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~ Kathy M.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

1974 VW Scirocco: This Car Was Jinxed!

Rick and I standing proudly in front of our new car as my Grandparents took our picture with their Polaroid camera.  That is Marv and Ethel's house across the street.  What in the heck is the matter with my boobs?  Was my bra broken?  My Grandma J. made that pretty western shirt for me.  Rick and I did have a lot of fun with each other.

I met my first husband at work, in May of 1976.  We began dating in October, were engaged in January, and then married the following January.     

Before we were married, for transportation, I usually drove my Mom's old VW square-back or rode my bike to where I needed to go.  In Eugene, that isn't very hard to do, because the city is set up for bicyclists with miles and miles of bike paths.

When we met, Rick had a Kawasowki 900 motorcycle, which we wrecked by sliding on ice during the first January of our relationship.  It was a nice day and we were going slow around a corner when we hit black ice.  He had to have knee surgery as a result, but I ended up unhurt.  So, we decided that a car was in order.  We chose a cute little thing, even though we were not yet living together.  We secured a loan, split the monthly payment of $125.00, and proceeded to time share.

The car was an orange 1974 Volkswagen Scirocco, and we were quite pleased with ourselves.  Though we were young, folks nodded their heads in approval, hoping that we would beat the odds and enjoy a long and happy marriage. They said things like, "Well, if they can buy a car together before getting married, maybe everything will work out."  Apparently, it was a sign of maturity.

We took it on our honeymoon to California in 1978, where we visited friends and family in San Francisco, Yosemite, Disneyland and La Jolla.

I think that this was taken at Shasta, California.  That car sure is dinky!  I was wearing my down jacket along with my fancy satin going away pants.  It must have been really cold out with the way the wind was blowing.
Unfortunately, six short years and two babies later, not only was the car out of the picture but so was the marriage. This story is about the car itself, however.

Photo Source:  "Click Here"

SciroccoAs fast as the wind that it was named after!  We had gone really fast before on Rick's Kawasaki, but I don't remember going as fast as the wind in our new car.  What I do remember is that the dang thing was always in a wreck, falling apart and having things stolen from it.  It did have plaid seats though, and looked kind of cool

Photo Source: "Click Here"

Reasons why I still consider this car jinxed and the most frustrating vehicle that I have ever owned:

There was the matter of the motor-mount constantly threatening to fall off and needing to be re-welded.   

The steering wheel broke off in Rick's hands at one point; another time the driver's seat broke off of it's mount.  I have never heard of those things happening in any car before, but they all happened to this one.

Rick fell asleep driving over 30th near Lane Community College after taking somebody home, and that was the first accident. He hit a sign, spun around and though it did a lot of damage it was still drivable.  Good thing for full-coverage!  Here we are before we got it fixed, at the coast where his parents lived.  The dates on the back of these photos say 5/31/78:

Must have gotten my bra fixed by this time.

Right after we got it back home from the shop from the accident above, I was in front of our house at the stop sign, behind one car. The old man in the station wagon in front of me decided that he was sticking out too far and backed up. I was honking away, trying to throw my car into reverse, but he kept on going until he hit me.  I was furious, and started yelling at him, saying, "I just got this car out out of the shop!"  It was not one of my better moments.

Not long after the Sirocco was healed from that fender-bender, I was at work, and had parked in the front parking lot.  Black Angus didn't have much business on Saturday's during the day, and there were hardly any other cars around.  Despite the odds, somebody still managed to smash into the side of the car and didn't bother to leave a note.  Back to the shop again! 

Somebody else broke in to it using a crowbar, and stole the expensive, in-dash stereo that we had installed.  We replaced it with one that slid out and hid in the glove box.

Crowbar damage.  The neighbors called the cops, and watched the whole thing..  I wish that they would have started yelling at the bad guys in addition, but oh well.  We were living in an apartment complex, so they didn't know who owned the car until later on.
Look at all that wiring!  That must have cost a lot to fix, but we had insurance.  I am surprised that the insurance company didn't drop us.

Then they came back and took the "VW" emblem off of the grill. 

One night, I got off work at midnight and was driving home.  There were only two cars on the road, me and another guyHe was stopped at a red light.  There were 3 lanes to choose from, but I happened to be in the lane right behind him.  I was going very slow as I approached, and the light changed.  I had looked down to eat my midnight snack of peanuts, and sure enough he hadn't begun to pull forward yet, and I ran into him.  Dang!  He looked at me in disbelief.  I felt like the guy in the old station wagon right about then.

I didn't drink much back in those days, but one night Rick, Leo and I played board games and I drank a bunch of blush wine.  I remember that for two reasons.  First, I spilled some of the wine on the new Monopoly board.  Second, the next morning, I had to go to work and I was very hungover.  I made it there, but I called somebody in to replace me in-between trips to the bathroom to throw-up.  I was driving back home in my handy-dandy little orange car, when the clutch cable broke.  I was in a dress and wearing those tall shoes with wavy rubber soles, remember those?  People were honking at me as I pushed the damn car around the corner.  I remember walking into an auto supply store nearby, and using their phone to call Rick to come and get me.  It was during lunch rush at his restaurant and he couldn't leave, so I had to walk the four or five miles home. The good part was that by the time I got there, my hangover was gone.  The irritating part was, as soon as I got there, Rick pulled up at the house in his work car and said, hop in!  We drove back to where my car was, and he drove it home without a clutch cable.  I didn't even know that was possible, and I sure wish that I knew that trick prior to my hike in those shoes of mine.   

Finally, we got rid of that not so beloved Scirocco.  With a baby on the way, we opted for an El Camino.  That car never needed anything but oil and gas, and I remember thinking how expensive that the little orange fast-as-the-wind car had really been.  

Jinxed, yes, but somebody was looking out for us, because we were never actually hurt in the jinxed 1974 VW Scirocco.

So, that is my story.  What was your worst car ever?

~ Kathy M.  

P.S. - Oh my gosh, I just got unfollowed by a new follower after writing this post.  Was it the hangover story that happened 35 years ago, or the part about my broken bra

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Jackie/Jake said...

HA HA love the bra comments!!!
We had a mazda that was just a nemesis!

Rob From Amersfoort said...

Car trouble is very annoying, I try to push it away from memory as far as possible. I love the vintage 70s photos, and I feel for your frustrations during all the problems (although reading about it can be funny sometimes).

Deb Gould said...

Worst car ever was an old VW beetle that had no heater and wouldn't start when it was damp outside. It broke down completely on Storrow Drive in Boston, MA, at rush hour in 1968; we got out, stripped the plates and left the thing smack in the middle of the road (to avoid towing charges) and walked back to our apartment...we were poor hippies back then!


Never owned a car/never will!!
On another matter, was your bra problem caused by some bra action, courtesy of Rick?!? One could suppose as you were still in amour... But such a short engagement? Why the rush. I have a colleague at work who met someone and was pregnant within weeks with his child, and they are now engaged and to be married this year... I think it's asking for trouble but that is only MY opinion, and maybe, just maybe, that guy will be the right one for her. But she already has another child from another guy. One think she would learn to be cautious. Anyway...

I'm also surprised your insurance company didn't drop you. But then, I'm surprised you stuck with that car for that long. The steering wheel coming off? You can bet I would have gotten out of the car and sent it to the scrap yard right away, never to be seen again. Downright scary!!!

So, I had to drop by to see what you were up to. I see you keep busy. Thanks for sharing this [scary] story.
I will NEVER own a car[NOW]!!!

Little Nell said...

Oh dear! I don't like to laugh at other people's misfortunes but this was such a catalogue of disasters, whilst not exactly funny, the tale as it unfolded, was amusing in a dark way. Sorry about your bra!

Sioux said...

It was a piss-green Maverick. Complete with an 8-track tape player. There are still songs I listen to, and I know exactly when that click-click-thing happens, because I used to listen to them in that car.

Sioux said...

Kathy--By the way, the bra/boob comments were hilarious.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Thanks for all of your comments, everybody! Maybe those little imports were finicky ... Mazdas, VW's; omg, I remember those Mavericks too.

BECKY said...

Awesome post! And I loved your boob comments,too!Am I the only one who thinks that Rick looks a little like Jay Leno!? Especially in that first photo, with your lopsided boobies! :)

Wendy said...

You lost a follower? Was it Rick? I don't know what was funnier - the bra and boobs, all the car woes, or picturing you in wavy-souled shoes. But I'll say this: it couldn't have happened to a finer gal!

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