we've come a long way baby!



me in my uncle's race car
I've owned a few cars in my day. I grew up around racing, and the smell of burning brakes, so my love of cars was only natural.
'73 Chrysler Imperial I started with a '73 Chrysler Imperial. A relay shorted and burned up nearly all the wiring in the dash, and that was that. Had a strong 440 in it, so a junk yard gave me a fairly decent price.
From there I moved on to an '81 Mazda 626. Rear-wheel dive - rare for an import. It was a nice enough car - certainly worth the $600 I paid for it. An idler pulley seized and I fixed it without anyone's help. That was my first taste of the greasemonkey way of life - it was all downhill from then.
Next was a '69 Caddy Coupe deVille. This car looked nicer than it was, and while it was pretty damn cool for a 17-year old kid to drive such a playeriffic car, I really had no business owning it considering all the time and money required to drive and maintain an old car like that. I recall getting about 7mpg in that thing and sometimes putting $20 in per trip.
I traded the Caddy for an '85 Honda Prelude. Aside from some funky paint flaking on the hood, this baby was a peach. Had dual side-draft Keihin carbs just like the Honda sportsbikes. And the vacuum lines... my God the vacuum lines.
Then I briefly moved up to a '93 Acura Integra GS-R. This was the first year they put VTECs in the Integra, and man I loved that motor. The whole car was just perfect - except for the automatic seatbelts. Those f**ckin' things were aggravating! I bought the car on a raise that never came, so I only had it a short while. No pics even. Lotta hotshoein' though.
After putzing around in my mom's '95 Neon for awhile, I got an '89 BMW M3. This is the car that made the M brand a legend. This car beat the snot out of everyone in the Touring Car races in Europe. It was light, crisp and the motor screamed. In reality, it was a race car detuned for the street. A drunk guy nailed it one night while parked in front of my house and totaled it.
By the time the M3 got wiped out, I had inherited an '86 Ford Ranger. For the past few years I'd been dirtbiking and bought a house, and having a truck was much nicer than having a sportscar, so I didn't really miss the M3 too much. Of note is the fact that the Ranger, while easily the crappiest of vehicles I've owned, is the only one with working A/C. Not that I ever use it. Lately it's been living up to the Fixed Or Repaired Daily joke, and I've published a short piece about some starting problems I just had.
My newest is a 2000 Ram 1500. It's a 318, AT, 2WD, and so far, been a doll. Trucks are like a good dog. Vinyl floor, extra cab. Would be perfect if it was a manual, but those are rare as hen's teeth these days I guess. Aside from the Imperial and Caddy, it's the only other automatic I've owned.
I guess I should include the motorcycles in here too. Lately, I'm on a 2006 Buell XB-9SL. It's got a racing chip, a Jardine slip-on and a few other goodies. It's a torque monster and tons of fun. The transmission was fashioned out of logs I believe, and it needs an extra gear, but those are my only complaints.
I also ride a '96 Yamaha YZ-125. The littler one is a Yamaha PW-50 for the kids. I guess we'll be stepping 'em up to an 80cc bike before long.