... not so much. Faded paint, some rust on the body panels, etc. Then at about 230,000 miles the head gasket blew. Luckily, my girlfriend (at the time) had a cousin with a very well equipped garage and a love for Hondas. He had never worked on a 3rd generation accord before so he told me "buy the parts at carquest and let's do this!" $80 for an intake manifold gasket and a head gasket. 2 days later, the engine was running better than ever. However, being a carbuerated engine, the warm up process after a cold start was a pain in the ass in the winter. It would idle at 2500 rpm for about 10 minutes, gradually slowing down to the normal 800 rpm. It finally died at 325000 miles. The engine would start, then die 2 seconds later... it was time to say goodbye. I did manage to get $600 for the engine and various other parts.

Next was a 1994 Chevy Cavalier. It was a bit of a basket case, but I thought $500 was a good deal for a car with 160000 miles on it that ran, drove, and had a month old inspection sticker. It did need some work though. The catalytic converter was on its last legs, the midpipe was starting to rust and it had a Cherry Bomb muffler and tailpipe (illegal in Maine). So I did some exhaust work; all new from the cataylitic converter back and it was good to go. It had a really stiff ride, but comfortable seats. The handling was ok and the steering had a nice tight feel. I didn't really like the transmission. It was an auto, and missed my stick shift. Not only was it an automatic, but it was the sh*ttier automatic than I've ever experienced. 3 Speed with overdrive... pathetic. The engine could have performed so much better with an extra gear or two, I'm sure of it. 11 months later I went to get a new inspection sticker, and was told the car would never pass due to irreparable frame rot. I went to another shop to get a second opinion. They even put it on a lift and showed me the problem. The car was junk... didn't even make it to 200000 miles.

My next one was a project car. A 1991 Honda Prelude Si. Mint condition inside and out... except for one thing, the engine needed to be rebuilt. Apparently the #3 piston blew. The amazing part was that it was the rare B21A engine with 150 horsepower. The most power offered on that generation of Prelude. The seller wanted $1200 for it, but I talked him down to $1000 considering the full engine rebuild that needed to be done. The engine was already torn down and re sleeved. I decided to go with higher performance rather than just going stock. I had the crankshaft balanced and lightened, wiseco high compression pistons paired with a slightly more aggressive Pair of camshafts, New valve seals and retainers, and titanium valve springs. Also an AEM cold air intake, Greddy headers and catback exhaust. The end result was 212 horsepower and 190 ft-lbs of torque. I got a good deal on a set of nice sticky Pirelli tires. I didn't mess with the suspension, I didn't need to, it was perfect as it was. I wanted to use the car as a daily driver, but I also wanted in on some autocross races staged on an abandoned airport. I did surprisingly well, although that may have something to do with the fact that I raced a lot of cars that were good at straight lines, but sucked at corners. That car died after we widened one of the turns on the course. Before I would go down to second gear and take it at about 50mph. After the widening, I could easily do it at 70, which meant third gear. One time out of habit I went down to second gear at around 70 mph. The engine revved to almost 8000 rpm (with a 6500 rpm red line) and blew up. The transmission also disintegrated. It was a tragedy. The engine block had a hole in it where one of the connecting rods punched its way through. I wound up selling the body for $700

My current car: I don't race anymore, so after saving for a while after the Prelude catastrophe, I got myself an 03 VW Golf. There was a GTI sitting right next to it, but I couldn't afford it. The golf is good though. Smooth shifting 5 speed manual, decent ride quality, I bought it with 130000 miles on it and so far, I've only changed the timing belt, spark plugs, and done basic maintainance (oil changes,etc.) Now I'm up to about 175,000 and its still running strong. If you want something reliable, practical and fun to drive, get a Golf. If you want something with all those qualities and more.pep in its step, get a GTI.
"Ok, systems check; the battery is discharging, the oil temperature is very high, the oil pressure is very low, the engine temperature is off the end of the scale, I'm running out of petrol... but the clock is correct!"
-James May, in an old, worn out Lamborghini purchased for less than 10,000.
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