Jack

Jack

Thursday, October 27, 2005

It's Got...Potential...

...that's the polite way to phrase it. In blunter terms, it's The WhiteTrashmobile. I'm referring to my car. Here's my horror story for Halloween:

That's right, my own car. My preferred mode of transportation, personally chosen BY me in 1992 and driven daily (well, almost) since.

By way of explanation, I have to tell you that my car is a 1969 Plymouth Fury III convertible. No, NOT a muscle car. I laugh at muscle cars, muscle cars are far too easy to find parts for. It is nearly impossible to find parts for my 36 year old car. Leave it to dumb ol' me to fall in love with it. No, mine is what is called a 'C Body', which translates to 'Land Barge'. It sports a twenty four gallon gas tank, is nearly 9 feet wide and 20 feet long.

I get my money's worth at parking meters.

What I DO love about this car is that it handles like a dream, has a surprisingly tight turn radius, runs like a champ (and the faster you go, the smoother it runs) and I can SEE out of it. Since I am short this is a major plus. This car cried out to be named, as some cars do--her name is Ruby.

Besides, Ruby is just plain cool. When I first bought her in 1992, she had been freshly sold to a man who soon discovered that this was NOT the car to drive from his home in Fountain Valley to work in Long Beach, it was eating him alive in gas money. HE had bought it from the family of the original owner, who purchased it in North Hollywood in 1969. The first owner had obviously loved the car and taken very good care of it. So when it came to me it was in pretty darned good shape, and had a brand new convertible top.

Fast forward to 2005.....brace yourself, here's how she looks now:


 OK, so not too bad. You'd think. Until you see another picture from a different angle, which more clearly shows the 13 year old vinyl top:


Oh, dear. Tape? Can that really be TAPE?! Why yes, yes it is. Ohsoshiney, silvery, reflective tape. Wait. It gets worse. Let's move in closer, shall we?


 Ahhhh....yes....lovely, isn't it? Notice the hopelessly fogged over elcrapo plastic window, impervious even to Superman's vision. The loose bits of tape flutter nicely in the breeze, thank you. Hold on to your hats though, it gets even better:


 The crowning glory: A black trash bag. There is, at least, an amusing story to the trash bag.

It's patching a large, cat-sized hole.

Yup, one morning we went out and found this enormous hole, which at first I thought was someone either vandalising the car or one of the neigbors making a none-too-subtle point. Not true, as the muddy pawprints that vanished, skidding, into the opening professed. The no doubt mortified kitty was long gone. As I stood there looking at this, J. turned to me and said, "I would have paid cash money to see that happen..." So would I, so would I.

Next photo! Let's look inside, shall we? Cause as nice as this is on the OUTSIDE, the INSIDE must really scream 'class'...




That green bit in the middle is the sky! N. is now officially embarassed to be seen at school climbing into this car. She doesn't have it too bad though, because here's MY seat:


 Let us, mercifully, end this tour by viewing the passenger side, exterior:


Now if you saw this coming into your lane on the freeway, you'd move, right? Because obviously whoever drives this...this...thing can't possibly care if it takes any further damage.

I practically get the road to myself these days.

My mechanic, when I pulled into his garage area today to have this disgrace of a top replaced, actually laughed so loud I could hear him from inside the car--admittedly, not too tough with the overhead cat door--and yelled out, "Hey, you think you got enough tape on there?"

I told him I thought I had pretty much gotten my money's worth out of the thing.

So this evening Ruby sits, hogging TWO of his garage bays, while his guys remove the old top and fit the new one on, complete with GLASS back window. I'll post more pictures of the finished product in a few days, as long as nothing ELSE goes wrong. I just HAD to get pictures of Ruby at her worst, poor thing...

Next: Upholstery, carpet, and paint. Ruby, who was originally a pretty shade of Marine Blue, is trying to be blue AGAIN in many places, as the cheapo Earl Scheib special paint job wears away, which only serves to make her look like a giant, rolling bruise.

Onward!

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