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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

F.O.R.D.

Ford: Found on Road Dead.
Ford: Fix or Repair Daily.

Until recently, when it came to domestic vehicles, I always had an unexplained preference for Chevys. It was probably just breeding. My grandfather was a Chevy Man and my dad drove a Chevy to work for years. My parents bought a brand new Volvo 144S in 1971, which nearly caused my grandfather to blow a head gasket. The Volvo was my mom's car. I myself currently own two Chevy's and a Geo. (And a Volvo, but that's our family wagon.) To me, Chevys always looked slightly more masculine than Fords. Dodges never appealed to me, and they seem to actually get uglier every year. Even among GM vehicles, Chevys always came out on top. Pontiac's Trans Ams had a "girly" flair while Chevy's Camaros looked muscular. This year, however, I find myself leaning heavily toward Ford.

My newfound affinity for Ford was foreshadowed by the bankruptcy and closure of Steve and Barry's clothing chain. At their liquidation clearance sale, S&B had some very nice hooded sweatshirts for, like, $2.00. I like to wear hooded sweatshirts to work and so looked through several racks of them to find one my size. Turned out, the only ones left in Medium had the Ford logo on the front. I've long ascribed to the "if the shirt fits, wear it" philosophy, so I bought the Ford sweatshirt. (I learned that from a guy named Greg Meyer, a phenominal guitarist who, nonetheless, sometimes wore a Bay City Rollers T-shirt.)

Phase Two of my Ford transformation was caused by equally random events. For various reasons, I have driven a number of rental vehicles in the past year. Two of these have been Fords. One was the new Ford Fusion sedan, which was a pleasure to drive and very easy on gas. The other was a full-sized Ford F-150 Supercab pick-up truck. The truck, with a V8 engine, actually went more miles on a gallon of fuel than the 4-cylinder Volvo my wife currently drives. It, too, was heaven to drive. Plus, there were drink holders, something the Swedes apparently don't use.

I have actually owned two Ford products which I generally enjoyed. One was a 1990 Aerostar cargo van. The other was a 1984 Crown Vic' station wagon, a full-sized land yacht which rode like an easy-chair on wheels. With a V8 engine. My Aerostar served me very well until I married and had a child. A two-seat cargo van just didn't have a place for a car seat. (Looking back, I'd have kept the van, put my daughter in the front seat, and made my now-ex-wife ride in the back.) Anyway, I sold the van. It had required minimal repairs and had only one really aggravating feature; there was a button under the steering column that you had to push to get the key out of the ignition. A few years later I found the Crown Vic on eBay and bought it as my "dad car." It was old and dirty; someone had used it as a hunting vehicle for a while. But, the cruise control worked and I absolutely loved to hear that 5.0 litre V8 engine purr. I also always appreciated the way Ford put distributors on the FRONT of their engines where you could reach them. That always made sense to me. Most distributors, including Chevys, are on the back of the engine which makes tune-ups much less convenient. The Crown Vic died unexpectedly of electrical problems which I didn't feel like tracking down.

Now the Big Three U.S. automakers are hurting. There's talk that one or more of them might tank. The government is throwing billions at GM and Chrysler to save those companies. Ford, to date, has told the government, "Thanks, but no thanks. We don't need the money to stay in business." That impresses me. I still won't go buy a new car because I don't want a car payment. But, I'll wear my Ford sweatshirt with a feeling that I'm promoting a company that seems to have it together. Good for them.

Ford: Fore-going Obama's Rescue Dollars.

1 comment:

  1. The land yacht didn't purr. It growled. Well, at least until you got the muffler fixed. Then it was a tiger type purr.

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