Editor on P Plates
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Express Publications, Sydney.
This one is easy!
1979 Ford Escort 2.0
The fact that this car had a worked 2 litre motor was it's ONLY saving grace, and also an accident.
You see, a week after I bought it it spat a rod out the side of the block on the freeway and cost me $1500 for a reconditioned motor - by fluke or accident, the 2.0 they fitted had a cam and a ported head, so went like a scalded cat!
I became convinced it had been 'rebuilt' to hide the myriad of problems that beset the car, as during the 12 months I owned it, i replaced the motor, the entire front suspension, the exhaust, alternator, starter motor (twice), battery, horn, brake master cylinder, the front seats, the instrument cluster, rear window, tail lights and rear bumper (and I've probably missed a few there).
On top of that, the car looked beautiful because it was covered with a quarter inch of bog to hide the dents and chronic rust! I'm convinced that if the rust bugs had stopped holding hands, the car would have collapsed into a heap of red ash and engine parts.
Most memorable experience: Driving to Newcastle from Sydney one Friday night in heavy traffic before the freeway was finished. Half way there it started to pour rain really heavy. The demister barely worked as the heater was stuffed, the wipers weren't much better and then the car dropped onto three cylinders with about 80kms still to go.
I kept driving as I had absolutely no idea about anything mechanical back then, and was afraid if I stopped it'd never start again. It couldn't go past 75km/h, the rain kept getting heavier, then I drove through a huge water course crossing the old road at Freemans Waterhole. The water blew a hole through the rust under the drivers seat and up between my legs, hitting the windscreen and splashing back in my face, soaking me and the interior of the car, not to mention I could stick my hand back down through the hole and touch the road!
When I finally got to my uncles house, he was waiting with the garage door open - he'd heard my sick car coming 3 blocks away and came out to see who it was, and when we opened the bonnet, the #1 cylinder spark plug lead had stripped some of it's covering and was arcing out across a 4 inch gap to the exhaust manifold! We fixed it the next day no problem, but that car was just one never-ending repair job.
I bought my first brand new car from a dealer after that - swearing never to buy other peoples problems again!
Editor: Street Fords Magazine - Issue #1 on sale MARCH 2005
Co Founder: 3FB Inc.
To see my old BA Falcon XR6, click HERE