The Car From Hades

 Over the years I have owned many automobiles.  Most I bought new, but occasionally I purchased a previously owned vehicle.  I was fortunate enough to get good service from almost all the cars I bought regardless of whether they were a product of American Motors, Chrysler, Ford or General Motors.  My memories of World War II were very strong, and for years I avoided purchasing any vehicle made with a German or Japanese label.  However, my current automobile is a Honda, and thus far it is the most trouble-free car I have ever owned.

One car, however, set the standard for poor performance.

In 1976 I bought a used Dodge Polara from someone I knew and trusted.  I thought I was getting a great bargain, but it soon proved otherwise.  It was a good-looking vehicle, but defects quickly became apparent.  I remember the following:

  • The car had external dimensions similar to those of a World War II medium tank.  Navigating a parking lot was a true hazard.
  • The huge hood was difficult to see over, but under the hood a small in-line engine occupied very little space.  Two or three auto mechanics could work under that hood at the same time, and you might even throw in a three-piece band.

The Polara

  • The trunk was big enough to accommodate three or four bodies plus luggage.  Perhaps car designers had the Mafia in mind.
  • The car’s rear window was very small and situated in such a way to make it virtually useless.  Backing up was a guessing game.
  • The car’s heater was totally unreliable.  There were only two settings that worked – off or 100 degrees fahrenheit.   Air conditioning was not much better.  Service technicians were unable to solve the problem.
  • The automobile was useless in snow (no traction) and prone to skidding on wet pavement.

I really hated that automobile.  When my youngest son, Eric,  skidded on a wet street, smashed into a light post, and totaled that Polara,  I thanked him sincerely.

It was a full week before I stopped grinning.  

One thought on “The Car From Hades

  1. Reminds me of my mother-in law’s mammoth Lincoln, which had doors so huge that if she mistakenly let go of the door handle while closing the door, she had to exit the car to reach the handle again.


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