Friday, January 13, 2012

Remember the 80's?

Do ya remember the 80's?  The winged hair, the baggy knits, the football uniform shoulder pads?

Sadly, I do.  Even sadder--we thought they were such an advancement over the 70's.  Is it just me, or does some of the 70's look have a much fresher and recent kind of look to it?  Okay, I know everything old is new again, that fashions come and go and then come again.  This has got to be one of the most vicious aspects of aging--seeing the trends of one's youth flashing once again before us.

I was thinking about the '80's because I was thinking about cars I used to drive once again.  During the 80's, I drove a Nissan Sentra.  The first one I had was actually my first brand new car.  It was a grey sedan with upholstered seats, radio and cassette tape player.  I loved it.  My son learned to drive in that car.  It had all kinds of other bells and whistles--like a tachometer (which I never learned to use).   It did have that pesky standard transmission--a problem for me, not those learning to drive. It also was not good in the winter weather, not a great feature for a car driven in Vermont.  But I liked it enough to trade it for another Nissan Sentra when the time came (meaning when I was looking at yet another expensive transmission repair).

The second one was a black sedan, used.  It was two years old and had 2000 miles on it.  Literally, it was only driven to church on Sundays.  That car was also a standard transmission, but it had no bells, no whistles.  I had to put a radio in it.  The dash board boasted a fuel gauge and speedometer and that's about it.  My daughter learned to drive in this car.  It handled like a dream.  It had 102,000 miles on it when I gave it to may son in 1995.  He drove it across country and around town until it had 202,000 miles when he finally traded it in.

But it wasn't a perfect car.  It did have one tiny flaw.  It would stop running completely at random--but anytime, anywhere.  I'd be zipping down the highway and the engine would just stop running.  I'd pull over with the aid of momentum and in a few minutes it would start again.  Sometimes it would be weeks and weeks before it would happen again, but it always happened again--no pattern, no rhyme nor reason.  As many times as I took it to the dealership and other mechanics, a problem was never found that would explain this quirk and that's the way it was til the end.

Maybe I just have bad car karma.

9 comments:

  1. We had a car similar to your black sedan in the late 1970s. We would be driving along and it would just - stop. It was an AMC Hornet. I had two toddlers at the time. It was in the shop many times but they could never fix it. We finally traded it in.

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  2. Whoa scary for a car to stop like that. My 80's car was a dark blue chevy station wagon... nine passenger. Gawd I hated it when my son drove it to college, because when I would hear five doors slam before the front door opened , I just knew it was sonny boy and eight of his frat brothers.

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  3. Whoa scary for a car to stop like that. My 80's car was a dark blue chevy station wagon... nine passenger. Gawd I hated it when my son drove it to college, because when I would hear five doors slam before the front door opened , I just knew it was sonny boy and eight of his frat brothers.

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  4. My Nissan just died on me the other day when I was going home -- oh wait, that was because I ran out of gas. Not quite the same thing! But I think any car that is still running after 202K miles is pretty good -- even if it did take the occasional time out!

    PS Please don't let them bring back leisure suits!

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  5. Hmmmm - a car with a mind of its own - I think Steven King wrote a novel about that! I recently had a lovely alpaca coat tailored to take out the football sized shoulder pads. I bought it in New Zealand in the 90's - apparently, the uplifted shoulder was still in style.

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  6. Didn't ya hate those mystery stops. I had a Renault that liked to do that. Turned out I had a bumble bee body in the gas tank that would periodically block the flow of gas. When the engine stopped, he would float away unpluging the line and off we would go again. A bumble bee
    ectomy fixed that.

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  7. My first car was my mom's old Toyota Corolla. She gave it to me as a college graduation present. I had for so long. It was a manual transmission and I felt so cool for knowing how to drive it.

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  8. Where did I recently see an article that observed that styles haven't changed appreciably in thirty years.....Vanity Fair, maybe?

    It seems to me you are very very fortunate that you weren't run right over, with the car mystery-stopping at random like that!

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  9. 1986 - the first car I ever owned, a HOnda Ballade - still got it, but my son drives it now. Those Hondas, like Toyota, just never give trouble.

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