Life Is Full Of Irony

Ya know, over the years I have had so damn many rigs that I literally can’t even remember them all.

I do distinctly remember tallying them up once about thirty years ago after I had totalled my latest piece of shit while driving like a maniac an at that point I had either wrecked or totalled 29 vehicles in a span of ten years.

If I had to guess I’m pretty sure that at this point I have had at least one vehicle for every year that I have been alive and that would be 60.

Now you know why I can’t remember them all. There are several that stand out and boy howdy are there some whopper stories behind those.

This little bit of confession and recollection just came about as I was outside having a smoke and a cup of coffee on a very foggy morning. At least it’s just fog and not smoke like a couple months ago.

As I was standing there looking around, keeping an eye on the hood as I normally do, I noticed that I have two GM products nose to tail out front now.

The first rig I ever owned was a 66 Chevy pick up with a 283 V-8 in it. When I got done with it, the left front tire was stuffed up underneath the cab and the front end was sitting on the bumper..

Some guy pulled out in front of me trying to cross five lanes of traffic after I had just passed someone at about 80 mph..

There was no where to go except oncoming traffic and I hit that 72 Olds Station Wagon so hard it blew all the windows out of the back, knocked it fifty feet and spun it around up aginst the guard rail pointing the way it had come from.

That one was ugly.

Then it was POS after POS for years.

I’ve had a few decent cars over the years but the majority of them were junkers.

This is why I have been a mechanic for 40 years.

I couldn’t afford to pay someone to work on them so I learned the hard way. It got to the point that as soon as I got one I would immediately run down and get the Chilton or Haynes manual for it.

Then back in 1989 I was given the opportunity to go back to school and get a formal education to work on the newer vehicles. Something I will be forever grateful to my Aunt for.

I went to the local Community College and took General Automotive classes for a year at a two year college.

After the first year I was given a rare opportunity to join a Ford Motor Company sponsored two year program that was only open to 24 people every two years and you had to get a sponsorship from a Ford Dealer to get in.

I started back to school in between those two years so it didn’t open up until I had already been there.

Long story short, I kicked the shit out of that program because I was already 29 years old when I started, was an avid learner and had already had ten years of experience working on shit.

I graduated with honors, got an Associates Degree in Automotive Technology, had a 3.71 GPA after 3 years in a 2 year college.

Then I went to work at a local Lincoln/Mercury dealership for the next 9 years.

As you can imagine, I was a die hard Ford fan by then.

After 9 years of the vehicles getting smaller and lower to the ground and inconceivably more complicated, I had enough of that and moved back to working on Construction equipment which is what I had been doing the previous nine years.

Twenty years later, I’m standing out in the fog having a cigarette when this scene jumped out at me.

I had to chuckle at the irony.

I had enough of Ford and their Better Ideas a long time ago.

The things are just miserable bastards to work on and seem to need fixing three times as often as the Chevy’s I have owned, plus the parts are three times as expensive too.

Another bit of irony, I told you about my first rig being a Chevy pick up, that one in the back there may just be my last vehicle and it is also a Chevy pick up.

God works in mysterious ways but he sure does have a sense of humor.

18 thoughts on “Life Is Full Of Irony

  1. As long as your Chevy’s are old enough to be pre-gummint motors bailout, I’ll give a pass on them. I have a ’91 S10 Blazer myself, it’s my beater rig and only costs me the liability insurance and registration.
    And though it’s off topic, Don Surber has two links to you Phil this morning! Item #2 in Highlights. He may not be as big as an Instalanche from Glen Reynolds, but he’s getting more traffic all the time, and I’m sure you are too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. See, Chevy does have the better idea… What year is The Truck? I don’t remember iffn’ you have said? I think some Ferd engineers have gone over to the Cheby side, they are getting Ferd stupid and overly complicated. Give me an old Chevy any day. Sure miss my ’68 C-10 Stepside with the Stove bolt 6 and three speed trans and being cool cause ya got the heater/defroster in it.


    • first Chevy was a 79 Camaro… Road-Cone Orange… look up the colors for the ‘Maros that year… Sky-Blue, Puke Green, “Pull Me The Fuck Over” Orange, Turd Brown… polymer mixing… the pain never ever rusted… the panel UNDER the paint? yep rotted like a bad tooth… then after it was an 86 IROZ in Black w/T Tops and the Gold “Dago Jimmie” paint scheme… god I love the ‘maros of days past… these new POSs I can’t even fit in… made for midgets. In fact THE ONLY ‘new’ ‘Murican Muscle (if you can even call them that) that I physically fit in in the Hellcat/Shaker Challenger… only one with enuff head room. Long torso gorilla body means low roofs don’t work for me. And thanks for that ping the other Day bro!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Check out how many old mechanics of all types have these old TBI Chevys. Tells all you need to know about these great pickups. Simple, efficient, cheap to maintain. Getting hard to find. Glad you scored one….and no that ain’t your last one…wanna bet?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re not the only one that gets the Shade-tree Mechanic manual as soon as you get your next vehicle, Phil. Even though I’m an Electrical/Mechanical/Computer engineer, I learned early how to fix darn near anything on the road that ran. Chevy was my go-to company, then they got Stoopid, then Ford followed. Right now I fix or maintain my ’85 Beaver Motor Coach (GM chassis w/427 truck block), ’03 Jeep Grand Cherokee (w/4.8L V8), ’89 Ford Taurus SHO (3.0L V6), my daughter’s ’98 Saturn SC-1 (2.5L 4 banger), and (it’s for sale…) my ’86 Honda CH150D scooter. But I have a PILE of manuals sitting in my “library”, going back to ’64 – remember the thick books from Haynes and Chilton that covered EVERYthing domestic? I also have the 1955 Chevy Shop Manual because of the two ’57 Chevys I once had, I got it from my dad! He had a ’55 wagon.

    BTW, Ford and Chevy got nuttin’ on Chrysler/Plymouth/Jeep for breaking/overpriced parts, either. I swear they charge storage costs on most of their old parts – I now get ’em from Rock Auto if I am not pressed for time…

    I really, REALLY need to get my lazy ass going and put aftermarket FI (Megasquirt) on the Beaver, that 427 only gets 5 mpg and I’m sure I can tweak it to 8! Even a 1 mpg boost would be worth it! I have all the parts, just don’t have a 40′ barn/garage where I can work on it out of the weather.


  5. That pickup being an 89 will be the easiest vehicle you have to keep up. TBI is practically bullet proof and the computer system is dirt simple to understand and diagnose if ever you need to. The fuel system is low pressure and easy to service. I have had 5 vehicles with TBI and never an issue with them other than the occasional O2 sensor. The 700R4 behind it is good for 200,000 miles if you treat it right and change the oil and filter every 50K. Great choice and I am more than happy for you. Actually, I am a bit jealous but I will find another truck or suburban of that vintage again I am sure.


  6. Hey Phil a little tip on increasing airflow to the engine on your new truck. The large round black piece just to the left of the accordion air tube has a hourglass piece inside of it that necks down the airflow to about an inch.restriction. Remove this by taking out the black round/oval piece and take a 2 inch pipe and ram the piece onto the pipe . The hourglass piece will pop out and you have now increased airflow tremendously. The hourglass piece is there to reduce noise caused by air flowing into the throttle body.

    Liked by 1 person

    • THANKS!
      I haven’t even had a chance to look under the hood real good yet .
      I do know it needs a thermostat, which I picked up last night after work, right after I whipped into a Jiffy Lube to have the oil changed and the front end greased.
      It’s still foggy and cold outside, plus I just got back from a trip across the river for some smokes and a hunk of sales tax free plywood for my cabinet project. As soon as I can get to the T stat project I will take a peek at this hour glass shaped thingy and remove it if it’s still there.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My Mothers’ family is from Detroit and I was taught to worship Fords growing up. My last Ford was a ’94 Crown Victoria LX with the performance package which is the same engine, suspension, and brakes as a police car but with nice trim and a leather interior. 1 transmission, 5 windshield wiper motors, all the power window regulators and about 3 alternators and and endless string of other failures including the antilock brake system totally failing later I sold it to a roofing crew for $600 and a pile of landscape rocks. The transmission was out again and It was furiously burning oil and I was done. An 8 year old car with 137,000 and it was basically scrap. The book value was less than the transmission rebuild. It will be a long time before I ever even look at a Ford.


    • Only Crown Vickies worth it was the P71 Police Interceptor… had one I got from the Florida Staties… had 50K on it… I literally drove it into the ground to 224K and when I donated it, it’d been sitting in the garage for 9 months. Lit right up to be put on the ‘donation trailer’ for it’s final ride.


  8. I can add to the pile of woe with regards to GM products made in this millennium – the quality of electrical parts are marginal and break if you breath on em wrong. Buick seems to be leading the downhill slide from what they once were. Not the first I have had to fix.

    Today a local kid’s 2002 Buick Lesabre had a dead tail light/turn signal. I had him bring it over and it took 5 nuts from the inside of the trunk to release the tail light assembly. Popped off the ONE socket and bits of carbon fell out on the pavement. The socket was literally charcoal. In all my years of wrenching never seen a bulb socket that roasted. Corrosion, broken, wires dangling, sub standard bulbs failing – sure, but cooked?

    Turns out GM had a better idea – instead of standard bayonet bulbs with 2 bumps below and a ground can, they are folded wire over glass base and plug into a socket that looks like it has PC board contacts on two faces. Never seen that type for a large format brake bulb before. Guess a wire moved a bit and hit ground. Surprised the actual wire loom did not melt (going to check that too).

    The thing is beyond repair, ordered a replacement socket off Amazon, delivery next day, pigtails to join and done. Might explain why his car battery failed the day before, new battery (the cheapest one around) was over 100 bucks and this kid does not have dough to spare (all work is pro bono and keeps me entertained).


  9. Phil, you made me think of my old dad when you say that truck could be your last vehicle, he started telling me “this one is going to take me out” about 5 trucks before the one did. If anybody asked him how are you doing? He would say “damn good for somebody that should’ve been dead 20 yrs ago”.
    He ran a 5 bay garage with attached small country store. Sold out when he said the damn cars are smarter than I am.
    I see you bitching about another truck forever!


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