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Thread: Your Fantasy Car

  1. #1
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Your Fantasy Car

    This can be either the car you currently have, cars that you had, cars that you want, or cars that you had and want to have again.

    My future/past/future again fantasy cars.

    1982 AMC Eagle 4WD
    151 cu in (2.5 L) GM 'Iron Duke' I4 engine

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMC_Eagle

    The last model year with the reverse eponymous 151 cu in (2.5 L) GM Iron Duke I4 engine. I used to own a 1986 Pontiac 6000 LE, and there's something about 80s GM cars and there's something about the Iron Duke engine, that I'm unable to move on from and fixated on.

    While I loved the GM 3800 I had in my 1996 Pontiac Bonneville, and how easy it was to repair it, the simplicity, reliability, and million-mile stamina of a properly maintained Iron Duke in the OG original crossover 4WD AMC Eagle is something I have to have some day.

    Some day, I'll have my 1982 AMC Eagle with the Iron Duke engine. Maybe two, with the second for spare parts.







    My second car, for putting miles on. Save the AMC Eagle for fun.

    1986 Pontiac 6000 LE FWD
    151 cu in (2.5 L) GM 'Iron Duke' I4 engine

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_6000



    This car survived an attempted theft in 2006, where someone broke my steering column hardware with a screwdriver trying to steal it. It also survived a Mickey's bottle through my back window (replaced with PlexiGlass), two tire blowouts, and several tickets, including a tow ticket+fine for expired license plate registration tabs. I hid my car in an underground parking garage while I paid the bill for the tabs downtown, then fought the ticket and won.

    It also survived an aborted police chase. I was going 95mph around a curve, and trooper turned on his lights and tried to pull off the shoulder to chase me. He got cut off by two semis pulling tractor trailers on the freeway, I went around the curve and took the next off-ramp, dipped into a residential neighborhood, and got away. The cop never had a chance to get on my tail. He tried. If he's not tailing me, I'm sure it's perfectly legal to get away. I have a couple of semi drivers to give my thanks to.

    Finally, the catalytic converter falling off was the last straw. The car sounded like a tank, and I didn't want to get a noise ticket. I sold it for $200 cash to a couple who got towed during a snow emergency. It was cheaper for them to buy my car, than get their even worse condition car from the city impound lot.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 15 May 18, at 12:18.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

  2. #2
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    While I am a certified car fanatic I am no fan of newer cars. I don't like entertainment systems in the center of my console. I don't like the heavy reliance on electronics which will have a shorter life span than the car body itself. Can the electronics last 27 years? I don't like the computer controls of today. If an older car had an issue with timing, for example, the car kept running. Today the car may go into limp mode leaving you stranded. Now cars are going to have GPS in them that can keep track of what. The what is what I don't like. I also prefer a stick in my car. These newer 6 and 8 speed automatics will last how long before there are issues since they are electronically controlled? I was in one that kept shifting back and forth trying to find where it should run. In a stick it would have been third gear. As you can tell I like to keep my cars for the long haul and don't like peripherals that would interfere with that. I also like to do all the mechanical work needed.


    My favorite car would be my first. Bought by my Dad on April 28, 1968 and then by me on Dec. 18, 1969. Then and today. Another favorite was my 1986 Mazda 626 which went 375,000 miles. I loved that car and if around today I would have been better equiped to rebuild it. Consequently a friend gave me his 1991 Mazda 626 Hatchback and in that car I redid everything except the engine which doesn't need it. Those two will be with me till the end of time. The car that replaced my 86 was a 2004 Ford Focus with the larger 2.3L engine and 5 speed. Super quick car with extremely nimble handling just like I like it. Now into the new century and it took me 5 hours to change the pcv hose Saturday after the car went into limp mode briefly. Hose cracked, big vacuum leak, and hidden below intake against engine side. Next time 2 hours and it too will be a car that stays with me.

    With my father having given up driving, at the age of 92, I bought his 2004 Buick Le Sabre off of him. It does have the 3800 engine and best of all 40,000 miles even if an automatic. That means I will not likely buy another newer car for me for the rest of my life. My other cars are a truck because I always wanted a 60's truck and found the first year F-100 twin I beam. There is a Mustang as that was what I wanted at 16 before my father gave me a good deal on his 68 Cougar. The big Mercury because I liked how that floated down the road and that one was an orphan with no buyers in sight after 6 months. The big Dodge because I saw a friends big 1973 Air Resource Board Polara and said I had to have one. Took me three months in 2009 and since then have never seen another for sale out here. This does not count my wife's two cars a 98 Sable wagon and 90 Mazda 626 sedan.
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  3. #3
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    The big 1967 Mercury was posted in the thread about Rusty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    While I am a certified car fanatic I am no fan of newer cars. I don't like entertainment systems in the center of my console. I don't like the heavy reliance on electronics which will have a shorter life span than the car body itself.
    I once drove a Fiat Panda 500 - the original 80s version. It had exactly three relais in its entire makeup for electronics: one for turning signals, one for turning all signals on at once and one for the windshield wiper. All easily accessible too as they were right next to the fuse box, above the pedals.

    It also had about the best utilitarian dashboard design i've ever seen:



    Speedo on the left, tank in the middle with simple warning indicator for overheating below. Right side indicators placed on car "map" based on "where the problem is".

    Engines were crap though - regularly gave up permanently after 150,000 km at the latest. Then again, the entire car cost less than an engine for any other car...

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    I recently finished a 2 year project and I'm pretty happy with the results.

    It's a 1983 WB Holden utility. From the factory it was a 253cuin v8 auto, power steering, aircon and a live axle rear end. I'm one those people that likes the look of old cars but appreciate modern engineering. I took a 2008 commodore (Ponitac GTO in the US) independent rear suspension sub frame and replaced the diff life axle. From a 1998 commodore I got an EFI 304cu in V8 and 4l60e auto which replaced the the 253. The engine was rebuilt, stroked to 355cu in, roller cam installed, upgraded rods and pistons for a 10:1 comp and bigger injectors. I also did a Rack and pinion conversion on the steering and exchanged the engine power steer pump with an electric unit. Rewired the whole thing, upgraded the instruments, sound deadened the interior, built a twin 2.5" exhaust, upgraded brakes, rebuilt suspension etc etc.

    As a result the ute handles infinitely better than it use which was terrible. On the dyno it puts down 210kw to the treads which is more than twice what it use to. It's now my daily driver and doesn't beat.Name:  utewb.jpg
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  6. #6
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    While I am a certified car fanatic I am no fan of newer cars. I don't like entertainment systems in the center of my console. I don't like the heavy reliance on electronics which will have a shorter life span than the car body itself. Can the electronics last 27 years? I don't like the computer controls of today. If an older car had an issue with timing, for example, the car kept running. Today the car may go into limp mode leaving you stranded. Now cars are going to have GPS in them that can keep track of what. The what is what I don't like. I also prefer a stick in my car. These newer 6 and 8 speed automatics will last how long before there are issues since they are electronically controlled? I was in one that kept shifting back and forth trying to find where it should run. In a stick it would have been third gear. As you can tell I like to keep my cars for the long haul and don't like peripherals that would interfere with that. I also like to do all the mechanical work needed.
    I'm much the same. I could do most of my own work on my cars that had the GM 3800 and GM Iron Duke engines. I've noticed that the more options a car has, the more doo-dads and whatnot, the more things there are that could go wrong. Also, the more complex a vehicle, its engine, and its options are, failures, when they happen, have a higher tendency to be catastrophic.

    When I had a Pontiac 6000 (GM Iron Duke) and a Pontiac Bonneville (GM 3800), I used to keep a toolbox, enough of all fluids, spare belts, filters, some spare parts, spare cables, a full spare tire, a tire iron, a 2.5 ton jack, two jackstands, etc. in the trunk.

    If I ever had any sort of issue, I'd simply pull off somewhere safe, fix the problem, and be on my way. Modern engines are so overly complex, if there's a problem with something as simple as an alternator, the entire engine on many cars has to be hoisted out with a cherry picker.

    If I can't fix it, I don't want it, and I like the ability to do repairs on the fly. For example, when I drove from Minneapolis to DC in 2009 in my Bonneville, I twice recovered in good form from problems that most people would have had to gotten a tow for, and spent several hundred dollars for the tow/repair.

    First problem was the engine would keep dying shortly after starting it when I had made a stop in Ohio. It took a few hours of investigation, but it turned out to simply be a dirty EGR valve. Took a flathead screwdriver, an old white T-shirt, tore off a piece of the shirt, and with some cleaning fluid, got all the carbon out of the valve. The engine ran perfectly fine after that.

    When I had just arrived, there was a second problem. I pulled in to a store parking lot, and when I got back to my car, it wouldn't start. Ran 100 ft. of extension cord and hooked my charger to the battery, it still wouldn't start. Got under the car, looked at the starter cable, peeled back the sheathing, and found the copper cable was almost completely oxidized, probably from too many MN winters. Crossed the street, spent $15 on a starter cable, installed it in a few minutes, and I was on my way.

    I could give other examples, but it would probably be as voluminous as War and Peace. I like to be my own personal mechanic, and a mobile mechanic that can fix problems immediately as they arise. Can't do that with modern cars, unfortunately.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 05 Jun 18, at 17:12.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

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