1984 Mercury Station Wagon
In the summer of 1996 I was searching for another cheap car. I regretted selling the old Valiant and I hoped to find something like it. A friend from work said his neighbor had a Mercury station wagon for sale for $100.00. It seemed like a good deal at the time. Problems started right after we got it home.
I suspected the alternator was bad, so while the car was running I disconnected the battery...bad idea. It caused the car's computer system to go haywire. The wipers and headlights came on and wouldn't go off. I ended up installing toggle switches on the dash to operate the wipers and headlights (this is a $100.00 car remember). The toggle switches worked fine, until Elaine forgot and used the factory switches and the electrical system went crazy again.
Elaine believes the car was possessed by an evil spirit and that evil spirit hated Elaine. We drove the car to visit friends in Fairborn and when we arrived she was locked in the seatbelt. It took 30 minutes working with borrowed tools to break it so she could escape. Once when she drove the car to go shopping, she made the mistake of locking the doors (like somebody might steal it!) When she came out of the store, the key wouldn't unlock any of the doors. She finally used the key to lower the rear window to allow the tailgate to be lowered, but when she opened the tailgate it fell off into her arms. Bare in mind that tailgate probably weighed 150 pounds. She wrestled it back into place and crawled through the tailgate window, climbed over the backseat and into the front seat.
To top it off, in August of 1996 we planned a trip to Sturgis, South Dakota for bike week. My friend, Mark Ball trailered his Harley and mine, and Elaine and I flew out. We saved some money by flying from Indianapolis. We didn't want to leave the Allante in long term parking at the airport, so we drove the old station wagon. We returned 8 days later to a dead battery. In fact, we had to be jump started twice to get on the road.
The car had to go. I parked it in front of the house with a "For Sale" sign and in large letters wrote $100.00 on the windshield. You get a distinctive clientele when you have a car for sale for $100.00. A little old lady and her son took it for a test drive and gave me a $10.00 deposit. They promised to return on Monday with the rest of the money. On Monday, as planned, they showed up with $90.00...in change! Two coffee cans full of change! There were ten silver dollars and the rest was quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. I didn't even count it. I took the coffee cans and gave her the keys.