Archive for March 1st, 2010

Rust in Peace 1995-2008

Monday, March 1st, 2010

My Car died one year ago.  This is my tribute to a fine machine.

Although declared ‘clinically dead’ Christmas week, 2008, for not having an alternator (See: “Alternator Alternative” in a previous post), my ‘95 Eagle Talon lived about 6-more weeks and gently passed away yesterday on Monroe Ave. She was 14.

Against incredible odds – no alternator, driver side door couldn’t be closed, a lifetime of less than 10 oil changes and three tune-ups, a hanging muffler, few backup lights, no horn, no heat, stolen once, no radio, non-working front seat belts (the back ones were fine), seven reported accidents, one dangling front turn light socket, one windshield wiper, 2 good tires, loudly-clicking tie rods, and (last week) me adding water – not anti-freeze – (who knew?) to the radiator, the Talon happily started every day with only a cheap battery I bought at Walmarts. The end came with a little puff of smoke and all her radiator fluid flowing onto the street.

Ironically, just last week she passed a NYS Inspection after I asked a friend to bring her to his ‘inspector’. The ‘inspector’ passed my Talon in less than 2-minutes. I’m told he only asked one question, “Did you bring the Scotch tape?”. And sadly, I was about to store her for the season to protect her from rusting salt – and bring out my winter “junker”. I shouldn’t have waited.

Rarely did a day pass when other drivers did not notice her well-designed attributes. Enthusiastically pointing, they’d shout through closed windows, “Your lights!”, “Your muffler!” “Your DOOR!” I’d knowingly nod my head and smile – sometimes I’d even mouth “Thank you” – and wave. I’m a modest man – acknowledging her superior features was always a little embarrassing.

Over the years, some have accused me of auto abuse – kind of like the ‘Chris Brown of Cars.’ But any minor mistreatment of my beauty was benign – sins of omission and emission – never of transmission.

I was quite sad and a little insulted yesterday just before the Salvation man towed my Talon away. He wanted to give me $50.00 in her memory. I wouldn’t take it though – somehow it would have cheapened our relationship. Instead I asked him to give the money to his favorite charity in “her” name.

He assured me he certainly would.