Thanks For The Ride

Posted: Friday, December 18, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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I’m saying goodbye to an old friend today.
“White Lightning,” our 1990 Lincoln Town Car has finally grown tired of being resuscitated and forced me into pulling the plug so she can drift off to wherever big ol’ gas guzzling clunkers go when the cost of filling the empty fuel tank exceeds the appraised value of the whole car.
I sure remember the day I brought her home from Frankmans in 1992. She was two years old and had about 46 thousand miles..but was gleaming white, classy looking and a joy to drive..and drive her we did; all over the country without so much as a flat tire. Eventually, though,  the car started developing problems; a transmission failure, starter motor and  a bit of rust cropping up here and there. When we bought our newer used Lincoln and gave it the old girl’s spot in the garage, she clearly resented being relagated to sitting out there in the driveway naked to the elements and the threat of vandals.It was the beginning of the end.   
Oh, she gave me a few more rides this past summer even though the air conditioner no longer gushed out the frigid breeze like the old days. I probably could have recharged it with Freon..but that might have been illegal and, for sure, too expensive. So, I just opened all the windows on the ride between the house and the golf course. It was a bit breezy but fine. In September, the driver’s side window went down and refused to come up again. (We’ve all been there, eh, fellas?)  Somehow, Linda and I managed to get the darn thing closed..but, again, too expensive to repair the power window motor.
Then, the heater, which used to blast us out..decided to get moody and wouldn’t work unless you slid the temperature bar just right..and even then there was a good chance it would turn off as fast as it came on; replaced by the cold air that you had wished for last August.
The coup de grace finally happened during our recent cold snap. As usual, the old girl didn’t bat an eye at 8 degrees below zero and fired right up. Only this time, the rear air suspension..which has been leaking for a couple years now but would always pump up once the engine was running, refused to re-inflate to the normal riding position. So now the car just lays there like a crippled dog.
“Probably 900 bucks to replace,” said my trustworthy mechanic, Tom, at Airway service. “Couldn’t we just put some duct tape on the rubber boot to plug the leak?” I asked desperately.
“Don’t think so, Doug, I’m afraid she’s a goner.”
So, I’m going to call the diabetes people who used to have some kind of car donation deal going. If they don’t want it, I see in the Shopper’s News that Ron’s Auto is sill buying cars..running or not..for anywhere from 50 to 250 bucks.
White Lightning still runs like a champ so I hope she will bring the high end when she’s driven away..slung low in the rear.
 Maybe he can fix her up so somebody else can squeeze out a few more miles.
That would sure make me feel better than sending her off to the crusher.I get too attached to my cars.

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