I have concluded my run of COALs. I’ve really enjoyed reminiscing. Today, I present a summary of sorts. I’ve skipped many COALs (some redundant, others with no compelling story). Here are some of my COAL highlights and lowlights:
Dirtiest: GMC Sierra COAL here owned by a landscaping company, foul and filthy in every way imaginable. A mouse made a nest in the glove compartment out of shredded owner’s manual pages. Honorable mention: a Dodge Ramcharger COAL here previously used to haul hay. Additionally, someone transported some kind of large creature with white fur. The fur was embedded in the seat fabric and carpet, and was also in every crack and crevice.
Fastest: Not the C5 Corvette COAL here. I made a Grand National clone COAL here out of a ‘87 Buick Regal. I added a warmed over 6.0 LS engine. This car ran high eleven second passes in the quarter mile (proof below). Lots of power. How much? I think it went through four transmissions and three rear ends. Lots of power. Honorable mention: My ‘93 “notch” Mustang COAL here was super-light and ran twelves in the quarter. It had a 5.0 with a stock bottom-end.
Smallest: ‘86 Yugo GV (No, I didn’t buy it, was a gift). I drilled four new holes in the floor so I could mount the driver’s seat further back. I’m tall, but not that tall. Honorable mention: I got rid of my ‘99 Miata COAL here because it was too tiny. Even going to get groceries – alone – there was not enough room!
Slowest: Ironic that a V8 sports car is actually the slowest car I’ve ever owned. My ‘81 Camaro COAL here (first year for the electronic feedback carburetor) had a 267 c.i. small block and was woefully underpowered. Making matters worse, this was a 3,600 lb car with an automatic. I let the hot girl in our high school drive it one time and she turned to me and said “I’m giving it gas but it doesn’t go!” The Yugo was faster.
Most painful: Once, I bought a very beat out mid-nineties V6 Camaro COAL here . Any reasonable person would have had it sent to a junkyard. It was thoroughly used and abused with about two hundred thousand miles on it. The engine ran rough, the interior was thrashed. It needed a bunch of bodywork and paint, which was good because the clear coat was peeling off in sheets. Then, I accidentally hit the one good corner of it on the side of my house while backing up. It was the only car I ever owned that I seriously contemplated letting go for scrap. I ended up doing all the bodywork and then having Maaco spray it bright red. Another reason for the bad memory: When it sold, the buyer paid in $20 bills and lied about how many were in the giant stack. I thought I just miscounted until I re-counted them all – after she had already driven away.
Largest/Heaviest : When our kids were growing up we bought an ‘01 Chevrolet Express passenger van. I think it was a little under three tons empty. Honorable mention: My ‘74 Cadillac Coupe De Ville was B-I-G . In an accident it demolished another car – later I noticed a scratch on its bumper.
Cheapest: Tie. Three cars have been gifted to me. The Yugo (see smallest, above), a Cutlass Supreme COAL here and a Dodge Grand Caravan. I helped a friend choose/find a car, and then another for her son. My payment? She gave me her late model minivan, even delivered it to my house.
Most expensive: On two occasions, I’ve bought a Ford Flex for my wife. One, when the model was new in ‘09, and another a couple years ago. Both were north of thirty grand.
Most common: The hands-down winner is the Ford Fox chassis, I’ve had a bunch, including a Merc Zephyr COAL here and a Mark VII LSC. COAL here More specifically, I’ve owned a lot of Mustangs. Five of mine were of the ‘87-‘93 iteration, COAL here plus a ’95 GT ragtop COAL here which was just a derivative of that Fox.
Oldest: I currently drive a 31 year-old car. It is a 1986 model – a Camaro IROC-Z. The oldest model year car was a 1971 Toyota Corona my friends and I painted camouflage in High School. We probably should have masked off the windows first.
White, regular cab pickups: So many: an ‘84 Toyota Hilux, a nineties Ranger (year?), an ‘09 Colorado, and a ‘99 GMC Sierra (above). All were regular cab, all were white. Two had tailgates. I painted my El Camino white too. COAL here
Weird tidbit: I’ve owned 54 cars, mostly domestic, with about a dozen Japanese in the mix. Nothing European (I’ve never purchased any European car – the Yugo was a gift). Ironically, a bucket-list car of mine is European: I’ve always wanted a Ferrari 308 GTSi. click
I am grateful for this COAL opportunity (thanks, Paul) and I’m thankful for all the comments. Curbside Classic is a great corner of the web. Before I started, I was concerned about negative comments, but the super-majority have been positive, even affirming. God bless.