Aw, hell. Nobody ever tells me anything. After years of reading about Eugene, Eugene, Eugene, I finally decided “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” So, I searched high and low for something appropriate to bring to Auburn for our CC Midwestern Meet-Up, and finally found it. And then Niedermeyer goes and buys a brougham-tastic 71 Marquis, in all it’s minty-fresh midwestern goodness. Some days a guy just can’t win.
As hard as Mssrs Klockau, Shafer and myself tried to wrestle this site away from those effite cars made for those with European sensibilities, I finally saw it as a losing battle. I may not be able to round up a Corvair or something French for the trip, but . . . (Bzzzzt goes the Truth Meter). OK, I could, but I have to maintain SOME kind of personal integrity. Still, I can at least try to replicate the Eugene experience to make Paul feel at home out here on his visit.
I first tried to locate the Dodge A-100 that is the most Eugene of anything I have ever seen. The wooden kayak and the rope knots marking the owner’s strangulation victims seemed perfect. Unfortunately, the cosmos has been somehow reordered and I was not able to find that wormhole again. So, I had to keep looking.
What defines the Eugene-like state of a car? There are three things: Patina, patina, patina. Also, it has to not too clean, but not too dirty either. Just the right state of wear and tear are mandatory. And the indian blanket upholstery is, of course, required. Suddenly, in my nearby supermarket parking lot, there it was! This one even has bonus points for multiple colors and the mismatched tires and wheels.
There must also be an attitude of “Hey, look at me because I’m different from you. Or I would be if I lived somewhere besides Eugene.” Well, this old truck has it. The microphone shifter and the gas pedal from a drum kit get the job done. There must also be a sort of ironic insider’s automotive joke about the car, which the Mack bulldog hood ornament pulls off to a tee.
Well, Paul, I rushed right out and paid $7,500 for this gem (you think going “Eugene” is cheap in Indianapolis? These are rare imports here! ) Hey, nobody is going to outdo ol’ JPC on hipster-chic when I put my mind to it. I even went out and bought a pair of Birkenstocks. And a pork pie hat. Like, Dude, I am so . . . Eugene.
And all this for what? Nothing, that’s what. Mr. Eugene has finally come to the sunny side of the automotive street and picked a Real Car in his Marquis. You don’t get more American than a car the color of a Shamrock Shake from McDonalds. So great, I now have to get rid of this thing, but there is no time to replace it before next weekend. Oh well, it will be fun to drive to Auburn. I have experience in
herding handling one of these, as I owned one like it about 20 years ago. I just have to remember to keep pushing the choke knob back into the dash as it slowly oozes out of the dash because of the way the rust-softened front cab mounts augment the smooth action of the I beam axle and dual leaf springs. “What’s that? Can’t hear you – yell louder. My turn signal is still on?” Right, because the settled cab has pushed the steering wheel out past the cancel mechanism. And all of the rust holes in the floor greatly add to ventilation, so it will be quite a comfy ride. In a Eugene, Oregon sort of way.
It should be an easy truck to sell. The super combination of performance and economy were the hallmark of the famous Ford 292 Y block. Performance parts for these are not that common, but they’re really not necessary. Everyone knows what a performance beast the Y block was. The Chevy smallblock was all marketing hype. THIS was a real performance V8. And with those great twin exhaust stacks – my, but how that 292 must breathe now!
Oh well, until I unload it, I think I can get into this Eugene state of mind. I’m just not going to worry about things. Grass in the yard too long? Who cares? Maybe I’ll buy some chickens to run around out there. And why not? – I have a truck! I just have to find some Free Range pork chops and some microbrew beer that costs $17.50 a bottle, and I’ll be all set. Maybe Paul will want to trade. That old yellow F-100 of his may be OK for southern California, but it just doesn’t say Eugene at all.
Further Reading: 1966 Ford F-100
“What defines the Eugene-like state of a car? There are three things: Patina, patina, patina.”
I thought it was “Moss. moss, moss.”
Mold, mold, mold?
I’m thinking of driving my Matrix to the meetup, as it is beginning to develop signs of patina and is therefore heading toward Curbside Classic status. But it’s in the shop again as its new rebuilt starter failed. Another new rebuilt starter is being installed. Makes me nervous. Maybe I should have sprung for a new new starter.
If you see me roll up in my Focus, you’ll know I chickened out.
Truth be told, I’d rather roll up in the Hello Kitty LTD Crown Vic I wrote up a few weeks ago.
Based on my experiences, my advice is: Buy a new NEW starter and insist on a name brand, eg:Bosch, Denso.
I completely lost faith in auto parts rebuilders years ago when I couldn’t find a rebuilt starter for my diesel Rabbit that was rebuilt properly. (Intermittent short in the windings, bad solenoid, slipping drive, gasser starter marked as a diesel on the box.) I would’ve had better luck buying one from the wreckers and hoping for the best!
So when the contacts in the original Denso starter for my Cummins wore out, and the parts store person laughed at me when I asked to buy just new contacts, I bought a new NEW starter (but kept my old one just in case). My luck wasn’t much better.
The first one was defective right out of the box. The second one failed after about a year (just after the warranty ran out), then I wound-up using the contacts from it to do a temporary repair on my original starter and found an online supplier selling brushes and contacts to overhaul my original starter. The temporary repair lasted just over a year, then I pulled it and overhauled it with the parts I had bought. Should be good for another decade now.
You’re not helping me want to drive the Matrix, dude!
That Focus just lacks any kind of CC cred.
What? it is the last true small station wagon of an American manufacturer. I believe Saturn has the other one. It’s not a wannabe cross over like the Matrix/Vibe. It is the the 4 door sedan with a hunchback, err hatch… o.k. I mean an elongated roof, quarter panel windows and a hatch.
What is missing on yours? Patina?
Put a keg of beer in the back and no one will notice!
My Focus is the hatch. And call my Matrix a CUV wannabe all you want – to me it will always be a tall wagon. It’s a great hauler.
I know about the Matrix, Jim. I bought a Vibe because the way back is ideal to accommodate the dog.
Whether it is CUV or tall wagon does not matter much. It is an incredible versatile anything hauler.
I should have gone back to your https://www.curbsideclassic.com/cars-of-a-lifetime/coal-smackdown-2003-toyota-matrix-xrs-vs-2006-ford-focus-zx5-ses/to refresh my memory on the Focus.
Both cars will have CC cred in a few years. So, go ahead and put the keg in the Matrix.
Maybe Paul will want to trade. That old yellow F-100 of his may be OK for southern California, but it just doesn’t say Eugene at all.
Fat chance of that, since I drove it (one way) off to the Schnitzer Steel just before I left. I’m done with all that; I’ve embraced the Brougham lifestyle 100%. I realize it was all so stupid. I’ve got a brand new F350 mega-cab diesel 4×4 waiting for me when I get back, the perfect companion to my Marquis.
And we’ve put up our house for sale and made an offer for one in a gated community (Marquis Manor) with very rigid CC&Rs. No more having to hear the neighbor’s chickens when they lay an egg. Or smell their backyard “crop”. We’ve moved on…
And don’t even think for a moment that I’m going to set a foot inside that rattle-death-trap old heap of yours. You’ve described mine so well, right down to the balky turn signals and holes in the floor, that the mere thought of it gives me the shivers. Thank heavens for discovering the Brougham Lifestyle before it was too late.
I was just about to comment And suggest that JP trade his truck with your Marquis when you meet-up in Auburn. So much for that idea.
Very nice try but you will never be able to wrestle the site away from us Francophiles and fans of moldy old German cars, JPC, no matter how hard you try. I am sure you will be at the meetup wearing a cape made of embossed green vinyl. I do like how the midwest is starting to go all hipster (or is that steampunk?) what with the microphone gear knob etc. All trends take time to slowly spread across the country…
However I fear that your sensibilities are starting to make themselves felt here in the mountain states as well. The local Craigslist has all manner of Broughamalia for sale currently with not an ounce of French class available.
So the best I could do was dust off an old Peugeot 10-speed that was hanging from the rafters in the attic. I left a week ago and am writing this from a rest stop outside of Des Moines while sheltering next to an 18-wheeler. The bike has a killer set of Michelin Pneus on it and the ride is sublime, as with all conveyances of French persuasion and it handles at least as well as KiwiBryce’s Citroen. However it is hard to go up hills while smoking a nonstop stream of yellow Gaulaoises cigarettes, never mind sipping from the stemmed waterbottle containing an exquisite Baron de Rothschild bordeaux. See you in Auburn!
I think that truck is a little more “Rat Rod” than Eugene utility vehicle. The patina looks a little bit contrived and the microphone, baby moon hubcaps and vertical exhaust are more “Kar Kulture” hipster than hippie.
I am certainly a fan of the patina/survivor look. To some extent the I’m kinda liking the Rat Rod’s. I’m working on trying to tell the difference between one catagory, and the other.
The old Ford is very cool, however I would have to say “Rat Rod”. Up here in rust country ,rust wins the race against patina every time. So most of the Patina that we see, has been contrived. That being said, I’m seeing a few older vehicles where the owner has applied liberal quantities of oil spray/rust inhibitor every year. There may be hope for us yet.
Have fun at the meet up, I’d love to be there..maybe next time.
“The super combination of performance and economy were the hallmark of the famous Ford 292 Y block.”
This saved it for me. I had gotten discouraged by the microphone shift knob. Dear lord, enough with the daddy-o psychobilly crapola. Yes, yes, you’re a cross between James Dean and Sid Vicious, we get it. Go get some more sloppy tattoos on your elbows and girlfriend, put your gas money towards tuition and try taking the bus.
Ahem. Sorry. My cold meds are making me grumpy. Thanks for the Y block humor, now time for a nap before the meds wear off.
Who needs a Prius? That’s a REAL hybrid! A Willys bed with a Ford tailgate and Dodge fenders.
I dunno, looks like a genuine Ford Flairside bed and fenders, to me. This was the setup that mine had. I am a bit mystified about the gap between the cab and bed, though.
what’s this? trash talk on CC?
great stuff as long as it’s limited to auburn week.
i would rather read about cars and their history.
This article in not to be taken seriously, it’s an inside joke. JP is trying to out-do Paul’s article on the ’71 Marquis, which was also a joke.
I just want to see the pictures of the meet-up.
I’m going to feel so out of place in Auburn with my brown base model 5-speed non-air-conditioned bio-diesel Japanese mini-pickup.
Well, if that Ford was $7,500 in Eugene, it wouldn’t sell. Any Eugenian with that kind of money buys a used Subaru……….
I’d use the ventilation holes in the floor to help stop and start that truck. I’d also stick my legs through them in the rain to wash the dirt off my feet. I’m short so there’s plenty of road clearance. The gravel buffing would keep my toenails shiny and sandblast the fungus off, too.
I like it! The microphone shifter and drum kit gas pedal are definite rat rod touches. I cant call it a true rat rod just yet since any mods are mostly simple…no real hardcore tweeks have happened just yet. But its a very cool rig and looks like a blast to drive. I can imagine how those vertical stacks sound!
Cool Shifter! you can find one here:
The pedal is an old Ludwig Speed King, fwiw.
You may already know this but Ludwig (or whatever it is called now) just discontinued the Speed King earlier this year. Apparently it became too expensive to make any longer. Several lifetimes ago I was the drummer in a garage band and had a (very) used Ludwig drum kit. Even after having been bashed by several previous users the quality of my Ludwig kit still shone through. I ended up selling the drums in order to raise some tuition money for school. Ah, youth.
How about Eugene The Jeep? The truck shown would be a good choice, as long as it’s converted to bio diesel.
“Hey, look at me because I’m different from you. Or I would be if I lived somewhere besides Eugene.” Great line JPC, I get that now that I’ve started watching Portlandia. I have my doubts that the Shamrock Marquis will show up in Auburn but if it does I agree there is no topping that.