hot rod, muscle cars, rat rods and girls

The mini-van of that era. Maybe not as sporty looking as a 2-door sedan, coupe, hardtop or whatever… never could tell those styles apart. It is a TWO DOOR and that gets me through the differentiation game.

With a wagon you can haul more people and stuff and the the fold-down rear seat toss a mattress or foam pad or a bunch of moving pads, anything to make sleeping in the thing comfortable. If you get kicked out of your house you have a place to live for awhile!!! Especially if it is not frigid winter time with 20-below-zero blizzards blasting you!!!

You might be able to find an older station wagon really cheap. The mechanicals are basic and parts are readily available for at least some of the more popular brands such as Ford and Chevy. Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth can sometimes be harder to find parts for, both new parts at the auto part store or at wrecking yards. My experience from working at a used auto parts wrecking yard is that GMC vehicles tend to be easiest to find used parts for as well as new parts from various sources.

Shop around. I needed a new right-side tail light assembly for my 2004 Chevy Silverado pickup. 16-years of sun exposure made the plastic lens crack a bit allowing water to enter. It is also ugly in appearance. The crack allows allows condensation to form. Rusting starts and, eventually, problems with proper bulb lighting will occur. I looked all over at various sources and found the best price by far at A dealer sells through Amazon giving Amazon a cut of the profit. I sent my $47 and in a couple weeks the box plopped onto the porch.

The unit received was different than the left-side lamp bought a couple years earlier at a local shop for $117. The old lamp was just the lens and housing assembly that my existing wire harness with bulb mounts and bulbs inserted into the rear of the assembly. The new lamp has the bulb mounts and bulbs and the 2-foot-long wire harness attached to the lamp. When I change the new one I will unhook the harness and attach the new harness along with attaching the lamp assembly. Maybe this firm sells their lamp in this manner to get more sales. That corrosion possibility I mentioned could lead to some folks needing to replace those rusty bulb mounts. Having the lamp arrive as a unit could be a huge time and cost saver.

I inspected the lamp and it appears to be as well-built as the earlier more expensive lamp. I am waiting for better weather to attach the new lamp. I foresee no problems. Replacing a new body part is usually not nearly as fit-critical as an internal engine component or a differential assembly.

A station wagon can be a stealthy mobile home for when times are tough. Mini-vans are more common but ensure you get one that does not have terrible reliability problems. Search the Web for advice on the best makes and models and for which ones to avoid. At times the “beggars can’t be choosers” mantra applies and lack of wealth may require buying a beat-up unreliable car truck or van. If you drive it very little or not al all (you get lucky to find a permanent parking spot) lack of reliability may mean nothing. As long as it starts and moves and you just drive locally maybe you can make a clunker last awhile.

Good luck and happy motoring!!!


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