COAL: Farewell and Thank You

A COAL Writer with His Award

Your faithful COAL writer, with a well-deserved award


This is my last COAL entry for you, the Curbside Classic reader. You’ve joined me on this journey looking back on 32 years of driving and 40 (!) cars. I sincerely appreciate having all of you following along as I describe my good decisions, my bad decisions, and my really bad decisions.

First, I want to thank Paul for his dedicated work in keeping the memories of regular, everyday cars of the past alive and for attracting a very dedicated audience. He has created a website that, to me, serves as a reference for those interested in learning more about the cars that once populated our nation’s streets so thickly that they blended into the scenery (looking at you, Cutlass Ciera!) and attracting a dedicated group of great contributors. I greatly appreciate Paul giving me the opportunity to take a spot every Saturday to tell you, the CC reader, about the highs and lows of my car-buying career.

Secondly, I want to thank all of you, the dedicated CC readers and commenters, for engaging in some very lively dialogue about all of my car purchases. Although I didn’t get a chance to respond to every thread, I did greatly enjoy all of the comments and discussion that my car buying habits have encouraged. It’s a testament to the dedication of CC readers that even the most boring of cars from my past (i.e., that white Malibu, for instance) spurred on some interesting discussions. I definitely feel at home among the CC crowd who’d probably be more likely to stop on the street to take photos of a Ford Tempo than a Bentley Continental. (Well, maybe not!)

Finally, a special thanks goes to my long-suffering wife who has been with me for a quarter of a century and three dozen cars. She’s gotten stuck with some of the cars I disliked almost immediately after buying them. I might observe, though, that even the worst of the cars I bought was a step up from her first car, a 1979 Mercury Zephyr (in orange!) with the 80 hp straight six and an AM radio. If that isn’t prime CC territory I don’t know what is. I wonder how many CC readers would stop if they saw an orange Zephyr on the street!

I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to share some stories of my cars with all of you. It has been very enjoyable for me to spend some time with all of you every week exploring cars both interesting and mundane, both loved and hated, all of which are a part of my car history. Given my habits at age 3 of making my parents stop on the city street where we lived to look inside of every single car parked along the curb, it’s not surprising that a) I found a website called Curbside Classic and b) I have spent so much of my life immersed in the world of cars. I look forward to hearing about the car experiences of the next crop of COAL writers.

Here’s a listing of all the COAL entries I made for those who want to take a look back over my exploits. Thank you again, and we’ll see you along the curb.

COAL: 2018 Ford Escape SE Sport – Not the Mustang I Wanted

COAL: 1992 Lincoln Mark VII LSC – Completing the Collection (For Now)

COAL: 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Premier – Lost in a Sea of SUVs

COAL: 1989 Mercury Cougar XR7 – The Right Car at the Right Time

COAL: 1987 Ford Mustang GT Convertible – Fox Body Fling

COAL: 2015 Chevrolet Equinox LT – Another from the Rental Car Aisle

COAL: 2016 Lincoln MKZ – A Fusion by Any Other Name

COAL: 1989 Lincoln Town Car Cartier – Now, That’s More Like It

COAL: 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS – A Lesson Learned the Hard Way

COAL: 2013 Ford Focus Electric – Good Intentions, But There Are Some Quirks

COAL: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu LT: Generic, Inoffensive Car

COAL: 2012 Chevrolet Volt: An Enjoyable Time, Cut Short

COAL: 1989 Ford Thunderbird LX – The Collection Grows

COAL: 2012 Lexus IS250 AWD – It’s the Last One, I Promise

COAL: 1989 Ford Thunderbird SC Part 2 – This Time for Keeps

COAL: 2011 Kia Optima EX-T – Branching Out

COAL: 2009 Mazda6 – Outside the Comfort Zone (But Not By Much)

COAL: 2006 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited – All-Purpose

COAL: 2010 Lexus HS250h – You Really Bought That?

COAL: 2008 Lexus ES350 – Another One, Part 2

COAL: 2007 Toyota Camry CE – Another One?

COAL: 2003 Acura 3.2 CL Type S – My First “Collector” Car

COAL: 2005 Lexus ES330 – A Toyota By Any Other Name

COAL: 2000 Ford Taurus SE – I Don’t Need It, But…

COAL: 2004 Nissan Maxima SE – Not a Toyota?

COAL: 2004 Toyota Prius – An Engineer’s Car

COAL: 2003 Toyota Matrix XR – Much Better

COAL: 2002 Toyota Camry SE – Not Always The Safe Choice

COAL: 2002 Toyota Sienna XLE – A Van? Really?

COAL: 2000 Toyota Avalon XL – Graying and Widening

COAL: 2000 Toyota Tundra SR5 – Where Did That Come From?

COAL: 1996 Honda Accord EX – Used but Not Abused

COAL: 1997 Toyota Camry LE – The Safe Choice

COAL: 1997 Ford Contour SE – Replacement Ride

COAL: 1996 Ford Taurus GL – A Happy Ending, Eventually

COAL: 1994 Acura Integra RS – A Good Choice

COAL: 1994 Honda Civic EX – Best and Worst of Times

COAL: 1991 Honda Accord LX – A Game Changer

COAL: 1989 Ford Thunderbird SC – How Much is Too Much?

COAL: 1975 Chevrolet Monte Carlo – A Car Guy’s First Car