Parting with my high school car

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Back in 2005, I put the car I'd driven from 1979 to 1998, and then again from 2003 to 2005 in storage. It was my high-school/college/grad school/early married years car: a generic 1973 Plymouth Satellite 4-door with a 318/904/8.25 drivetrain. Over the years I'd put in an Edelbrock 4-bbl intake, mild upgraded cam, Thermoquad carb, and every police-spec factory-issue Chrysler B-body part I found in all my years of junkyard hunting (rear sway bar, front sway bar and beefed up front subframe, bigger brakes, bigger tires, shocks, hard front subframe isolators in place of the rubber donuts, 100A alternator, etc.) I had a lot of fun with that car over the years. At its best it was still a tick underpowered (really undergeared- if it had had 3.55s it would have screamed). But all the police parts made it corner well enough to surprise the snot out of a lot of sporty compact drivers back in the 90s! It was hilarious to sneak up behind a Supra, early Miata, or Z and actually hang with him (and sometimes even pass him) on the inside of a curve with a big-honkin' piece of American pig-iron. I got more than a few shocked looks. wink But by 05, it was really just worn out. 437,000 miles on the chassis, over 260k on the engine, over 200k on the last transmission build, and all 430+k on the rear springs and axle. Selling it wouldn't have netted as much as parts would have (4-doors never command any value, mid-70s ones even less). I had a storage space at my folks' farm, so I put it on jackstands, ran 2-stroke lube down the carb until it stalled in a fog of blue smoke, and then drained the fuel and pulled the battery out. Tossed mothballs inside, and closed it up, and walked away. And it sat for >8 years During that time, my daughter graduated HS and went to college, I got into Jeeps for a while, and then went middle-age crazy and bought the SRT. And then my parents both passed away, Dad in 2011, mom in January of this year. My wife and I have been gradually cleaning things out and preparing the farm for an estate sale and then leasing out the land and houses, hopefully to break even on taxes so we don't have to sell it. So I really needed that storage space, and I decided to part with the car frown But I wanted it to leave under its own power if it could, if nothing else to make it a little more likely to go in the estate sale rather than as junk afterward. I allocated 2 Saturdays to get it running. This past saturday was to be day 1: Gas in the tank, cheap battery bolted in. Cranked for 30 seconds to make sure there was no hydro-lock or mouse living in a cylinder. Then 20 squirts of gasoline into the carb bowl vent and 3 squirts down the carb. Turned the key... and after about 5 seconds cranking it lit off almost like it had never been stored (except for the rat nest that blew out of one exhaust pipe and the FOG of blue as the old 2-stroke oil burned out. I was amazed- she's a faithful old girl. Not even a lifter tick after all that. I washed it up and felt like I was grooming a faithful old dog for the last trip to the vet. frown I drove it around the back roads a bit, transmission worked through all gears without slipping or flaring, brakes worked, lights worked. After getting it fully warmed up I even tossed it into a couple of light drifts around some county road hairpin turns I used to play on for old times' sake. Parked it and figured it would go for parts in the estate sale... at least I'd beaten my 2 saturdays guess on getting it running by a day and a half! Sunday after church, a friend responded to a facebook post and said he really wanted a project car for him and his high-school age son. By sunday night he was driving it to his house. I'm happy it has a second chance, even if it just comes apart and becomes "one of those projects" that never gets finished- it will still give a father some time with his son, just like my Dad and I had working on it back when I was 16. Not a bad way to part with a car that's been part of my life, in one way or another, since the day my parents bought it at the Plymouth dealership in the fall of 1972. laugh
 
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Three words: Pictures, pictures, pictures!!! smile Thanks for sharing, that's a great story. One less thing to worry about or maintain on the bright side. Now you'll always have fond memories.
 
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Great story and an excellent way to pay it forward to a buddy! And I wholeheartedly agree, this thread is worthless without pictures - maybe even a movie of your bootlegger's turn?
 
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Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
Over the years I'd put in ... every police-spec factory-issue Chrysler B-body part I found in all my years of junkyard hunting (rear sway bar, front sway bar and beefed up front subframe, bigger brakes, bigger tires, shocks, hard front subframe isolators in place of the rubber donuts, 100A alternator, etc.) laugh
OK, 'fess up. Did you ever put on dark glasses, look over at your passenger, and say "it's got a cop motor, cop springs, cop shocks, and burns regular gas." Sounds like the Bluesmobile to me.
 
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Great story I think its always surprising how attached we can become to cars. I am just a guilty of loving a car a little too much. It's always been hard to watch a car I sold drive away for the last time. I became very attached to a Jeep once and I just had to sell it, it was old, worn out and I had no room for it. I couldn't make myself let it go for 500 bucks, too many memories to just let it go. Which was all it was worth at the time. I ended up donating it to charity and they auctioned it off.
 
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Good story. No, actually...great story! I am the same way as I seem to get attached to my vehicles so I think its awesome you sold it to a friend so that it gets a new lease on life. Plus it stays in the "family" so you can keep track of it.
 

440Magnum

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I have to say I called it the Bluesmobile a couple of times, but it never stuck. Back in HS, it was 'The Goldfish.' :P A few pictures- during the fire-up process after most of the smoke cleared: And after the wash:
 
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Sounds and especially looks like it doesn't need much work at all. Hopefully they get it on the road for a few more miles and another chapter in its history. If I had the time or space, I'd like to have a car like that, just to drive once in a while or even as a DD in the summer.
 
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440Magnum

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Originally Posted By: IndyIan
Sounds and especially looks like it doesn't need much work at all. Hopefully they get it on the road for a few more miles and another chapter in its history. If I had the time or space, I'd like to have a car like that, just to drive once in a while or even as a DD in the summer.
It doesn't need extensive work on very many things. It needs a lot of little work on just about every single component.
 
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Sweet story and OMG the chrome. I love how that front bumper wraps around the headlights. Crash bumpers hindered the look when they came out. frown
 

pbm

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This brings back memories. My father bought a new 1972 Plymouth Satellite with the 318 and Torqueflite tranny when we moved to our own home (from an apartment) in 1972. I have a lot of memories in that car (trips, girls, speeding tickets etc...) Ours was very basic...it had no moldings and those saucer type wheel covers that only covered the lug nuts...people always thought we were NYPD...it was a light green color... I remember getting over 25 mpg (and a speeding ticket) driving from NYC to Charlottsville, Va. in 1976 to visit my brother at college. Unfortunately by the time my brothers and I finished beating it up we needed a new car by 1977....it's long gone. PS: I remember my father never using the AC (trying to save it or fuel)...it ended up having the opposite effect...it no longer worked when we needed it. PS: I always changed the oil and it purred despite the body looking rough...
 
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Nice old MOPAR iron. Unless its a sporty car, if I see a 30 or 40 yr old American car daily driver it is a low riding Plymouth or Dodge. Marinas 528e only had 74 K miles when we bought it. For an E 28, thats barely broken in. It it is "tight" still. The 350 K first 528e was loose in comparsion. Itwasnt the brakes or suspension. Nothing was dangerous. It was just loose, everything. That 3,000,000 mile P1800 , it must be really looose laugh
 
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I wish I were closer. frown Is is a Custom, and does it have A/C? If so...then, just...wow. Aside from the roof, it's a dead ringer for my grandmother's Satellite!
 

440Magnum

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Originally Posted By: Jarlaxle
I wish I were closer. frown Is is a Custom, and does it have A/C? If so...then, just...wow. Aside from the roof, it's a dead ringer for my grandmother's Satellite!
Yes, its a "Custom" trim level, and yes it has AC. It worked (still on R-12!) when I parked it in 05, but the pressure's too low to turn on the compressor now. I hot-wired it and the compressor spins silently. Just not enough refrigerant.
 
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