1980 Buick Regal (1980 Regal)
Last updated Oct 30, 2008
I got this car the summer after my Junior year of high school, at the age of 17. M ex-girlfriend's father was the original owner of this car and it was the first car he ever bought new. After a few years of owning it, he decided to get rid of it to buy a smaller car for his daily commute to the city. So he sold it to his grandmother.
Fast forward 20 years.
My ex-girlfriend's great grandmother was no longer able to drive, so she gave the car back to her grandson, the original owner. It sat idly in their driveway for the next year, never moving and I walked past it every time I went there (quite often) and thought of what I would do with a car like that if I had it.
Well a year later I got rid of my first car, the 1993 Saturn, and was without wheels. My girlfriend's father offered to let me use the car until I could come up with my own, and while I do not like accepting such huge favors from people, it was an offer I could not refuse.
The first time I drove it, it overheated due to a stuck thermostat and I didn't have any gauges so it overheated until it stalled. That was the first of many things that went wrong in the coming weeks and months, but those things are to be expected on a car that has sat for a year and was barely driven before that.
I cleaned it up and got it to reasonably reliable condition and couldn't have had a better time with that car. I'll never forget driving around with the windows down with some Zeppelin playing as loud as the AC/Delco tape deck and speakers would let me, or sitting on the long, straight hood at the drive-in as I enjoyed a double feature.
It was the perfect car for me at that point. I loved pulling into my high school parking lot while all of my uppity classmates gave me strange looks from inside their parent's Mercedes and the disapproving attitude from those parents when I encountered them. I could have done without the overambitious police force from the upscale, boring neighborhood where most of my friends lived. Every time I visited someone, I was followed through the entire city, without fail.
The about a month before I left for college, I was with some friends headed home on the Tri-State right as rush hour was getting started. Traffic came to a stop and I did along with it. Unfortunately the [insert derogatory term here] behind me did not, and hit me at about 25-30 mph. I was hit with such force that I thought the back end of my car was obliterated, but amazingly there was almost no damage. It turns out that it held up so strongly that the car that hit me actually went underneath my car and lifted it up a bit. The only thing I saw was that the pistons the bumper was mounted on were compressed so the bumper sat closer to the body than it should have.
The next day when I went to pull the car out of the driveway, the brake pedal went to the floor and I heard the brake fluid gushing out of a rupture in the brake line, no doubt caused by frame flex in the accident. The insurance adjustor attributed the damage to a rusty brake line (which was the case) and deemed his client not responsible for that damage (which was not the case). So the money I collected for the cosmetic damage went straight toward the brake line and wheel cylinders and the Buick was never the same.
All good things must come to an end, and this car was no exception. When I left for college, it went into storage, along with my Firebird. When I came home for winter break and wasn't able to drive it (for many reasons, such as the issues with the blower motor that wouldnt allow the heat or defogger to work properly, which was a problem with all of the moisture that came through the floor and froze on the inside of my windows as it condensed) I couldn't justify paying as much as I was for plates and insurance and it was going to need plenty of work in the future, so I decided to sell it. It was sold on Christmas day, 6 hours after posting my ad.
Buick 231 cid (3.8L)
2 bbl, 3 speed auto
Replaced rotted original rear bumper with one off a 1979 Cutlass, the only one like it within 2000 miles of where I lived. It was soon damaged in a rear-end collision.
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