Hooniverse Asks What Car or Truck Were You Glad to Get Rid Of?


So, big news people—I am no longer a Volvo owner. That’s right, I have sold the ’98 V90 that I had bought tow years ago for my daughter, and which became her beloved ride. A blown head gasket and a series of related events drove that decision, but never fret, it went to a good home.
I wan’t too keen on dumping the Volvo, but that can’t be said for many people selling cars. In fact, getting rid of an unwanted ride is often times a perilous task, as if you don’t want it, there’s little likelihood that miraculously someone else will. Have you ever run into a situation like that? How’d it end up? Was there ever a car or truck you were glad to be rid of?
Image: ©2017 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

43 Comments

  1. In 1986, I needed a car, and my father delivered (because I was a broke 16-year-old). It was a 1983 Chevy Chevette Scooter. At least it had a 5 speed and a hatchback, but little else of redeeming value. I added a stereo, and while there was no place to put the speakers without cutting something, I wound up getting some 6.5″ speakers installed in pizza boxes.
    I drove that for a year in High School, and while the freedom to get around was great, I hated the car. I never mentioned anything to my parents back then (and never to my mother, God bless her soul). One snowy/slushy night, I wound up hitting a light pole head first after I lost traction only going about 25mph on a rural county road. I was fine, car was toast, and thank God for guys braving the weather for bowling night, or I would have had to walk 5 miles in the snow.
    I’ve been married (once, going on 12 years now) and have 2 kids. The day I wrecked my Chevette may still be the happiest day in my life. That is one car I was glad to be rid of.

    1. “I’ve been married (once, going on 12 years now) and have 2 kids. The day
      I wrecked my Chevette may still be the happiest day in my life.”
      Note to self: add car crash to bucket list.

      1. Fortunately it was a light crash, so I only remember the good memories… well, I also remember Roger’s “I Wanna Be Your Man” was playing on the radio, but even that didn’t dull the happiness of being rid of it.

  2. I’ve been waiting on Pick N’ Pull to haul the kids’ rusty Cabrio out of the driveway for a couple of days. It’s salvageable but hardly worth my effort (rust in shock tower and floor pans), despite the fact that my daughter says she loves her first car. A good friend wants me to keep it for rallycross. Its presence is a reminder of my shortcomings as a father and friend. I’ll be glad to see it go.

  3. In about 2010, I had been married for 6 years, we had no kids, I had a good steady job, my wife had a good part time job, and my dad was looking for his “old man/retirement convertible”. He came across a 1996 BMW Z3 that had basically been converted into a M Roadster close. It had the S52, the bigger brakes, suspension upgrades, seat upgrades, stiffened/reinforced chassis, etc. It wasn’t what my dad was looking for (He ended up with a 2004 Saab 900 convertible about a year later, he drove it for a year and has let it sit since then.). But I showed the ad to my wife, she said “Let’s get it!”. This is when I was going through what I could call my BMW phase that started with a 1988 750iL and led to a 1987 E30 325 daily driver. The price was good, a little bit of a strain on my finances, but we could swing it. After the seller trying to sell the car to someone else after I left a deposit, I finally got it. It was great! LOUD and QUICK! Probably the quickest car I’ve ever driven. About a week and a half later, something happened to the engine. Eventually found out it dropped a cylinder, sever scarring or some such. Found another junkyard S52 (remember the strained finances part?) and had a shadetreee mechanic install it and get it running. Finally got a BMW shop to sort out some, but not all of the issues. I drove it somewhat nervously for about a year. Then it overheated and started running rough. It had warped the head! I got the BMW shop to put on a new engine head (remember the strained finances part). By that time our first child was on the way and a 2 seat sports car was not a suitable daddy vehicle. Did I mention that due to the engine swap the car never met emissions, I kept it registered at my parents house in a county without emissions requirements. It was now time to sell the damn thing. After several months, and worrying over every little squeak and rattle while driving it, I was finally able to sell it at a loss. All told, I lost probably twice the purchase price on that thing, in less than 16 months! I was glad to see it go. My daddy vehicle became a new 2011 Chevy Silverado work truck extended cab. The 10 year/100k power-train warranty was a major factor in this decision. This Z3 ended my BMW phase.

    1. I know you’ve written about the Z3 a few times, but I didn’t realize it was that much of a headache-inducing fustercluck. What a disappointment. I’ve never been a big BMW fanboy, but after the Neue Klasse cars, the clown shoe is my favorite.

      1. Before the ’96 Z-28 I had a ’94 Corvette. The Corvette was a great car, it was a 6-speed. The Z-28 was a piece of crap. Amazing at the quality difference between the two.

  4. 1987 Mercury Tracer: it’s a long story but this was the car I had between an ’84 Mustang GT and an ’89 Mustang LX 5.0 notchback. In two years of ownership from nearly-new the dash cracked, the exhaust fell completely off from just behind the header, rust appeared everywhere, and worst of all it was just a lame car to drive. I sold it to fund the LX 5.0 and couldn’t have been happier.
    1985 Honda VF750F Interceptor: thought this would be a nice upgrade from my stately, porcine 1981 Honda CB900 Custom. It was a modern superbike that supposedly outperformed most bikes at the time. It should have been catnip to a young rider but I hated everything about it and sold it a month or two after purchase. It still pisses me off when I think about it, but it’s a nice illustration of the difference we can experience between positive magazine reviews and our own real-life experience with a machine.

    1. Huh. The first street bike I spent any time with was a similar vintage CB900 Custom (older neighbor across the street was generous with the keys after watching me terrorize the neighborhood on minibikes and dirt bikes through my youth). The second was an ’84 or ’85 Interceptor. I loved it. What didn’t you like about it?

      1. Same question here. First gen Interceptor blew my mind after riding nothing but ’70s Japanese twins & inline fours prior.

      2. I should clarify: I also owned a Suzuki RG500, which was a mentalist smoky rocket from the future and the bike I’d traffic my family in order to get back. Maybe that colored my judgement a bit too.
        The Interceptor had a weird riding position and dorky handling. It felt high at the front and tippy in corners. The exhaust note was dull and the engine kind of flaccid; it felt no faster than the RG250 that was my first bike. I also thought it was butt-ugly and boring.

        1. Two stroke > four stroke when it comes adrenaline inducing acceleration. To this day I’m sure my Yamaha 360 single was quicker than the Interceptor.

        2. Suzuki RG 500s and Yamaha RZ/RD 500s are like riding jet turbines. Smoooooth, vibration- free power nicely increasing with revs and zero engine braking. Waaay faster than their capacity suggested.

    2. I saw a beautiful, white, LX 5.0 notchback (probably ’89 or ’90), on the way home yesterday, first one I’ve seen in awhile. I still regret never having owned one of those.

      1. It handled like a wobbly shopping cart with no brakes but it sure was fun! Surprisingly great roadtrip car too, with comfy seats, cold AC, and 30+mpg on the highway.

    3. While they were certainly not alone at the time, mid 80’s Fords were crapwagons full of shoddy materials. The laundry list of things that went wrong on my ’86 SVO Mustang beginning less than 6 years after it was made is astonishing in retrospect. This was before I realized what it meant when a car lost 75% of its original value in that amount of time.

      1. Definitely. My uncle who was an engineer working for Ford re-positioned the strut mounts on his Mustang GT in his garage after Ford refused to do it under warranty. My dad’s mid-80s LTD company cars required new motors at every oil change. It was an astonishingly bad time for Ford but somehow my ’89 LX needed nothing but oil and tires for the 140,000km I drove it.

    1. That’s funny, I saw one of those on the way to work this morning. It was clean (except it was missing wheelcovers), a/c appeared to be working, and had Tampa Bay Rays and Salt Life stickers in the back window, along with an emblem for some Ford dealership in Florida (couldn’t get close enough to make out the dealer name or city).

    2. I drove a stripped 93 LX for almost 11 years. Its only redeeming qualities were reliability, economy and that it was a stick. Ironically it replaced the 88 Pulsar that I was really relieved to be rid of.

  5. Couple years back, friends of mine were moving away & decided to scale down to a single vehicle. I bought their well-kept ’02 Outback for a ludicrously below-book price (thanks guys!), thinking it would be nice to start driving something 15 years newer than my elderly DD. Man, was I wrong. I hadn’t owned an automatic transmission car in 20+ years, and had no idea just how much I’d come to hate not rowing my own. It remains the most utterly joyless, least fun vehicle I’ve ever driven. Sold it for a fair price to a friend of mine who was in immediate need of reliable transportation, which I regret only slightly since it means I still see – and occasionally occupy – the damn thing.

  6. Hah, that’s easy. My ’78 Audi Fox. I bought it new, and liked the way it drove and the way it started in cold weather, loved the supportive seats in it (a late friend of mine that lived with back problems since his teens loved riding in it), but I absolutely despised the quality and reliability of it, from its K-Jet fuel injection, its automatic transmission that sometimes slipped on left-hand turns, the valve stem seals that had it huffing blue smoke on startup by 40,000 miles, to its electrical system. Oh, and the cooling system and a/c were hopelessly overmatched by Texas summers.

  7. Getting rid of any of them usually meant acquiring another, so there was always excitement there. That said, 1974 Plymouth Gold Duster. A 12 year ugly, sloppy old rust bucket that made me swear off Mopars. Someone later gave me a Dodge Spirit rust bucket and I was happy to drive that into the junkyard, slap my title on the table and run out the door. When I trash Mopars, I mean I literally threw a Mopar in the trash.

  8. I owned a series of four Acura Integras between 1987 and 1997, with ‘his & her’s’ matching cars at one point. I was an early adopter in 87 and essentially stole the car because the advertising campaign hadn’t started yet, and no one except the Car Mag buffs knew about them. No one was buying, and I got it cheaper than a Honda CRX. Drove it two years and sold it for what I’d paid. Loved that car and loved the service. Bought the his and hers pair in 89. Loved them more. Replaced my car in 93 with, yup, another Integra. Moved out of the country in 94, sold everything; didn’t get home till August 97. On flying home, I needed to buy a car. Naturally I “took a taxi from the airport to the Acura dealer” and bought another Integra pretty much sight unseen. I hated that car.
    Not only did I find the “frog face” design ugly, Acura had decontented the car in dozens of little ways. The digital dash clock lost time; the car was incredibly noisy – no soundproofing; the upholstery started showing wear at 10K miles; the headlights got condensation in them; the interior panels were huge sheets of black plastic; the Alpine stereo wouldn’t hold a signal; everywhere you looked you could see where they had cheaped out over the previous generations. I dumped the car at a loss after 9 months and was thrilled to have it gone.
    It hurt me to do that, but I just hated the damn thing. It was rough, noisy, and cheap. I thought, upon looking at them, that the contemporary Civic was a much nicer car than the supposedly entry level luxury brand Acura.
    I haven’t been back to an Acura dealership since I got rid of the thing.

    1. I also bought an ’87 Integra LS new. It was a fantastic car and I put well over 250K miles on it. The biggest recurring issue I had with it was rust. I haven’t owned a car since that even developed so much as a spot of rust but the Integra had 3 different repairs performed under warranty. I eventually traded it on a new Corrado but that little Integra would always bring back great memories for me.
      Fast forward to December of 2003 when I decided to visit the Acura dealership, hoping lightning would strike twice, to see the new TL. I ended up leasing a 6 speed black TL the next day. After about 2 years I could not wait for the lease to end. Between the outrageously expensive scheduled service costs, squeaking clutch pedal, temperamental A/C and windows that randomly picked the worst time to not roll back up, I was counting down the minutes to get rid of it. For what it’s worth, when it wasn’t being a pain in the butt, it was a fantastic car.

  9. I honestly don’t miss my 2010 Challenger R/T. I didn’t think I would come to hate rowing my own, but the clutch engagement point was a different height off the floor every single time.
    After about 4 years and 50,000 miles the clutch would intermittently stay partially engaged with the pedal fully depressed in warmer weather conditions, which the dealer couldn’t re-create so they unhelpfully suggested a clutch replacement (which might have incidentally cured the problem I suspected, but only because it would require cleaning and re-lubricating the input shaft splines.) This was just when the refreshed 2015’s were starting to show up toward the end of 2014, so I decided to trade up before winter ended while it was at a good age/mileage point and let it be the next guy’s problem. I ordered the 2015 with the ZF automatic and the super track pack, and it’s honestly more fun and engaging to drive than the 2010 was.

  10. The other car…
    Bought a 944S from a local guy who set it up for autox.
    Made a great track car. But it was fragile. The interior was threadbare, plastic was showing its age and even though I knew the car was a salvage title, there were things in the engine that was held on by one bolt from the wreck. Things needed maintenance. The trans ate it at the track. But $300 got me a new one and I installed. Clutch is a nightmare to replace and was coming.
    I put it in Ebay but would only sell locally. Some guy up north asked me to lower the price but he eventually bought the car for my asking price which was what I paid. I threw in all the spares and waved adios.
    The guy I bought it from had won his 944 turbo from an ebay auction. It was not represented very well and the S money was going to help with the repairs on the turbo.

    1. Clutch is less a drama than the workshop manual suggests: both engine-out top and gear-drop to floor work for hobbyists. But I am naive and biased. Brittle plastic, on the other hand, really is a problem.

      1. There were more issues which were going to be $$$.
        I was glad to get out when I could!!

  11. My 1975 Duster 360 with Torqueflite that I bought used in 1978. It was pretty fast is a straight line (at least by deep Malaise standards) and fairly reliable but I eventually got really tired of the noise, crudity, squirrely high-speed handling, crappy build quality (especially the white interior), and the rampant rust. I sold it for cheap in 1984 and bought a new CRX 1.5 5-speed. Never looked back and I still have no regrets getting rid of it. Here’s what the 360 looked like except mine was baby blue. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8b459480838e959805c771609ddab92f9fe7c8b1c655f5fd088c65109466fcff.jpg

  12. I got out of an ’81 Corvette project by selling it to an enthusiastic young fellow. I lost a bit of money on the deal, but figured I would have lost more had it stayed any longer. Remember, cheap cars are cheap for a reason, only your time and skill can remedy that. I had none of the former and too little of the latter to get that done on this example. Live and learn, as they say.

  13. I know it’s sacrilege, but my 1999 Silverado with “only” 150,000 miles. I had a lot of trouble with that truck, and GM and it’s dealers weren’t much help. I bought my best car ever a 2007 Audi A3. More fun and more reliable. Just had to buy beer and dinners for my friends with trucks when needed.

  14. I’ve liked all my cars I’ve parted with (i.e.: both) until the very end. I currently don’t own a car I’d like to see gone. I’m a lucky person!

  15. So, several years ago, I was about to hit the mileage limit on my Civic (won a three year lease, but hit the limit in two), and my (then future)-wife had just moved to the city and didn’t need a car. So I took over dailying her grad school commuter, an ’04 Hyundai Accent hatch. The hatch part was great, like a baby Saab in its commodiousness. The rest of the car was attrocious and hateful – the automatic made it gutless AND kind of thirsty (25mpg), the interior materials were just bad enough to remind you you were a cheap prick, and it neither had A/C nor the ventilation required to compensate.
    So of course at this time I’m in a job where I’m driving like 4 hours a day, and as much as I hated the car, it got worse through excessive exposure (and being forced to spend hot summer days in it). And, towards the end of its life, the starter began to die, and the electrics got a little squirrely (at the end, I’d pretty much hook it up to the booster pack as soon as I parked because it’d take a half hour before it could start again). I was all too happy to have that excuse to buy something that I didn’t absolutely despise. We legged it out of the dealer when my salesguy went to wheel the Hyundai around back and it wouldn’t start. I mean, I disclosed the issues, I got beater money for the thing, but I still wanted no more of it.

  16. never been so glad to see the arse end of a car as mrs spottys citroen C4 , a nasty little car to drive, hell on earth to change the regularly blowing headlight globes and a cute little transmission problem that caused it to pop itself into its own invisible neutral at the lights and would only re-engage drive by flooring the throttle, not fun on hills as it rolled backwards at an alarming rate for such a little car.
    we thought we were rid of it when one of Germanys finest (80s merc 4 door) cut across our path and we hit it hard enough to get the back wheels off the ground (airbags didn’t go off but apparently due the innate frenchieness of the thing they were on strike that day) but no….they fixed it, much to my disgust.
    ended up trading it in at a reasonable loss after a year or so on a 2015 jeep that brought a whole raft of its own idiosyncrasies to the table. after many breakdown trucks and extended stays in jeep hospital it is turning out to be a functional if none too exciting vehicle

    1. That reminds me of a colleague. He first had a Wrangler with lots of issues (super rare car in Norway), then a Smart that lost >80% of its value while the ink dried on the sales contract, and then he bought a Mini. I couldn’t hide my surprise when I asked him: “Didn’t you say you wanted something more reliable and practical?”. When the time came to dump the constantly itching Mini, he went for a Prius – and I figured I might have been a bit harsh on him. Funny thing is, we were only colleagues for about a year.

  17. I loved to drive my 88 Pulsar NX SE, but the thing was a lemon. I paid $5K and over 3 years it cost me another $5K in repairs. Spark control computer, crank position sensor, 2 exhaust systems, 2 sets of tires, alternator and a clutch, just going from memory. When I traded it in it needed another exhaust, another set of tires, a steering rack and the speedometer gear buried inside the transmission.

  18. Well, there was the Citroën that didn’t get up my very steep and long driveway when cold, but I sold it at a 25% profit after two weeks…so that was a happy separation. So it must be my ’96 Nissan Primera:
    https://images.finncdn.no/dynamic/960w/2013/10/vertical-3/27/7/448/450/57_1019909486.jpg
    Pretty practical car, nimble and quite fast with its 136hp engine. It also had the most regional-fantastic single feature I’ve had in a car, a freely adjustable intermittent wiper. For a control freak, that’s a perfect toy. Why was I happy to let go of it? Its sheet metal was paper thin. Put a thumb on it, and it would bend. So a wee tiny rust spot one winter, looked like this the next time I changed oil:
    https://images.finncdn.no/dynamic/960w/2013/10/vertical-3/27/7/448/450/57_49730469.jpg
    This is the fastest detoriation I have ever witnessed in one of my cars, so when some guy with a welding machine at home showed up and took it off my chest, I was very happy.

  19. 1988 Saab 900 automatic, worst car ever. Don’t even know why I bought it in the first place, slow, ugly, slow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here