Decommissioning the T-Bird
For the last 7 years or so I've been the proud owner of a 1994 Ford Thunderbird. She was "eggshell" in color and had a burgundy interior. I bought her in 1999 or 2000 from some jackass in cowboy boots. His name was Max or Jax or Ace or something like that. I'm pretty sure I overpaid. After I bought it, I looked in consumer reports and found that the '94 T-Bird was on the "worst-buys" list. The main problem was that they had crummy transmissions. About a month later, my transmission crapped out so I had it rebuilt to the tune of $1000 or so. It had a big V-8 engine, but I'm pretty sure only 4 or 5 of those cylinders were firing. In 2003 the rearview mirror fell off. Nothing bumped into it or anything, it just fell off. In 2005 I was driving her up to Green Bay for a Packer game. As we were pulling off the freeway onto Lombardi Avenue, I was rear-ended by some lady. The collision resulted in some minor body damage to the back right corner of the car and a broken taillight. The estimate to fix the damage was about $2,500. Since the car was only worth about that, they considered it "totalled" and cut me a check. I spent it on other things and continued to drive the car. Last week I was driving her home from a hearing in Elkhorn, Wisconsin and blew a tire, which I changed in approximately 90 mph winds. The next day, shortly after the odometer crossed over $173,000 miles, I took her in to get new tires and an oil change. The mechanic said that they found some "front end problems." He said that my "ball joints" were incredibly loose. Then he said, "look, it'll cost a grand to fix them, which I know you're not going to pay for that car. I'm not feeding you mechanic-BS. It is very dangerous to continue to drive that car." So I had to say goodbye to the T-Bird. I went straight to the Toyota dealership and got a great deal (if I do say so myself) on a 2003 Certified Pre-Owned Toyota Camry.
In spite of all her problems, the T-Bird was a good car. Farewell ol' girl.