Okay Paul, you brought it up…Would you buy your first car again?
My first car, that I researched, dreamt about, and bought with my own hard-earned money, was a 1990 Eagle Talon TSI AWD – in Arrest-Me-Red thank you very much. And I can tell you, HELL YES I would buy it again.
Think about this, 2.0L Turbo Charged 4, AWD, 195HP, 5 Speed Stick, 0-60 in 6.6 seconds, with head turning looks…and a hood scoop that was real. You can’t find all that in today’s Lancer or STI, come on, this car was so far ahead of it’s time… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_Talon
Acceleration wasn’t the only fun I had in this car, but I once blew the doors off a Mustang 5.0 – and not just once. We first dragged off a light, I beat him, he then tried to roll me through the second, I beat him, and then he tried to just stay on it…I beat him! He was so pissed that he eventually got in front of me just to shake his fist at me…ooo, tough guy. Never did see him again.
Lets talk a second about anything but dry pavement. My car could handle snow and rain like a pure bred rally car. Living in Michigan I had the chance to take it through 3 inches of snow on the freeway, driving faster than I should have – but what else do you do when you’re 21. Donuts were fun too, you wouldn’t rotate around the front or rear axle like most cars, this one would swap ends, so you could do a donut within 2 parking spaces… spin until your passenger was sick and then just let off the gas and is snapped back into line.
I once saw a sticker put on the passenger side window of a Talon TSI that said it all, “Get in, Sit down, Shut up, and Hang on!!”
The reality is that today, if you can find one, they are worth about $1,500 in the best of condition. Most of them have been driven into the ground and are beyond repair. Could I buy one in hopes of restoring it, yeah probably but it will never be the car I once owned.
Paul "Groosh" Grusche
No truer words have been spoken. The Talon was a tub of non-fat frozen yogurt in my favorite flavor — Yes Please.
When we were at Automobile Magazine, we had a Talon and its counterpart the Mitsu GSX. The story is reserved for another day but suffice it to say… Seat in a sling – the chicks dug my bling.
I loved those cars..I had the Mitsu GSX. Nothing close to those on the road today
I probably wouldn’t own my very first car– which was a 1978 Honda Civic CVCC–again. But it still has a very fond place in my heart.
I bought that little ’78 Civic for one thousand three hundred of my hard earned dollars. Prior to my ownership, it spent the first four years of its life as a delivery vehicle, so it announced its allegiance to Cornell Pharmacy on just about every flat surface. I was a late driving high school senior–I was a year younger than my classmates–so, as you might imagine, driving a delivery car just wouldn’t do. All of my friends had a year under their belt, driving all manner of BMWs, VWs, and Lancias. So I decided I had to relieve the car of its plebian roots and did the strangest thing. Rather than calling an automotive paint shop, I looked around my parents house determined to find any type of home-based paint to cover up the Cornell logos. And what did I find to do that task? Latex house paint and…get this…a roller. Yes, the same roller that you and I use to paint the walls in our home.
Now that’s not all. The paint I used was not white like the little Civic itself, it was what I later coined “Not Quite” white. As I embarked on this adventure to disavow the car of the loyalty to its former owner, I quickly realized that using a paint roller on a metal surface creates texture when combined with thick latex paint. I had painted walls before and remembered that the latex paint generally needed some time to flatten out, so I happily painted over logos on each quarter panel, the doors, and the trunk. Upon completion of the job, I noticed that the “Not Quite” white paint didn’t really match all that well. And it all looked kind of like those ancient “popcorn” ceilings from the ’70s? Remember those things? People would put little sparkles in them so it looked like stars? Awful.
Anyway, I was sure everything would eventually bend to my will and the paint would flatten and dry bright white to match my sweet new ride.
Well, it didn’t. In fact, the paint dried darker and texture looked much like the topography of the nearby Rocky Mountains. It looked ridiculous.
There I was at 16 years old looking a car that now had every teenager’s nightmare–a horrible case of acne. I thought about just painting the whole car with the latex paint, but I had a social life to keep up with, so that wasn’t going happen.
My reaction to this automotive skin condition was as curious as my initial exercise. I broke out the paint thinner and–oh, my lord–an electric sander. I was going to love this car and it was going to represent my newly enterprising nature, no matter the pain to either one of us.
Well to make a short story long, I found out that latex paint must use kryptonite as its base, because it would not be denied its textured, (now) “Not Even Close To” white place on my $1,300 Honda.
Eventually, I had to drive the car to school, and, amidst much fanfare once my friends figured out what I had done, my pubescent self-esteem was crushed.
I drove that automotive Ray Liotta for a few months, until I couldn’t take it anymore. I made a phone that would change my life. For those old enough to remember, I called a guy named Earl Scheib…
_OK, this story has gone on long enough. As not to waste any more of life’s precious time, let me know if you’d like to hear the conclusion of this epic journey with my first car…_
aka Stolen Trophy
Paul "Groosh" Grusche
“I’ll paint any car, any color for just $99.95.”
(Disclaimer – Must smoke three packs a day in order to hear the true voice of Earl Scheib coming through).
Hilarious, most people would have gone for a spray can. Do tell, how did Earl treat you? Did you save face (playing off the acne reference – you got that right?) with your school chums?