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Old 12-25-2002, 15:57   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs down Memorable Vehicles 2 - The Bad Ones

There have been many notable contenders for the worst vehicle I have owned award - so much so that it has been really hard to narrow it down to just three. But I have and here they are:

1963 EJ Station Wagon

What a difference a year makes. The EH is still (rightly) considered an Australian icon but the EJ has faded into the obscurity it so richly deserved. It was only a decade old at the time but it was full of creaks and rattles, consumed oil faster than petrol, had a huge appetite for generators and finally ran out of oil one day in the middle of nowhere. The pluses were few - it did serve as a useful drive-in vehicle (!) and gave me plenty of practice at fixing things.

1974 HQ Premier 253 V8 Manual Wagon

In appliance white, I can't recall what ever motivated me to buy this thing. You could hear it rusting in the driveway and it had all the performance of a hobbled snail. Not so much the fault of the motor but this one had the 3 speed column shift box with one tonner ratios in it. The electric windows worked when they wanted to (especially the tailgate) regardless of whether the switch had been pushed or not and the exhaust kept parting company with the car. All in all a sad experience. I finally got tired of being beaten at the lights by geriatrics on push bikes and gave it the flick.

Datsun 180B SSS

As the successor to the 1600 - an outstanding rally performer in its day - I was looking for a new beast to tackle the forests with and bought one of these things. Bad move. It was uncomfortable, slow, handled like a lead tipped arrow and the dark brown paintwork faded faster than an ageing movie stars looks. The only contribution made by the SSS badge was to increase the noise level without actually providing any noticeable performance benefit.
All in all a tragedy that proved Datsun (Nissan) had lost the plot in replacing the 1200/1600 with the 120Y and 180B.

Honourable mentions

Mazda Capella RX3. Went like a rocket sled but suffered the terminal rotor seal failures that plagued the early rotaries.

Datsun 260C. What happens when you put the driveline from the 260Z into a big, heavy, luxury sedan? Nothing. This thing gave a whole new meaning to SLOW and cumbersome. A very short term visitor.

Cheers
Russ
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Old 12-25-2002, 17:30   #2 (permalink)
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My most memorable bad ones were all ex's idea......well all except for the 1st & last mistake I made

A mazda 323......traded my old Cortina in on it .....worst move I ever made.....never, never believe you can down size from a rather quick 4.1 to a 1.3......when you are an 18yr old rev head

The others all involved holden but I am in no way knocking the brand :)

He had a Torana sunbird that never seem to like any of the 4 enigines put into it .......spat them all & they went from the original 4cyl, to two 6cyls then a v8 was put in it .......was a horrid brown colour too yuck,.......

He then got a comodore......baby sh*t green colour & was the biggest slowest pig I have ever had the nonpleasure to drive.
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Old 12-26-2002, 00:19   #3 (permalink)
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easy,
Daihatsu Handivan 2 door 2cyl 600cc engine.
SLOW!!!!!!!!!
can't bag it to much though as it was reliable as you could get and it only cost me $300. Gave it to the missus when I got my XC 302 and she kept it for about 2 years before I upgraded her to a sweet little KC Laser Ghia with EFI (I love that little car!!)
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Old 12-26-2002, 01:52   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by carazy
easy,
Daihatsu Handivan 2 door 2cyl 600cc engine.
SLOW!!!!!!!!!
can't bag it to much though as it was reliable as you could get and it only cost me $300. Gave it to the missus when I got my XC 302 and she kept it for about 2 years before I upgraded her to a sweet little KC Laser Ghia with EFI (I love that little car!!)
I bet the daihatsu could run for a month on a thimble full of corn oil tho.
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Old 12-26-2002, 05:06   #5 (permalink)
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Magna wagon 4 banger criminally bad
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Old 12-26-2002, 05:14   #6 (permalink)
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1.9lt 4cyl VH Commodore SL/X

I owned it for all of 2 months before I changed it for an XD Falcon, that had to be the slowest car ever invented, I mean the old VH's dont want to move with a 202 in them, let alone a 1.9lt 4 banger!
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Old 12-26-2002, 13:39   #7 (permalink)
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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!


Cheers
Jason
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Old 12-26-2002, 21:32   #8 (permalink)
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JR> Sounds to me like you were really lucky all those probs happened while you were driving the Esky - any other car probably would have just rolled over and died on you ....
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