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My First Car Should Have Been on List of Worst Cars of All Time

1977 Ford Mustang II
thehistorian via eBay

Time Magazine recently released it’s list of the worst cars of all time. The usual list of suspects were on there: the Chrysler Desoto, the Ford EdselĀ and Pinto, the AMC Gremlin (or Pacer – let’s face it, they were the same car), the De Lorean DMC-12, and the Yugo – if you could even call it a car.

You know what wasn’t on the list, but should have been? My first ever car. A 1977 Ford Mustang II. No, not the cool, classic Mustang. The crappy one. With the hatchback.

My father took me out to help me buy my first car. That was my first mistake. He was a company man. He had always had company cars, so he had never bought a used car in his life.

Still, out we trudged to hit all the local used car lots. The car I wanted was also a Mustang, but in my case it was a classic 1966 Ford Mustang. Dark blue with a light blue interior. Gorgeous.

Unfortunately my father focused on a the 1977 Ford POS – I mean, Mustang II. It was a whole $200 cheaper. So guess which one we bought? That’s right.

This piece of road kill already had some damage to the interior that could have only been caused by an accident (they fixed the exterior, but not the interior). At one point a mechanic friend of mine took a look at the engine and told me he wouldn’t give me $50 for the car because the engine well was rusted out and my engine could fall out at any minute.

But that wasn’t the worst of it. The car had a black vinyl interior, no air conditioning and the driver’s side window only came down about 2 inches (before it would fall off the track and drop inside the door).

Doesn’t sound awful if you live in South Dakota. But I didn’t at the time.

I lived in Virginia. Where the average Summer time temperature was in the mid-90’s and the humidity hovered in the 80-90% range.

Now imagine driving in an oven!

The final straw? I was driving to my after-school job at IBM one rainy afternoon when the floor board on the driver side exploded when I hit a pool of standing water, resulting in me being doused from head to foot with dirty water.

Never made it to work that day. And my nominee for the worst car of all time soon found itself headed for the junkyard.


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