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Ullo dur...Alec speaking


hauserplenty

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Ok then right!

Long-time lurker, first-time thread-starter...

I live in California, where we used to be able to buy cheap cars that would still run for around $500. "Cash for Clunkers" took care of that. Now you're lucky to get anything that runs for $1000, and you still have to spend at least $500 on it after that. It was sort of a golden era for people like me, who just can't afford the markup on cars found on iron lots. I didn't know there was such a thing as an autoshite ethos when I first bought this car:

IMAG0033_zps7e4662c4.jpg

Anyroad, I'm Louis, and here's one of my many adventures in shite motoring...

The car is a 1982 Mercury Zephyr, an upmarket Fairmont. You can tell by the louvers on the side. I guess that was to give it a sort of supercar panache? It may have been plush in its day, but by the time I got it, it had just under 40K miles on it, and was, in a word: square. I bought it out of a high school auto shop teacher's backyard...and I had to cut the remainder of the exhaust off with a steak knife and throw it in the trunk to get it home. This was only the start...

It came equipped with the ultra-rare (for this class anyway) 2.3L mill:

DSCN0008_zpsbf8542aa.jpg

...which required a new cat & exhaust pipes, a bit of tuning-up and vacuum hoses rerouting and so forth. Good thing I had a Haynes manual. It was useless. But so was the car. Finally got it running, then realized I was a laughingstock for driving it. So I did the best thing I could think of--I sold it to a friend. If you're wondering, yes, we're still friends! But the car it replaced was such an old rattletrap that it was (almost) like getting a brand new car for him.

DSCN0005_zps58f0c604.jpg

It didn't look like this when I sold it. After he got another 15K or so out of it, the radiator went all teakettle on him. Having replaced it only to find the engine had suffered as a result, he's decided to send it to the crusher. Not a bad idea, really, as the bodgery required to keep it going had got a bit ridiculous. The fuel/spark control "computer" was no longer watertight, so:

IMAG0017_zps853c6ad1.jpg

...half-a-can of firestop later, it probably still wasn't.

It needed a new heater core, but I found I'd been sent the wrong one. Since I'd had to chop up the firewall to install it:

IMAG0018_zpsc7152f81.jpg

...there went the other half of the can.

I did replace the 8-track stereo for him tho:

IMAG0010_zpsa783281a.jpg

...with a $25 unit from my local AutoZone. It was an upgrade.

 

IMAG0037_zps4971d879.jpg

As customized by the previous owner.

DSCN0010_zpsb3fd2a0c.jpg

Coming soon...to a biscuit tin near you!

These photos were taken as I was salvaging the last useful parts off of it, which didn't take very long at all. Since it's going over the bridge...I left the stereo.

Happy motoring!

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Ok then right!

Long-time lurker, first-time thread-starter...

I live in California, where we used to be able to buy cheap cars that would still run for around $500. "Cash for Clunkers" took care of that. Now you're lucky to get anything that runs for $1000, and you still have to spend at least $500 on it after that. It was sort of a golden era for people like me, who just can't afford the markup on cars found on iron lots. I didn't know there was such a thing as an autoshite ethos when I first bought this car:

IMAG0033_zps7e4662c4.jpg

Anyroad, I'm Louis, and here's one of my many adventures in shite motoring...

The car is a 1982 Mercury Zephyr, an upmarket Fairmont. You can tell by the louvers on the side. I guess that was to give it a sort of supercar panache? It may have been plush in its day, but by the time I got it, it had just under 40K miles on it, and was, in a word: square. I bought it out of a high school auto shop teacher's backyard...and I had to cut the remainder of the exhaust off with a steak knife and throw it in the trunk to get it home. This was only the start...

It came equipped with the ultra-rare (for this class anyway) 2.3L mill:

DSCN0008_zpsbf8542aa.jpg

...which required a new cat & exhaust pipes, a bit of tuning-up and vacuum hoses rerouting and so forth. Good thing I had a Haynes manual. It was useless. But so was the car. Finally got it running, then realized I was a laughingstock for driving it. So I did the best thing I could think of--I sold it to a friend. If you're wondering, yes, we're still friends! But the car it replaced was such an old rattletrap that it was (almost) like getting a brand new car for him.

DSCN0005_zps58f0c604.jpg

It didn't look like this when I sold it. After he got another 15K or so out of it, the radiator went all teakettle on him. Having replaced it only to find the engine had suffered as a result, he's decided to send it to the crusher. Not a bad idea, really, as the bodgery required to keep it going had got a bit ridiculous. The fuel/spark control "computer" was no longer watertight, so:

IMAG0017_zps853c6ad1.jpg

...half-a-can of firestop later, it probably still wasn't.

It needed a new heater core, but I found I'd been sent the wrong one. Since I'd had to chop up the firewall to install it:

IMAG0018_zpsc7152f81.jpg

...there went the other half of the can.

I did replace the 8-track stereo for him tho:

IMAG0010_zpsa783281a.jpg

...with a $25 unit from my local AutoZone. It was an upgrade.

 

IMAG0037_zps4971d879.jpg

As customized by the previous owner.

DSCN0010_zpsb3fd2a0c.jpg

Coming soon...to a biscuit tin near you!

These photos were taken as I was salvaging the last useful parts off of it, which didn't take very long at all. Since it's going over the bridge...I left the stereo.

Happy motoring!

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Welcome. Is it wrong to like the Fairmont/Zephyr? Probably not if you're an Autoshite fan (I have a similar, unreasonable lust for a Chevrolet Citation). Is this the first real example of the US Big 3 actually creating a fairly credible mainstream Euro-style sedan? I've read some contemporary road tests, which all thought it was a massive leap forward and basically a good rip-off of the Volvo 240.

 

2.3 allied to a column-shifted 3-speed auto sounds like a recipe for not much forward propulsion. Still, less laughable in a serious, plain-jane four-door than in, say, a '93 Mustang.

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Welcome. Is it wrong to like the Fairmont/Zephyr? Probably not if you're an Autoshite fan (I have a similar, unreasonable lust for a Chevrolet Citation). Is this the first real example of the US Big 3 actually creating a fairly credible mainstream Euro-style sedan? I've read some contemporary road tests, which all thought it was a massive leap forward and basically a good rip-off of the Volvo 240.

 

2.3 allied to a column-shifted 3-speed auto sounds like a recipe for not much forward propulsion. Still, less laughable in a serious, plain-jane four-door than in, say, a '93 Mustang.

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Thank you...I did like the Fairmont, but it quickly wore off. I do remember when they were popular, but you rarely see them anymore. Even then they seemed a bit square. As for the Castration, well, I used to have pics of one...it was worse than this. But I'm sure it's a beer can by now.

As for the seats, it was some sort of cloth material. I guess Ford knew how torturous those vinyl seats were in the summer heat, and wanted to make the Mercury more plush...there was only a slight tear in one of those seats when I sold it. It also had the wrong pulleys installed, I was later told. It took $1000 more worth of work to just get the gutless wonder to a point where it was only slightly less so.

As for the lack of power, it was, in a word, sad. With a V6 it might have been fairly credible (even Castrations had those!) but this car just couldn't get out of its own way. I'm sure the State of CA can't wait to crush this thing. :(

I've also seen an early 90's Camaro with a 2.2...so apparently some folks in the "good ol' days" thought $2.00 a gallon was a bit too much, so they ordered performance cars with no performance. Brilliant...

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Thank you...I did like the Fairmont, but it quickly wore off. I do remember when they were popular, but you rarely see them anymore. Even then they seemed a bit square. As for the Castration, well, I used to have pics of one...it was worse than this. But I'm sure it's a beer can by now.

As for the seats, it was some sort of cloth material. I guess Ford knew how torturous those vinyl seats were in the summer heat, and wanted to make the Mercury more plush...there was only a slight tear in one of those seats when I sold it. It also had the wrong pulleys installed, I was later told. It took $1000 more worth of work to just get the gutless wonder to a point where it was only slightly less so.

As for the lack of power, it was, in a word, sad. With a V6 it might have been fairly credible (even Castrations had those!) but this car just couldn't get out of its own way. I'm sure the State of CA can't wait to crush this thing. :(

I've also seen an early 90's Camaro with a 2.2...so apparently some folks in the "good ol' days" thought $2.00 a gallon was a bit too much, so they ordered performance cars with no performance. Brilliant...

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We had something similar in Britain, it sailed under the moniker 'Scrappage Scheme' and practically took care of most remaining shite cars. You got 1000 quid of my tax money if you were a rich enough fart to be able to afford a new Kia or some shite like that. It was supposed to boost the British car industry, which had been blissfully killed off about 30 years ago. What a bunch of utter nonsense. A perfect piece of social engineering that was and nowt else. It'll be another quarter century until the shite people bought on the scheme has turned into autoshite.

 

However, it seems that none of this kept you from finding a veritable piece of shite. Excellent job, I love it to bits! Congratulations!

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We had something similar in Britain, it sailed under the moniker 'Scrappage Scheme' and practically took care of most remaining shite cars. You got 1000 quid of my tax money if you were a rich enough fart to be able to afford a new Kia or some shite like that. It was supposed to boost the British car industry, which had been blissfully killed off about 30 years ago. What a bunch of utter nonsense. A perfect piece of social engineering that was and nowt else. It'll be another quarter century until the shite people bought on the scheme has turned into autoshite.

 

However, it seems that none of this kept you from finding a veritable piece of shite. Excellent job, I love it to bits! Congratulations!

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It never rains in SoCal...! Welding here means either exhaust, roll cages (i.e. custom off-road work) or repairs involving major damage.

Funny, I can't seem to find any K-cars...or Mustang II's. But I do remember those cars as being responses to the oil embargoes, as well as the economic conditions of the times. Me Dad wuz always complaining about President Carter and interest rates. Not to mention 55 was still the speed limit then, so a car that could even do 70 was considered fast (and expensive!)

Our scrappage scheme was known as "Ca$h for Clunkers", wherein they gave you $4500 for any car which qualified as being actually worth about a tenth as much...they ran out of money in about two weeks...for half that much it still woulda been a smash... :wink:

This car is going over the bridge as part of a program giving those stuck with unsmoggable vehicles a way to upgrade. But it's not paying the same kind of money, although still much more than this heap is worth.

As for the nicknames, well, that's a new one on me--I have heard it called an "Oldmansmobile Gutless" tho... :mrgreen:

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I look forward to seeing more disgusting turd vehicles from the west coast 8)

 

Hell yeah!

 

I wanna see a Dodge Aries and a four pot Mustang 11. What WERE they thinking?

 

 

The Dodge Aries (and it's K-car contemporaries) are virtually extinct. Time hasn't been kind to the Iacocca-era Chryslers. Nearly all of them were scrapped in the late '90s.

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Another belated welcome from me.

 

Now, with the nicities out of the way, that Mercury must've been glacial in 'performance' terms. My New yorker with a 318 is no ball of fire.

 

Its interesting to see a Lima engine in something other than a Fox bodied Mustang too.

 

I look forward to reading more updates.

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How remarkably horrible. I'm actually surprised the seats went before the paint, but that CA sun is relentless. Here it gets sunny then it rains- washes the powdery paint off the metalwork ;)

 

I bet the Fed-spec speedo was a bit optimistic too? 85 would have been pushing it... hah

 

What Katrina didn't destroy, the cash for clunkers program got here too. See the occasional smoke-billowing Olds around here but that's about it. All soul-less new chod rather than soul-less old chod.

 

--Phil

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As the current owner (But not for long) of this Biscuit Tin car, I heartily endorse this line of commentary towards my poor olde Zephyr! After all, It ran great for 6 years, but as the original post states, the Tin is unsmoggable :cry: !

It has tripped the light fantastic and joined the choir invisible, it will cease to be, it will be NO More, it will be a LATE Zephyr :wink: !

One other mechanic informed me that it needs but a new Catalytic Converter ( a measly $2600.00 heh! heh!), and she's good to go! Well, I'll not be HORNSWAGGLED this way :roll: ! The car's worth is but $300.00 tops!

Really though, the car did make a statement in that everybody around KNOWS without a doubt who is the driver! :D:D

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As the current owner (But not for long) of this Biscuit Tin car, I heartily endorse this line of commentary towards my poor olde Zephyr! After all, It ran great for 6 years, but as the original post states, the Tin is unsmoggable :cry: :cry: !

It has tripped the light fantastic and joined the choir invisible, it will cease to be, it will be NO More, it will be a LATE Zephyr :wink :wink: : !

One other mechanic informed me that it needs but a new Catalytic Converter ( a measly $2600.00 heh! heh!), and she's good to go! Well, I'll not be HORNSWAGGLED this way :roll: ! The car's worth is but $300.00 tops!

Really though, the car did make a statement in that everybody around KNOWS without a doubt who is the driver! :D :D :D:D

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Ehh...what's up, Doc?

Hmm...is it worth mentioning (again) :wink: that getting it signwritten has been suggested? I do think the peanut-butter-and-banana colors are quite suitable for this board as well... Glad to see you on 'ere!

NOT THIS WRECK-CHORD!!!

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