Mmm… my very first car was 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass. It would’ve been a 4-4-2, except for the fact that it had an automatic transmission, a two-barrel carb, and a single exhaust. Not to mention four doors. But still, that old beast was a joy to drive. The engine was a Rocket 350, the power steering was effortless, and the sound… well, my friends knew when I pulled up outside their apartment. As one person noted, it sounded ‘like it had balls.’
Only problem was that it spent more time in the shop than on the road, it seemed. And of course, its final demise. For some months before the end, I had this mysterious mist that would come out of the vents–mostly the defroster vents, but on occasion other vents too. It was white and stuck to the windows, and made driving a bit of an experience–you had to keep a paper towel handy at all times if you wanted to be able to see.
So one night I’d been over visiting a friend, and at about 4am decided to head home. (I was working 2nd shift at the time, as was he; I often went over after work.) I hopped in the car, fired it up, and started the trip back to the interstate. I immediately noticed that the production of the mist was unusually heavy, but I figured I’d get it home and worry about it in the morning. Well, as I drove on, things just got worse and worse. It was coming out not only from the defroster vents, but the dash vents, the floor vents… and then, when I got on the highway, it started coming from the steering column, under the hood, the front wheelwells–and not just a little mist. It was absolutely -pouring- out of everywhere on the front of the car. This while I was doing 60mph on the highway, hanging out of the window to try and see where I was going. I realized pretty quickly that I had to stop, but the notion of just stopping on the shoulder didn’t enter my mind; I had to get to the next exit. I managed that, then pulled into the only driveway I could see–a gas station. Not bright, considering that I seriously figured my car to be on fire. I made it to the hotel next door and called the FD; by the time they got there, it turned out not to be on fire, at any rate.
As it happened, it was a cracked heater core. But I was spooked off that car, and sold it not too long thereafter. I still sorta miss it, though I shudder to think how expensive it would be to feed these days… O.O