COAL: 1985 Chevrolet S-10 – Can’t Drive 55

In the parking garage of the apartment building

I had gotten a work term position in our provincial capital, Halifax, and was in need of a decent car, quick.  My Horizon had gotten a bad bill of health, and it just so happened that my wheeler-dealer uncle had something, cheap.  It was to turn out to be the shortest I ever kept a vehicle.

It was a 1985 Chevy S-10.  2 wheel drive, 2.8 and 4 speed overdrive, regular cab longbed.  No real options to speak of, but low mileage – only 140, 000 KM if I recall correctly.  Money was exchanged, it was test driven and all seemed well.  I loaded all of my stuff into it, and set off on the 400 KM trip to move away from home.

Two major problems showed up on the first drive.  First was an inability to keep a speed of 100 KM/H on the highway.  It could only do about 90 on the flat, and dropped to around 60 on the hills.  It was pathetic.  It also seemed to be able to only travel 300 kilometers on a tank of fuel.  I used it for a few weeks around Halifax, and limped it home.  The family mechanic checked it over – it had already had a new carburetor, fuel pump, and filter by the time I had gotten it from my uncle, and it seemed I bought someone else’s problems.  This is where my memory gets a little sketchy.

Your author and his “Pride and Joy”…

I cannot honestly remember what happened to the truck.  I think we figured it was a camshaft, or something else major.  My father’s business partner had a friend that had bought a new car and was looking to get rid of the old one.  Being another GM product, Dad approved, and leant me the money to get it.  I believe he sold the truck, and took what I owed him out of it.  The next car hung around a while, and was an altogether better experience with a 2.8.