Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Tank

The tank was my Buick Roadmaster - with rear-facing tailgunner seat. At least, the seat the kids liked the best, to wave and make faces at the people in the vehicles behind us.

It was if I remember right, a 94 or 96 Buick Roadmaster, white, with wood siding. Yeah, wood print siding. Really hawt! Had a V8 in it. If the tank had been lighter, it would have taken off like a scared jackrabbit. The speedometer only went up to 120, but I think it did over that.

Why do I think it went over? One night coming out of town, a semi truck did not the fact that I was doing the speed limit...and was tailgating me. Like RIGHT about a yard from my back end. So what do I do, bright person that I am? BRAKES. heh. And then take off. He didn't like this, and started to get right on my tail again, only closer this time. So I started going faster. And he started going faster also. Pretty soon I've pegged the speedometer, and I had to pull down our road. He couldn't slow down as fast as I could to turn, so we managed to get away from him. I still pegged it going down the smaller road, cut off the lights at the turn to our dinky road that leads to our house, and got in our driveway quick. I watch out for tailgaters now, and now I don't hit the brakes! Well when driving the stick shift truck, I will downshift and go even slower. :P Brake lights don't come on when you downshift, but you slow down.

The tank took lots of kids around town, and up to church camp and back.

One night we were coming back from a shopping trip to the mall in Sugarland TX, it died just before the pulloff for the town by us that contains the local junior college. Nothing would work. No battery, no nothing. So we sat along the road for a bit, and someone stopped to offer us a push to where we could get a pay phone. Little white car, he pushed us down the slight incline to the gas station that was right on the corner. We were doing about 25, and we pulled into the parking lot.

Guess what? Power brakes don't work when power is not on.

I was pushing the brakes frantically, when BOOM! we plowed into the side of the building. Right behind the cash register, where cinderblocks, cigarettes, and magazines fell onto the hood of my car. I don't think that wall was very well constructed, anyhow. The guy that pushed us, wanted to leave before the police arrived.. so off he goes. The police arrive, check out the damage to the building, laugh a bit, and call it in. We had DPS and the local police there also. The owner arrived, and boy, was he mad! I guess we should have hit his van that was parked in front of the building, instead of the side of the building. The building had a huge hole in it, cigarette packages occasionally falling down, the police (after the owner leaves) start laughing together, and one said "I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to give you a ticket for 'failure to control speed'. Got my ticket, and with 2 cars, took us for a ride to the motel a bit further along the freeway. This was about midnight. I enjoyed the ride in the DPS cruiser, as he had lots of gadgets in there, screen for radar I guess, and radio, a few other things I had no clue what they were.

We stayed overnight at the hotel, and arranged for the tank to be taken to a repair shop. Turns out the grill was broken (plastic), some scratches and a few dents where cinderblocks had fallen on it, and the right light was taken out. About 3,000 worth of damage if we wanted it returned to pristine state. We ended up getting the light replaced and left the rest as it was.

The sturgmobile (as it was known at church) was around for good while after this. The engine went belly up, and we found a local place to re-machine the engine, instead of buying a new one. Was a bit cheaper. About a week after the engine was repaired, we were at the local park for the Easter Egg Hunt, and I put it into reverse to get out of where I was parked, and found out, it didn't go forward. I put it back into reverse, and it didn't go anywhere. So we called the local shop again, the tranny was out this time. Rocky said usually after an engine goes, the transmission goes also for some reason. Another good chunk of money later, we have it running again.

We used that station wagon for camping up at the Renaissance Festival, it would carry quite a bit of stuff in it. In 2007 we finally got rid of it. Ended up getting only $100 as a trade-in on it, but by this time, it was looking rather.. shabby. The air conditioning was dead, and the electric locks would randomly lock themselves and unlock themselves. The tailgate did not unlock, and would not open.

All in all, we got good use out of that station wagon, put it through hard use, and it stood up to what we dished out to it.

Now I'm in a 04 Chevy Classic, a 4 banger, but I miss that v8.


  1. Diane:
    Wow...I love hearing those stories about THOSE kind of cars...

    My (late) buddy had a '58 Chevy Biscayne 4 door...and THAT was a "tank" as well...power NOTHING, but everything worked (most of the time).

    Yeah, those power brakes don't work when the POWER is "off"...that's why you learn how TO literally STAND on the brakes...BOTH feet, while holding that wheel (and praying)...LOL.

    Then, there is always the "emergency" brake (used to be a lever near the floor).

    And I've also done the "brake-speed away" well as the downshift tactic...really pisses off those tailgaters...bwahahaha!

    ROADMASTER...that kinda says it ALL, doesn't it.
    Gives one a feeling of CAST IRON CAJONES wrapped in STEEL!
    Not like "Focus"...or "Camry"...or even "Elantra".
    (WTF IS an "Elantra", anyway? Sounds like a vegetable, or a hair care product)

    WE need to get back to REAL car GALAXIE...or GOLDEN HAWK...or (dare I say it?)...ROADMASTER!!!

    fantastic post!
    (now, how's about some pictures?)


  2. Hmm I'd have to scan some pictures in with this super whambedyne printer I got from the preacher - it kept messing up on him, he got mad at it, unplugged it and gave it away. It scans, prints and copies. Guess I will have to look up how the scanner feature works on this printer. So far its worked great for me, printing stuff. The Roadmaster was fully metal (apart from the grill) as far as I could tell. Not like when I backed into a Volvo and a piece of plastic fell off the red Laser. Why do people, when they see you backing out of a space, continue to drive right past you?