A random look at the life and times of Jim Rising recovering radio addict and newspaper columnist.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I was kind of sad to read the news about the Chrysler bankruptcy. While I never owned a Chrysler branded car per se I have several Plymouths in my past. Remember Plymouth? They went out of business in 2001. Beat the curve so to speak. I have a long history of making poor choices when buying cars. I inherited this tendency to buy P.O.S. cars. When I was a kid my Dad bought a Corvair.

This is how we learn. My first real big boy car when I got out of college was a Plymouth Fury III. It was approximately the size of a railroad switch engine and came with two men to walk in front of you as you traveled with red lights and loud bells to warn people of your arrival. It had the turning radius of an aircraft carrier.

Later on I became the proud owner of Plymouth Volare’ station wagon with real wood grain decals on the side. Very classy.

Still not having learned my lesson I bought a Plymouth Trailduster SUV. It was so big it wouldn’t fit in my garage. I think it got 1 mile per gallon. If you turned on the air conditioner you could watch gas gauge move down.

But my crowning achievement in unwise car purchases was a Plymouth Horizon TC3. I bought it new in 1981. They only made three of these cars and two blew up in the factory before they could ship them. I got the third. Even though it was front wheel drive it was so low to the ground that it would get stuck if the forecast called for snow. It was great on gas because it had a top speed of crawl. With a tailwind. I left it parked in front of my workplace while I was on vacation. With the keys in it. Mercifully an alcoholic co-worker borrowed it and totaled it. He called me to break the news and I am sure he thought I would freak out on him. I couldn’t thank him enough.

But back to Chrysler going wheels up. The funniest thing I read was that President Obama said “Chrysler’s warranties would now be backed by the United States government. If you are considering buying a car, I hope it will be an American car… buy a Chrysler, your warranty will be safe.” The leader of the free world is now a car salesman? The second funniest thing I read is that Chrysler will make what has been characterized as “a lifesaving alliance with the Italian automaker Fiat.” Or maybe that was the funniest. Fiat, in case you don’t know is said to stand for “Fix it again Tony.” Ask any Fiat owner.


Anonymous said...

Jim - Loved your Chrysler motors story! Worst vehicle I EVER had was a Dodge K car. Built as sturdily as a Coca-Cola can. If someone sneezed as I drove by them, the car would shake. BUT! My all-time DOOMSDAY contraption was a Buick Opel Kadet. Would never start when it rained. Took it to the dealer and asked what was wrong. I was told "That's the way it is. You don't move when it rains." Thanks for the memories and chuckles in your writings. Michael Neff. MDNeff@juno.com

David DeCosmo said...

Well Jim I finally caught up with you!
They say its never too late.
Happened to come across a very old piece about a movie being shot in Nay Aug Park in Scranton.
You mentioned an elephant and me in the scene and pointed out that the animal was the one being buried.
While I appreciate the 'plug' I should point out that I wasn't in the movie. The man playing a reporter, and I didn't know he was suppose to be playing me, was Bill McAndrew a former free lance photographer with what was then WDAU-TV.
I am, however, appearing in one scene for the new made for Internet TV series "Hillers" which will begin this summer.
Hope all your news is good!
David DeCosmo
WYOU TV (Ret.)

Jim Rising said...

Atta Boy Dave! I would have sworn it was you in the movie. I stand corrected!