Hooniverse Asks: What's the Worst Thing Some Random Stranger has Done to Your Car?

Look, it’s a given that we all aren’t going to get along all the time. There have been lots of instances where somebody has rubbed me the wrong way, and I’m sure I’ve pissed off more than my share of people too. Still, when faced with an affront, retaliation should never involve a defenseless inanimate object, especially one as valuable as a car.
Of course, not everybody plays by the same rules and we’ve seen plenty of instances where someone has found their car vandalized in some fashion, and seemingly without any rhyme nor reason. Our question for today is; has that ever happened to you? What is the worst thing a stranger has ever done to your ride? And, did you ever catch them?
Image: carinsurance.org

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  1. Tiberiuswise Avatar

    I got three X’s scratched into my driver’s side door once. I’m not sure I was the one they were after as Taurus SHO’s were not exactly known for being driven responsibly.
    Never did quite buff out.

    1. Kiefmo Avatar

      Did you drive it like you stole it?
      My HS girlfriend’s father had a ’95 SHO that he drove the everloving hell out of, regardless of who was in the car with him. Looking back, he was kind of insanely irresponsible, but when I was teenager, I thought it was so cool. For example, on the way back from Six Flags with a car full of teenagers, he once helped a yellow Mustang GT driver discover his car’s speed limiter by continuing to accelerate past it onto the SHO’s much higher drag limit. It was something in the high 140s, IIRC, if the accuracy of the speedometer could be trusted. Such a great-sounding V6, too.

      1. Tiberiuswise Avatar

        Not really. I put it through it’s paces every now and then but after 9 years in a Mustang GT, I had gotten a lot of that out of my system.
        I think the fastest I ever got the Mustang up to was somewhere past Trip Reset.

        1. Kiefmo Avatar

          Joel had a Camaro SS before it, and a manual Maxima after it (which he said felt down on power compared to the SHO).
          He is, to this day, the only man I’ve seen use the “autostick” switch on the column shift of a Grand Caravan. I don’t think it will ever leave his system.

        2. The Real Number_Six Avatar
          The Real Number_Six

          My ’89 5.0 with some light mods could crawl past a Ferrari 348 on a long straightaway, with the speedo well into the Trip Reset Zone. Redline in 4th gear was just over 150mph, IIRC. (It wouldn’t pull top speed in 5th).

          1. Tiberiuswise Avatar

            My bone stock ’85 would do about 130. It wouldn’t accelerate past 110 in 5th but would pretty much hold whatever speed you got in 4th. Since this was the 80s we were verifying our speed by timing mile markers.

        3. Cool_Cadillac_Cat Avatar

          “Trip reset” is a valid speed on these odos. Have a good friend who had an ’86, and that area was the ultimate goal on road trips.
          “Dude, I’m into trip reset…keep watch, man!”

          1. Tiberiuswise Avatar

            We always wondered if a cop would use the classic line, “Do you know how fast you were going son?”

          2. roguetoaster Avatar

            “Officer, I couldn’t have been going more than 85, honest.”

          3. dead_elvis Avatar

            “Coming up on 0 mph, sir.”

  2. GTXcellent Avatar

    Back in college days, I had an ’83 W-150 Ram. Not a real great truck, but it still had that beautiful ram hood ornament. I loved that little ram (again, the hood ornament, not the truck). I’d rub it for good luck. I’d actually rub it with some Mother’s and buff it up.
    One day needed to run over to a buddy’s place, ran inside his apartment building and get him, back out again in less than a minute – and it was gone. Some jack-assed jamoke who thought it’d be cool to have (for probably 10 minutes) ripped my poor ram right off the front of my truck. Never a clue who did it. Still bothers me today, 20 years later. Miss you little buddy.

    1. 0A5599 Avatar

      Somebody went through our neighborhood once and took the ram hood ornaments from at least four trucks in one night. The rival high school’s team mascot was a ram…
      I didn’t have the 50 bucks for a new one, and it wasn’t enough to make an insurance claim, so when a neighbor was recycling a dented hood off a wrecked Lincoln, I used that hood ornament instead.

    2. Tiberiuswise Avatar

      My college roomate had to take the VW emblem from the front of his T2 every night. This was in the height of Beastie Boys popularity. One night he forgot. On the bright side, he never had to worry about it again.

      1. roguetoaster Avatar

        I remember this trend, happened to Mom’s little ’86 Golf diesel no less than 4 times. At that point I recall that she just wired it in place with colorful light duty wire to make it much harder to steal.

        1. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

          This reminds me of visiting London in the late 80s and all the VWs were missing the grille emblem, for just that reason.

  3. 0A5599 Avatar

    Having owned convertibles and subscribing to the theory that it’s better to leave the door unlocked than to come back to a sliced top because somebody wanted the loose change in the ash tray, I tend to park with the top down. On three occasions I have returned to my car to find people sitting in it, and on another, the person was gone, but they left behind an empty beer bottle.

    1. Tiberiuswise Avatar

      One time in the 80’s my father came back to his Model-A to find an elderly couple sitting in the rumble seat. They were very apologetic and explained that they couldn’t resist. They needed a little help getting out….

    2. Kiefmo Avatar

      It really is annoying when people take liberties with your stuff just because you can’t secure it any better.
      When I bought my CBR250R, they weren’t yet common, despite having been sold for a couple of years. I mean, they do look the business to an untrained eye, I guess, despite being a thumper without a lot of power.
      I parked it near the exit to my company’s parking garage in the designated motorcycle area, and more than once, I came out to leave in the afternoon to find someone astride the bike, fingering the controls and clicking the shift lever up and down. One guy didn’t even get off the bike when I stood in front of it and said “excuse me?” He just looked up and smiled and said “Is this yours? Badass.”

      1. Wind Advisory Avatar
        Wind Advisory

        “One guy didn’t even get off the bike when I stood in front of it and said “excuse me?” He just looked up and smiled and said “Is this yours? Badass.”
        If I retuned to someone on top of my motorcycle I would have to dig deep to find the humor in it but…..
        The image of this guy sitting on your parked bike as he shifted through the gears made me laugh out loud.

    3. HuntRhymesWith Avatar

      I found a pair of ROTC guy style Oakleys (you know the ones) and an iPhone charger in the gap between the driver’s seat and the center console of my Miata. Must have fallen out of his pocket. He even had the courtesy to leave his beer bottle on the ground beside the car.
      And they say you’ll LOSE valuables if you leave your top down…

    4. tea party jesus Avatar
      tea party jesus

      That’s the whole reason why I no longer own a Jeep Wrangler.

  4. P161911 Avatar

    With my 1977 Corvette, when I was in college in the 1990s, had the emblem swiped off the front and had my windshield soaped up. Both times were at a co-op apartment in Michigan. I still have no idea who I pissed off. Recently got my truck tailgate keyed in the hotel parking lot in Florida.

    1. BigRedCaveTroll Avatar

      Maybe they thought you were someone else?

    2. Widirstky Matt Avatar
      Widirstky Matt

      I haven’t got a single body panel that wasn’t dented from my year in Florida:( not a single one. I usually just drove to work, to the store and to the dog park all about a mile from each other, no point in speeding or being an ass… the first dent was within 36 hours of my moving in to my apartment. someone had hit the door with what appears to have been a ball peen hammer. I am so glad I moved out of that hateful state.

      1. dead_elvis Avatar

        Florida really, really is the worst.

  5. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    I used to live in a bad part of the city. Passenger rear window broken – radio stolen. Driver front window broken – perp chased off by neighbor with a butcher knife. Different car, brick through rear window – apparently just vandalism. Vent window on F150 broken – Radiator and steering column stolen. Light bar and wheels stolen from S10.

    1. calzonegolem Avatar

      Wow, that’s thorough!

    2. dead_elvis Avatar

      Steering column stolen?! Steering wheel too?

      1. smalleyxb122 Avatar

        I figure the thief had a purpose for the steering column. The radiators, wheels, and light bar were most likely sold for scrap. There is just not enough scrap in a steering column to justify the effort of removal.
        That I lived within walking distance of the metal recycler surely didn’t help. The aluminum siding and the condenser for the central air were also stolen off of my house, but those aren’t car related.
        I’m glad I no longer live there.

        1. dead_elvis Avatar

          That ‘hood was all about recycling.
          Stealing the siding from a house seems like it should be in the running for ballsiest theft.

          1. for_SCIENCE Avatar

            When I was growing up we lived in a house four blocks from a recycler. Aside from the usual people rummaging through our garbage for metal, two incidents come to mind.
            The first, around 2003 happened when my parents were having new windows and siding installed. When they bought the house, it had an aluminum awning over the porch, which was removed and stored next to the detached garage in the fully-fenced in backyard. Some idiot opened the driveway gate, pulled his truck in and took the awning in broad daylight. Our neighbor saw this and called it in, although the guy wasn’t arrested until after he had already scrapped the awning.
            The second and ballsiest was in 2009. A very-homeless looking woman pulled a chain-link driveway gate off and tried to carry it down the street and to the scrapyard on a shopping cart (again, in broad daylight). My mom saw the missing gate and this woman just as she rounded the first corner and called the police. Before too long here comes this woman back pushing a cart with the 12′ long gate teetering on top, and an unmarked patrol car following her.

  6. Citric Avatar

    An older woman once drove into it. Not on purpose and she immediately came clean and gave insurance information, but it was a fair bit of damage she caused.

    1. Kiefmo Avatar

      This happened to my Protege at a church I was gigging at. I wasn’t even a member, I was just there to fill in on bass for the week.
      The lady came clean and begged me not to call the cops, swearing that she’d pay for it out of pocket. She got the pastor involved, and between them I folded. Stupid mistake. I got a quote for the repair and it was more than twice what she thought it would be, and she refused to pay, asking me to go to another shop for another quote. I was a kid and didn’t know what to do, and I felt stupid for not calling the cops initially, so I just wrote it off and drove the Protege with a kinked driver’s front fender until I sold it. The kid who bought it from me didn’t seem to care about the fender, luckily, since the car was in great shape otherwise.

  7. dukeisduke Avatar

    Hmmmm… Somehow I don’t think that one was from a random stranger. It reminded me of this, from years ago:

  8. JayP Avatar

    Mid 80’s – emblem pulled off my parent’s 280S. Prolly ended up around the neck of a highschooler.
    The vac actuated trunk lock on my 5000 was hit or miss. Someone knew that and stole the taillight when parked at the dorm lot. They had to used tools and a fair amount of time to do it too.
    Coworker wrote WASH ME in the dirt on the side of my black Bullitt.
    He’s no longer “with us”.

    1. Frank T. Cat Avatar
      Frank T. Cat

      My mom worked as a teacher in the Miami school district in the 80’s. She has stories about how all the other teachers in their fancy cars would have their hood emblems stolen from the parking lot, only to see them later around some kid’s neck. None of them ever touched my mom’s rusty 1967 Galaxie 500.

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        After having a BMW badge stolen a couple of times my uncle asked if they could glue it onto the hood instead of using the mounting pins, only to have it pointed out that the next time instead of a $40 badge it would be $400 bodywork

        1. JayP Avatar

          The local MB dealer had the emblems for sale and advertised on the local radio.

    2. Vairship Avatar

      You killed your coworker? 😉

  9. Tanshanomi Avatar

    Somebody stole my car’s hub caps deluxe wheel covers from the parking lot at work while I was working late one evening.

  10. Papa Van Twee Avatar
    Papa Van Twee

    One morning I awoke to see my Olds 88’s rear end being shoved about 2 feet to the left, because the truck to the left had been pushed into it. It wound up being a garbage truck. We lived in an apartment at the time, and the dumpster for out section was at the end of the parking lot. The truck had to go in forward, then back out after. He didn’t even realize he’d done it (his story). With a basketball sized dent in the rear fender, a fender that is also a part of the roof? This 15 year old car was totaled.

  11. Alff Avatar

    Hotwired it at a trailhead while I was backpacking, beat the living tar out of it, took all of my AC/DC cassettes and left it where I’d parked it.

    1. GTXcellent Avatar

      What a “Problem Child,” “Breaking the Rules” like that.
      That’s definitely some “Dirty Deeds”
      I hope they “Stand Up” otherwise they’re on a “Highway to Hell”

      1. smalleyxb122 Avatar


        1. Tiberiuswise Avatar

          More likely a Night Prowler (Shazbot, na noo na noo). Oh well, only thing to do is Ride On.

          1. Alff Avatar

            Laugh if you will but it was the entire Bon Scott catalogue, including imports.

          2. Tiberiuswise Avatar

            Not laughing. Im a huge fan. Seen them live twice. Saw the Let There be Rock film in the theater in 1982. Still have the stub.

  12. Cool_Cadillac_Cat Avatar

    It wasn’t mine, yet, but someone broke into our house (we were asleep, in the middle of a re-roofing job, so there were 3′ of wood shingles surrounding the place on the ground), wrapped up a 12″ B&W TV, didn’t take, it, got my male parental unit’s keys, and stole the then still pretty new ’80 F-100.
    They drove it one block north, to the end of the street, turned right, went a block and a half, parked it, locked it, no keys.
    The theory was they discovered what POS it was in that time and nope’d out.
    I positively hated that truck. To the point that, when backing out of a space in a parking garage 4 years later, right arm in a sling (three-on-the-tree, no power steering/I-6/rubber floor/no radio/no A/C/etc.) I was backing out of a space and found it was going to be damned difficult to get out without turning the steering wheel while at a stop.
    I back-and-forthed it a couple of times, and eventually though, “why…why do you care?”
    Backed out of the space with decent speed, cut the wheel when I needed to, hit a large parking garage support column, continued on my way. Did not inspect the damage until I approached it from the RF, and even then, only in passing.
    There’s something to be said for cars which you truly do not care about.
    That same truck was left, running, key in it, windows down, in an impromptu college parking lot (abandoned pizza joint) for 90 minutes while I took an English exam. Damned thing was still there when I got back. Could not find a space I could roll-start it, and I absolutely had to take that exam.
    :very angry face:
    IIRC, it didn’t have a driver’s door window for about 4 or 5 months that summer. Ain’t care.

  13. Cool_Cadillac_Cat Avatar

    While it sounds petty and harmless, I’m still pissed to this day, 20 years later, some bastard came into my now wife’s, then GF’s, driveway and relieved both my ’73 Coupe DeVille and her ’81 Mercedes 240D of their hood ornaments.
    That ’73 is larger than the later ones, so harder to find. Plus, it was my pedestrian sight, yo!
    We were slowly beating my GF’s 240D into submission, or so we thought, so she was less annoyed.

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      I’ve had two of my W124’s stars stolen. I carry a spare star now.

  14. Bradley Brownell Avatar
    Bradley Brownell

    I’ve had three separate incidents in three separate cars in three separate states where someone has hit my car in a parking lot and driven away without noticing.

    1. roguetoaster Avatar

      I once witnessed such an affair, was sure to take some pictures as the lady was starting to drive away and waited for the owner to return. Fortunately, it only took about 5 minutes and the guy was super happy!
      Hope lady in the SUV got her just desserts for the hit and run on that Passat.

  15. irishzombieman Avatar

    Well, he didn’t *quite* get to mess up my car but it’s a good story. . .
    I went to Home Depot years ago because I needed a short heavy hammer, something that’d fit in a small space but still had a good whack and in my collection of over hundred (that’s another story), I didn’t have anything that did both.
    Got to HD and the parking lot was crowded close to the building. I headed close to the only opening I saw. Got there and there was a C5 Vette that was parked just over the line, taking two spaces. I’m in a Metro. Ha ha, jackass. I parked, completely in the space, my passenger door an inch or two from his driver’s.
    I walked out five minutes later with a 4-lb drilling hammer, waded through pickups and vans with tool beds and ladder racks and noticed a guy standing by the front of my Metro, looking around.
    With keys held oddly in his hand.
    I walked faster, came around the pickup parked on the other side of the Vette just as he leaned forward over my hood.
    I said, “Hey”.
    He looked up. I raised my brand new hammer over his trunk lid.
    I’d like to say he started gibbering like a baby, or maybe rushed at me and I whacked him like Thor would’ve, or that I said something really witty like “Go ahead–make my day,” but he just stood up straight with a face red as a beet and I got in my car and pulled out, heard him yell insulting things about me and my mother as I left the parking lot.
    I catch myself wishing sometimes that I’d gotten there five seconds later. It’d be worth a scratch in the hood to say I whacked a Corvette with a hammer.

    1. dead_elvis Avatar

      You have more restraint than some.

  16. outback_ute Avatar

    Had mirrors smashed off two cars, the first was a vandal who did every car in the street, the second one I think someone hit it driving past so I was happy there wasn’t any body damage

    1. dead_elvis Avatar

      Someone broke off my driver’s side mirror last summer, the very night that I bought my (used) Outback. Most likely a drunken football fan, given my proximity to the University of Washington football stadium & the footprint on the back of the mirror housing – obviously not a drive-by hit. Fortunately, I was able to jam the thing back into place & the power cable wasn’t damaged.

  17. AlexG55 Avatar

    Flipped the FIAT 500 onto its side. Twice.
    Probably the same vandals have repeatedly smashed the windows and slashed the roof, and pushed it between bollards that are slightly too close together which scraped all the paint off one fender.

  18. roguetoaster Avatar

    Not long after I tucked the bumpers on the 2002 someone did me the kind favor of presumably backing in to it, basically bending the entire front end and just driving off.
    Thanks jerks that do that sort of thing.
    Went from this to this:
    And then this:
    What you can’t really see is how pooched the radiator support was, that the radiator hit the fan, and how that totally ruined a great day coming home from my new job.
    All this because I was trying to be a nice guy and not eat up visitor parking spaces in our little townhouse cul-de-sac, so I parked on the street, which has super generous shoulders. Of course, no one claimed to have seen a thing,but I imagine from the height it was the landscaping truck that did the deed.

    1. dead_elvis Avatar

      That sucks.
      Do you still have the 2002?

      1. roguetoaster Avatar

        Yep, and if all goes well it will be sort of lightly restomodded or perhaps reduced in trim level to match all of the go fast goodies it had when I got it. Plans are to remove the trim below the windows, fill the holes, fix the rust in the rockers & floor pans then paint it in original veronarot.
        If time/budget permits I’ll rebuild the engine as well using 2/3 of an M30B30 rebuild kit, which shares many of the bottom end components with the M10.

  19. Hatchtopia Avatar

    Someone hit my Focus driver’s door with an egg once. Didn’t think much of it until I walked up to it one day with the sun shining on it just right. There was a concentric ring of tiny scratches from the shell breaking as it struck the metal.

  20. Nizlehop Avatar

    Someone stole the stereo out of my 2001 Civic EX coupe in the dead of winter. They broke the drivers side window to get in, then pulled the center portion of the dashboard which contains the stereo, along with the HVAC controls. I had left the screws out of the housing, but the stereo was held into the housing with torx screws so they took the whole damn thing. Thankfully it wasn’t snowing, but I had to drive an hour to work with no drivers side window and no way to turn the heat on with it 7 degrees outside.
    About a month later I came outside to find that someone had relieved me of my wheels and tires and left the car sitting on the crates that they ship Pepsi 2 liter bottles in.
    I ordered a new set, but shipping was delayed and before I could get them installed, the city of Chicago towed the car, sans wheels to an impound lot in the hood where I had to pay to get it towed back out to install the new wheels. What a scam.

    1. smalleyxb122 Avatar

      I can empathize. (Refer to my above post about parts stolen off of my S10 and F150) In and effort to “clean up” the city, I was mailed a notice that a warrant had been issued for my arrest for failure to maintain my premises.
      A warrant. They were threatening to arrest me because the trucks in my driveway had been vandalized. I had the trucks towed away, and the scrapyard gave me $120 for the pair. Coincidentally, the fine I had to pay the city was also $120, so all I was out was my trucks, and a day of work that I had to take off to go to court to sort it out.

  21. tea party jesus Avatar
    tea party jesus

    Used to live in a REALLY dodgy neighborhood in Albuquerque. My old pickup was stolen and recovered – twice, bad enough, but the local goons used to love messing with my roommate’s old Dodge Colt, would steal the battery out of it every couple weeks, and once threw a cinder block through the hatchback window just for kicks. He never replaced it, and in the winter months would burst into the apartment after a long drive home, shivering and whispering the words “so cold” over and over again.

  22. marmer Avatar

    A little off-topic but I got to do the most dickish parking job of my life in a Suburban when I was in college. I got back to my assigned parking lot late one night after a music gig and there was a party going on and the lot was full of unauthorized visitors. There was one space which had cars on either side of it over the line. But, hey, I could thread a needle in the Burb, especially in reverse, so I did. Got it within a couple inches of each car, put the power rear window down, and climbed out the back.

  23. mdharrell Avatar

    The worst thing? Sold it to me.

    1. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      I’ve seen your cars.
      This has happened more than once?

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Every. Single. Time.

        1. Rover 1 Avatar
          Rover 1

          Something similar happened to me when I was GIVEN two Renault Fuegos.
          The vendor/donor became quite chipper.

  24. sunbeammadd Avatar

    My most bizarre one was many years ago when I walked to my Peugeot 206 to go home from work. Somebody had taken a large serving of chips (for US people read fries), broken them up, and placed the pieces on their ends all over my car. I’m still mystified as to why anyone would waste their snack to do this. If I had upset somebody I was not aware of it.

    1. sunbeammadd Avatar

      The worst though was as a student when I drove an Australian-built Hillman Hunter. The more upmarket models came with a bonnet mascot. I returned from a lecture to find that some #$%^$# had snapped the emblem off of its base.

    2. Sean McMillan Avatar
      Sean McMillan

      I think that might have been a random attack of avant garde street art. It was clearly a statement on our drive-thru society and it’s impact on potato farmers.

      1. Sean McMillan Avatar
        Sean McMillan

        French car, french fries, it all makes sense now.

    3. Rover 1 Avatar
      Rover 1

      Maybe they’d started with a chip on their shoulder?

    4. dead_elvis Avatar

      Back when I was in my air-cooled VW phase, one morning when I was headed out to work I discovered someone had smeared a couple fast-food burgers down each side of my Bus. Hey man, I know McDonalds & BK both suck, but that’s no reason to take it out on an innocent T2.

  25. jeepjeff Avatar

    I had someone knife my driver side upper door once. There was nothing in the Jeep, but they went digging through my center console (which I use for garbage), threw some food wrappers on the passenger seat. They didn’t just leave empty handed, they forgot their hello-kitty neck-lanyard key chain thing on my seat. So, I guess I got my truck broken into and anti-stolen from?

    1. dead_elvis Avatar

      Broken into & littered in.
      Finding random empty bottles/cans/trash in the bed of my dearly departed Tacoma is the only thing I don’t miss about about having a pickup.

  26. Sean McMillan Avatar
    Sean McMillan

    Didn;t happen to me, but a car came into my friend’s body shop with the words “bitck hoe” (spelled like that) scratched into both sides and the decklid.

  27. Preludacris Avatar

    Here’s a strange / funny one. My parents had an ’80s Tercel in the early 2000s. One morning my young self came out to find it had a flat tire and the wheel was missing a hubcap.
    When my dad came out to look at it, he realized it was a different style of wheel than the other three on the car. Someone had swapped their flat tire for one of his.
    It’s not like 13″ tires are expensive. I almost admire the resourcefulness of the desperate person who would think of doing that.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      Didn’t you walk around the neighborhood for an other car with mismatched 13″ wheels, one of which looked like a Tercel one?

      1. Preludacris Avatar

        No, it probably never occurred to my dad. But here’s a funny thought – what would you do then? Confront the thief, or just steal it back?

        1. Vairship Avatar

          “Steal” back your own wheel and tire, and take the other three off and hide them nearby. Make it an Easter egg hunt!

  28. Fuhrman16 Avatar

    My first car once got “stolen”. One morning I woke up to the sound of my car firing up (it was a Maverick with a straight six with a glasspack so it had a pretty distinctive sound) and driving away. It’s a weird feeling when you look out the window and see an empty spot were your car usually parked. By the time I got down stairs and was about to call the police, my car pulled back into the driveway
    As it turned out, my sister (who didn’t have a license at the time) was too lazy to walk the ten or so blocks to the grocery store and decided to take my car instead. Boy did that royally piss me off!

    1. Frank T. Cat Avatar
      Frank T. Cat

      My sister did that with my van once, so she could go buy cigarettes. I was passed out at the time, because I had night classes and slept most of the day as a result, but I woke right up when I heard the van clatter by my bedroom window.
      When she got back 20 minutes later, smoking in my van, I was standing in the driveway. I think she got the idea about how livid I was because she quietly put the cigarette out on the driveway, handed me my keys which she had stolen from my desk while I was sleeping, and went inside without saying a word to me.

  29. karonetwentyc Avatar

    Years ago, after I had lifted one of my XJ Cherokees, I installed some fairly beefy rocker guards on it (the exact ones pictured below). What’s not totally clear from the picture is that the top tube sticks out almost an inch from the bodywork, a fact that became relevant before they even saw any trail use.
    It’s a couple of days after the New Year, and I’m going shopping. The parking lot is absolutely jammed, but the last remaining space happens to be right in front of the entrance to the supermarket. There’s also a brand-spanking-new, still-on-paper-plates, obvious Christmas present of a yellow Mustang parked about a foot-and-a-half into that space.
    No big deal, I figure – my aversion to causing trail damage to a daily-driven but wheeled Jeep had made me pretty good at positioning it, and the only thing on the other side of the open space was a shopping cart corral. I slotted into the spot leaving the Mustang with enough room to open its driver’s side door about six inches, clibmed out over the rail on the cart corral, and went in to pick up some food.
    Coming out of the store, I witnessed the owner of the Mustang having what can only be described as a complete and utter shitfit at having to enter her car from the passenger side, climb over the transmission tunnel, and wrangle herself into the driver’s seat. She’s punching the steering wheel, and I can hear her swearing at the top of her lungs from twenty feet away.
    After a few seconds of indulging herself in the conniption, she decided to have her revenge by slamming the Mustang’s door into the Jeep. Unfortunately, the dull clang of her door frame going straight into the rocker guard wasn’t exactly what she had expected – so she did it a second time.
    Realising what had happened, I did the only thing I could think of that was appropriate for the situation: I dropped my grocery bags on the ground, pointed directly at her, and broke out into hysterical laughter.
    She saw this and decided that the smartest thing to do would be to leave the parking lot with as much haste as she could muster before I confronted her. As she drove past, I noticed a perfectly semicircular dent midway up and completely across the rear of her driver’s side door frame (good luck closing that window again, madam). Taking note of her licence plate, I went over and checked out the damage to the Jeep: her door had left a slight yellow paint mark on the upper tube.
    At this point I decided not to bother with calling the cops; I figured that she could explain it to whomever had furnished her with the car. And the rocker guards performed admirably for several years after that on actual rocks.

  30. karonetwentyc Avatar

    Jeep story above aside, the actual worst thing that ever happened to one of my cars courtesy of a stranger involved a break-in that wasn’t totally successful.
    The car in question had a fairly nice (for the time) tape deck that had a loop on the rear of the housing that allowed you to run a sheathed cable-style bicycle lock through it and around any convenient piece of difficult-to-cut metal – in my case, the steering column. Even if the radio was popped out of the dash, you’d still have to cut through the bike lock to get it.
    The thief (or thieves; I suppose there could have been more than one) got the tape deck out of the dash, found the cable lock, decided to give up, and slashed open all of the seats and headliner as revenge.
    It took many, many trips to the scrapyard to find replacements in decent condition and I decided that in the future they could just have the damn thing and removed the bike lock. The car was never broken into again.

  31. Krautwursten Avatar

    Nothing, and I’ve never heard of vehicular vandalism from my social circle. This sounds like the kind of stuff that only happens outside of the developed world to be quite honest, or maybe it’s a general problem of vigilantilism and wild west mentality in the United States.

    1. Cool_Cadillac_Cat Avatar

      There is a population of low-intelligence in the US, like everywhere else, but here, they tend to get violent, easily.
      I guess because they’re not millionaires, like everyone else…

  32. spotarama Avatar

    a guy i was working with had his minivan stolen from outside his house, the cops said not to hold out too much hope as he lived over the road from the Housing Commission flats (the projects, public housing, junkie scumbag accomodation etc etc) and had probably been taken by some junkies that couldn’t be bothered walking home after they’d scored and got wasted.
    big surprise though, the next week his van turned up in the next street with more petrol in the tank and a street direstory on the passenger seat
    another friend had her corolla wagon taken from outside her apartment and , again, was told not to hold out for its return. a week later she gets a call from the cops saying it had been found a few miles away and did she own the butchers knife and syringes found down beside the drivers seat……..
    when the insurance company turned up to assess the damage, they couldn’t believe the general (totally rusted) condition of the thing and said that she was lucky it had been stolen and damaged because there was no way they would contemplate fixing it and they’d have to write it off on the spot. if they’d known its condition beforehand they’d have refused to insure it

  33. Craig Dotson Avatar
    Craig Dotson

    In high school, my 88 Ramcharger fell victim to a group of punks that rode through my neighborhood at a high rate of speed throwing large rocks at mailboxes. They missed my parents mailbox but hit my truck. It put a dent in the rear quarter panel easily 1/4″ deep. Luckily a neighbor was awake and gave chase to the car to get the license plate and the driver rolled on his companions. I think I eventually got $300 for that.
    One other time in high school and again in college the rams head hood ornament was stolen.

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