Saturday, October 30, 2010

A eulogy.

And so it goes. I tapped the rocker panel with my foot as I left work last Thursday. Really, it was a light tap. And the tip of my shoe busted it in, because it was nothing but paint. I suppose it's just as well. When it happened Thursday, I snapped this photo with the expectation of making a humorous post about it here. Instead, it has become bittersweet.

I'll spare you the details; Eric will be posting soon on the Team Resignation blog about how it all went down. Suffice it to say that the race car's engine blew up, and swapping in the one from my ZX2 was the only viable option to keep us on the track.

So that's what we did.

Which makes it pretty official. After roughly a hundred thousand miles across six and a half years of service in my hands, my daily driver is dead. Its 210-thousand-mile engine lives on in the race car, and soon too will its wiring harness and perhaps front control arms. Which gives it a status not unlike an organ donor (except, you know, less important).

Little car, you have served me well. I'm sad you're gone, but your final days weren't exactly your best.

  • You had an evap system leak I refused to fix. I had pulled those vacuum hoses and plugged the intake manifold with electrical tape. This also meant the HVAC fan would only blow at the windshield.
  • You had a loud clunk from the front suspension which I'm pretty sure was broken sway bar links, but never put in the effort to check.
  • You had been backed into a faucet and your rear bumper was screwed back into place. A week later, the mirror got busted off on the corner of the same house and was reattached with the same screws as the bumper.
  • Your exhaust was beginning to leak, making you noisier by the week.
  • Your third gear hadn't been working for several years.
  • Your shifter bushings were completely shot, and the shifter buzzed loudly at nearly all times.
  • Your rear defroster never worked.
  • You had bald tires on ugly Escort GT fan-blade wheels.
  • Your rear speakers would crackle at the mere suggestion of bass.
  • I planned to never wash you again.
But despite all this, you unfailingly, albeit noisily, carried me to work. Took Amanda and I on a camping trip to Michigan. Were flung over a set of railroad tracks daily at 70 mph so I could get sweet air. And so on, and so on.

Goodbye, dependable commuter car. I have no choice now but to keep what I need and part out what I don't. It's not an elegant death, true. But I hope your heart lasts long enough to propel us into the top ten next year. You can do it. You've survived worse.


  1. it's heart lives on, and has taught many of 2nd Gen Escort owners just how easy it could be to swap these powerhouse engines into their, quite possibly, weakest cars made. Sorry for your lose, but it's thought lives on forever, or until it blows in the racer.

  2. Thanks for reading! I wouldn't call it easy, since it was quite a lot of work, but it was pretty straightforward. Most pieces except the wiring were bolt-and-play.


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