The Top Ten best things to say about my 1981 Ford Fairmont Sedan (affectionately known as, “The Fairmont”).
10 – having a car three years older than I was
9 – knowing I didn’t need airbags to be safe. With 2 tons of steel around me, I wouldn’t even feel it if I ran over a Miata. In fact, I think I may have done that once…
8 – I always felt like I was sitting on a couch. Soft, cushioned bench seats.
7 – I had to hit the stereo in a certain place with a wrench until I got a radio station I liked (93.3fm). Once I got it there, I never touched it again.
6 – I didn’t have heat for two winters. Hand warmers go a long way, and first level frostbite isn’t that bad two days later. What did Calvin’s dad say (from Calvin and Hobbes)? “It builds character.” Yeah, I was just brimming with character.
5 – feeling okay going 95 because you won’t get a ticket for going more than 85. “Officer, the speedometer said 85, I promise!” “Son, your speedometer only goes to 85.” “Well, yeah, but is that my fault?”
4 – Since I had no heat, I had to use a heater fan that plugged up to the cigarette lighter adapter. That was attached via metal frame under the dash that held the stereo. The frame fell off. The wires connecting the cigarette lighter adapter came out. But in a few minutes, I had discovered that I could just tape the wires onto the metal and it would still work. That is, until it all caught on fire while I was driving. Well, at least I was warm. Screaming and swerving, but warm.
3 – Having to shift gears manually in an automatic. The transmission had seen better days.
2 – Randomly doing 180’s and sometimes 360’s anytime it misted or rained. I only left the house if I was going in a straight line. Of course, when you’re driving 2 tons of steel, that might not be a problem.
1 – Covering the Fairmont (which originally was rust-colored on purpose) with colored duct tape, resulting in a proportionate American Flag complete with fifty stars and all. They actually created a contest at the Duck Tape company for us, and we still lost. Anyway, that was fun to drive all over the place.
And after three years of faithful service, the Fairmont was growing tired. No heat, no driver side window, no reason for living, the hunk of metal was ready to pass. And so I donated it to the Salvation Army. I’ll never forget you, Monty….
it didn’t make it on the list, but i thought it was noteworthy. i almost forgot about how the muffler fell off and i kept it in my backeat until i dontated it. i just hated to part with any part of that car. but i still have the vanity plates… “NUDGE” that’s right…. and oh yeah, my dash lights didn’t work. “i’m sorry officer, how could i know i was going 95? the lights don’t work.” “you could get them fixed.” “well, yeah, but don’t you think if i had money to regularly repair my car (and it needs regular), i would just get a new one?”