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 It's Your fault

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802



Posts : 97
Join date : 2015-03-16
Age : 55
Location : Vermont

PostSubject: It's Your fault   Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:31 pm

This forum is partly responsible for me owning an 92 RMW.
Backstory:  As a kid, my family never had station wagons.  Can't blame that.  Cars were bigger then, we had a series of Electras and I took my first drivers test in a 67 Deville convertible (parallel parking?  Bring on the cones!).  My dad did the work on our cars, so turning wrenches seemed normal. Some of my friends had cool cars, but I drove the family cast-off Valiant. I hated that car, because it was uncool, and because nothing I could do would kill that slant six engine.
I always liked the GM line, and loved, but didn't appreciate, the 68 Biscayne I took to college.
As a younger adult, cars were appliances.  I drove 15 year old Hondas and Toyotas that others were done with...fix whatever they gave up on and drive them 'till the bodies rusted off, then throw them away and get another. Learned a lot about wrenching, but didn't particularly enjoy it; just a survival skill.

For the last 10 years I didn't own a car.  Burnt out on jobs that required driving, and living in town with the bus-line, walk or bicycle to work, I was happy to be done with the cost and inconvenience, and traffic tickets.

2 years ago, and here's the irony, I decided that the new Smart cars, on sale at rock bottom price, were a compromise short of owning an actual car, and might be fun to have on days when the ride to work was rainy or cold.  I had been amused seeing those roller skates a decade earlier in France.

While driving to look at a Smart car, we passed this huge hunk of steel for sale on the side of the road, and I started joking with my girlfriend that I wanted to buy it. The more appalled she became, the more I poked her about it, a running gag.
But she lives on the internet, and that's where you guys get the blame.  For two days she kept telling me stories she'd read on-line about guys who owned and loved these cars.  As an internet experience, she became almost enthusiastic, so I called her bluff and scheduled a test drive.

As soon as I sat in it, I couldn't stop laughing, a legitimate joyous laugh.  I enjoyed driving that huge cavernous hunk of history.  I swear I've had smaller apartments.  When you step on the gas, something actually happens, just like the cars of my youth.  The utility of a car that would hold a full sheet of plywood was attractive, but mostly I was just having fun driving a living room couch with a wide-screen windshield.

I didn't even dicker, gave the guy the thousand bucks he was asking and my longroof adventure was underway.

At the time I had the money to drop it at a local classic car specialist, because I knew they would appreciate it and treat it with the respect most mechanics would not.  I wouldn't let them restore it (their work is great, but priced accordingly) but they solved the manifold/exhaust leak, changed the fuel pump, and did other maintenance that had been neglected on the car. They declared it safe to drive, but gave me a long list of things I'd better take care of soon.

By then I was lurking this forum, and imagining the mods that might make it even more fun.
I have since suffered some financial setbacks, which have taken attention away from my new hobby.

I am enjoying working on this car: a hobby is different than needing to get the car fixed to get to work, if I get stuck, I quit and come back later.
I have replaced the tie rods/center-link/idler arm,  muffler (I had that done), intake manifold gasket, Distributor and coil, etc. upgrading parts as I go including a yellow top battery and innovative wiring cables, and more sensors than I knew a car even had.  I have also junkyarded stuff like a new hood ornament and luggage rack and a couple of trim pieces, and the 4 horn musical upgrade.

For a Vermont car, it is in remarkably good shape: rust is not critical, no rust in the spare tire well, but the other rear quarter needs some work.  The AC doesn't work, nor do the anti-lock brakes or cruise control, but I'd rather not have them anyway.  All in good time, low priority items.

I am chasing an oil leak, and after that it'll be time to start making it look pretty.

I haven't driven it, or worked on it, as much as I'd like, but as the snow is melting I am declaring that this is the year I'll get more done.
You guys will have to be my support group.  What are the twelve steps?

Hello, I'm Jeff, and I own a Longroof......


Last edited by 802 on Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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silverfox103
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PostSubject: Re: It's Your fault   Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:49 pm

Hey 802

Welcome aboard. Lot of good wagon guys here. You're the second Vermont guy to join here in the last few months. The other is VT Wagon. He is from Sharon, I believe. I am a couple of hours away in Littleton NH.

See you around.

Tom
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stewzer55

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PostSubject: Re: It's Your fault   Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:23 pm

Welcome!
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: It's Your fault   Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:34 pm

Great intro story,relax have fun and when you get stuck consult the forum fanatics for expert advice. Smile
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1tireman

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PostSubject: Re: It's Your fault   Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:27 pm

Nice intro! Welcome 802!
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lakeffect
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PostSubject: Re: It's Your fault   Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:22 pm

12 steps...
fill tank with gas
stomp on go pedal
repeat 6 times.
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Sprocket

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PostSubject: Re: It's Your fault   Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:39 pm

Welcome aboard! one of the 12 steps is to attend a wagonfest where you can wallow in your addiction
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bamalongroof

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PostSubject: Re: It's Your fault   Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:42 pm

Welcome to the forum nice story....
Jeff also
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802



Posts : 97
Join date : 2015-03-16
Age : 55
Location : Vermont

PostSubject: Re: It's Your fault   Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:26 pm

Thanks everyone.
Silverfox:  I haven't seen that VT wagon this far north, but his posts put my ride to shame.
I did coincidentally meet one of the BADASS guys, and hope to make one or more of their meet-ups this year.

Sprocket:  Daytona is a little early in the season for me, but I have the NY meet penciled in.  Have fun next weekend, and remind everyone to post stories and pics early and often.  We're still freezing up here and living vicariously through you guys.

LakeEffect:  I already learned that lesson.  At first I thought things like "I shouldn't drive it with that oil leak" or worse: "I won't drive this winter to protect it from rust."
What was I thinking?  I "Saved The Whale" from salvage, but I'm not saving it for a museum! I bought it because I like driving it.  
By the way, the whole "Front wheel drive in the winter" myth is disproven.  This thing is a blast in the snow!  All that weight and wheelbase makes it plow through anything, while I'm comfortable as if on my living room couch looking out the window at the storm.  It did rust a bit, but I'll deal with it, and if the rust beats me, at least I'm enjoying the ride!

Stewzer, Andebe & tireman:  I feel at home here.

Bama: Roll Tide!
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PostSubject: Re: It's Your fault   Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:27 pm

Welcome Jeff,you have a gift for the written word and I am glad you are no longer a lurker!
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sswagon

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PostSubject: Re: It's Your fault   Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:33 am

802,
You've always been a wagon guy, you just didn't know it. '67 DeVille, '68 Biscayne. Both big cars. And now '92 RMW. A much smarter car then the aluminum can you were going to look at. Sounds like you're heading in the right direction making the wagon dependable first. There's a lot of knowledge here. There is no question that can't be answered. Welcome to the forum and thanks for saving another wagon from certain death!
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buickwagon

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PostSubject: Re: It's Your fault   Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:29 am

I was sitting in a parking lot one slushy day when a girl in a smart car slid into the adjacent space. I opened the window, pointed over my shoulder with my thumb and asked her if she wanted to park inside...
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lakeffect
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PostSubject: Re: It's Your fault   Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:47 pm

As mentioned, one of the 12 steps is attending a Wagonfest. "Local" for you will be on Saturday, July 25 at Seneca Lake State Park, Geneva NY. You'll get to hang with a bunch of similar wagon infested people (or is it "infected"?) If you simply look at the wagon 2014 info from last year, you'll get most of the info that you'll need.

Dave
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802



Posts : 97
Join date : 2015-03-16
Age : 55
Location : Vermont

PostSubject: Re: It's Your fault   Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:40 pm

Flasheroo:  
Thanks.  My literacy is pre-internet, which is sometimes a disability not a gift (lol?).  I'll try to be less loquacious in the forums, but I figured an "Introduction" thread allowed me to take liberties.

SSWagon:  
Never a wagon, but big cars for sure, V8s, and GM cars apparently. When I traveled for work, I drove all manner of rental and fleet vehicles.  The big Lincolns and Chryslers never made me so comfortable, no matter how luxuriously acquitted.  I am not a brand loyal Homer (rather push a Chevy than drive a Ford, etc.); But there must be some consistent elements of GM engineering that touch my subconscious.  
I guess I'm home.
I have fantasy intentions for my Wagon, like restoring it to show off quality, or functional mods (like an aux. battery in the back to run power tools in remote locations, or at least headlights as bright as the car behind me); but I realistically understand that time and money are scarce resources for me.  If I end up just keeping up with the maintenance so I can enjoy driving it, I'll be OK with that.
This forum allows me to live vicariously though you guys that have skills I lack.

Buickwagon:
I won't insult the Smart; as long as you don't expect them to be actual cars.  A skateboard is not a car, but as a skateboard, still cool.  The company and it's website don't call them cars; it is "Smart(tm)", not Smart-car. The urban myth is that they can park perpendicular in a parallel spot; an exaggeration probably, but I can see advantages.  Different tools for different needs.
I guess I'm liking a car that can carry, not be carried on, a full sheet of plywood.
There is a post on here somewhere with a picture of a Wagon parked beside TWO Smarts, with the wagon still visible at both ends.  It makes me chuckle.

Lakeffect:
I have the Geneva dates pencilled in.  That's a long time from now, given my current employment, but it sounds like a blast.
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WDN40



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PostSubject: Re: It's Your fault   Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:00 am

Great intro! Made me laugh. I have told people its like driving in a "Lazy-boy" Welcome abord.
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802



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Join date : 2015-03-16
Age : 55
Location : Vermont

PostSubject: Re: It's Your fault   Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:22 am

WDN:  I am constantly reminded of the lyrics to the Cake song "Stickshifts and Safetybelts."  Sing the chorus to your wife while you are driving if she expresses doubts about your Longroof acquisition.

The Cali contingent is getting large.  Hoping someone takes the initiative for a west coast Wagonfest.  I'd like an excuse to see if my Roadmaster can cross the country (my great grandfather did it in a Conestoga wagon, I should be able to do it in a station wagon).
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