Rust in Peace 1995-2009

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.

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Tomorrow: BARBIE’S 50th Birthday!

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4 Responses to “Rust in Peace 1995-2009”

  1. Bill says:

    I remember when that car was new. Very sporty.

    Enjoyed your heartfelt eulogy.

  2. paul newman says:

    I have seen both this car and the owner.. Both look beat..

  3. paolo. says:

    Pretty insulting talk from someone who was drummed out of the Marines for unnatural acts with circus animals, Paul.

  4. amy stahl says:

    I loved that car. Many many memories.. the eagle talon.
    she served many.
    oh and scotch tape? for the label?
    remember when a warning light came on in my car and you pointed to it and I reached down and said oh the piece of dark tape must havefallen off..see? all fixed now..and we laughed…

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