1A Auto Asks: What’s Your Automotive Bad Luck Story?

February 2nd 2011
Collapsed 22x24 2-Car tent February 2nd 2011

Little bit closer....
Oh no...
You see the car now don't you....
You see the car now don't you....
1968 Pontiac Catalina July 4th 2010
This is how the 1968 Pontiac Catalina looked on July 31st 2010. Current status still unknown. Still buried in deep snow, ice, and collapsed tent.

If you have been around cars long enough, you will eventually gather a vast collection of automotive-related horror stories.  It could be anything from watching your wheel fly off and launch itself deep into the woods, to breaking off your thermostat housing before your cross country road trip.  We’ve been there, and we want to hear your automotive tales of woe.   If you’re curious or concerned about the car pictured above, it is in fact one of our own and we are all planning for a quick recovery when spring arrives.

As for me, I’d say one of my worst automotive mishaps was when I was about 17.  I hopped into my 1964 Thunderbird project, fired up the 390, and dropped it into gear. It jerked forward with authority and right up the driveway so that I could then back it down in front of the garage door.  I brought the beast to a stop and lifted the shifter back into reverse.  Down the gently sloped driveway I went, steadily increasing speed as I cut the wheel to head towards the garage door.  POPFFFFFFFF is all I heard when the brake line exploded onto my driveway and the brake pedal stuck firmly to the floor.  My friend Scott watched in horror as I was now careening towards my dad’s absolutely pristine 1976 Corvette. I think he covered his eyes and said “noooooooo” in slow motion but I can’t be sure.  “Panic” was the only word in my mind during that moment. Should I drive through the house or the Corvette? Quick, make a decision! QUICK JEREMY QUIIIICK!!! Before I was willing to make that impossible decision, I lifted my foot and cranked down on the e-brake hard enough to snap the e-brake cable. This situation was not improving. With each passing millisecond, the squeak from my lungs became a higher pitch.  My final option was to give the parking pawl a brutal and untimely death with extreme force and vulgar profanity.  I jammed that car into park hard enough to nearly break the shifter off the column.  Unfortunately for me, the parking pawl was not up for the challenge that day.  There was only one decision left to make.  Do I stop a 2 ton Thunderchicken with a house or a Vette?  I quickly weighed out my options and pointed the massively imposing rear end towards my dad’s pride and joy.  Yes, that was the longest 5 seconds of my life, and it was not pretty.

So it’s your turn now. Tell us a story….

Jeremy Nutt

Hi, I'm Jeremy.

5 thoughts to “1A Auto Asks: What’s Your Automotive Bad Luck Story?”

  1. I proudly got an old rusted hunting Jeep sitting at the top of a hill started, finished my drink, let out the clutch and went…you guessed it NO brakes, armstrong only steering, semi-flat tires with multiple trees, rocks, and ravines. …somehow all survived!
    In the South, many a Youtube special started with,’Hey hold my beer and y’all watch dis!’

  2. My next door neighbor’s garage looks just as pictured currently. I don’t know for sure, but I’m hoping neither his SVT Cobra or Harley was parked in it.

    1. That would be awful. I did go explore the tent pictured the other day, and found the Pontiac to be very savable. All the glass is fine, and the roof damage seems minimal. Unfortunately there is still a crushed tent sitting on the car, so it is tough to be 100% sure. The boat on the other hand….. was parked next to the Pontiac, and it is quite flat. The trailer is flat against the ground, and there is glass everywhere. We’ll see what happens when spring comes.

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