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  Nostalgia ain't what it used to be

Thursday, 18 October, 2018
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The Tale of Griselda & Esmeralda

Date: 01 May, 2006

By: Chief

Imageith the price of gasoline hovering somewhere around the Moon people have, over the last year or so, been howling about fuel efficient cars and the lack of availability thereof.

There are vehicle manufacturers today who are pounding their chests and claiming that they produce automobiles that get tremendous, as in just super-duper, fuel economy. What they are claiming is utter and complete hogwash.

Not one vehicle manufacturer can state, with an honest face anyway, that their 'fuel efficient' cars get or exceed 50 miles per gallon (MPG) — in town. Further any car maker who says their cars do get or exceed 50 MPG in town are talking about hybrid automobiles. Vehicles that are powered by a mix of an internal combustion engine and, gag, batteries. I am talking about a car that, when new, got 50 MPG in town, and is not a hybrid type of vehicle. Oh no, strictly an internal combustion engine.

The Geo Metro

Bloody well right! The Geo Metro is the finest car ever built. Even better than the pre 1973 Volkswagen Bugs (those new eye sores, the so called Volkswagen Bugs are pure crap). Oh, so you don't believe me, eh? Well that is just fine and dandy. Then allow me to enlighten all you non-believers.

My wife and I own a Geo Metro. Indeed ours is a 1995, 3 cylinder, 5 speed gearbox, hatchback model. When my wife bought it new it cost around 10,000 bucks. And yes, new that little car delivered 50 MPG — in town. On the highway the Geo got about 54 MPG. You can't beat that with a poke in the eye by a sharp stick. Lastly the color of our Geo, a really nice blue, is the same color as my wife's umbrella with the ducky head handle. Everything matches. Pretty cool huh?

Now, as in today, as of the time of this story our little Geo Metro has over 208,000 abused miles on her and gets around 40 - 45 MPG — in town and 51.2 MPG on the highway. Additionally, the motor, clutch and transmission are all original equipment. All we have ever done is tune-ups, brakes, oil changes, tires, etc. Typical routine maintenance. That car, we named her Griselda though we affectionately call her Grizzy, is still running strong.

Eleven years young and still kicking butt! How many of y'all can say the same thing about your car? Very, very few I would submit.

Okay, so where can you buy a Geo Metro? Good question and I have some real bad news for you. You can't buy a Geo Metro anymore. Chevrolet bought the Geo company out and, you got it, quit making the finest car ever built. Why in the world would Chevy do that? Because the profit margin was not large enough to suit Chevrolet. So Chevy quit producing Geo Metro's (did I mention the Geo Metro is the finest car ever built?) and concentrated instead on building their typical crappy gas guzzlers — the SUV — with their inherent high rollover rate, high maintenance cost, high insurance cost and abysmal gas mileage. And y'all loved the SUVs and laughed at the Geo.

Well guess what my fine feathered billiard balls? The tables have turned, now haven't they? I remember not all that long ago when folks at the fillin' station would look at us and laugh when we would fill the gas tank in Grizzy for — $10.00. Folks would brag about their SUV needing, at the time $35.00 - $40.00 to fill up their pride and guzzler. Now, these same folks are crying (they sure can't sing) the blues. What used to cost 'em $35.00 - $40.00 for a fill-up, now costs 'em $75.00 - $100.00 or more. Heh, heh. And guess who got the last laugh? I do love it so.

Our gas guzzler

This is not to say that we do not own a gas guzzler. We do. But our guzzler is not, got that, not some all wheel drive SUV which goes about as far off-road as the nearest mall's parking lot. Nor do we own some new pick-up with electric seat warmers that all the wusses seem to adore. We own a real pick-up. A 1974 Ford F-250 (3/4 ton), four wheel drive pick-um-up truck. We call her Esmeralda or Big Essy for short (we name everything — see). One other thing, unlike new pick-ups and SUVs, Esmeralda is made out of gen-u-wine steel. If we ever get into a wreck in Big Essy unless we have a head-on collision with a fast moving train we will win.

And big is one thing that Big Essy is. She has over 400,000 harsh miles on her original engine, transmission and transfer case and a body which reflects just that. She also has a huge (390cid) V-8 engine along with a transmission and transfer case from hell. If you are looking for a comfortable ride, well, to put it mildly, Esmeralda rides like a tank. Gas mileage? Esmeralda has never, as in ever, met a gas station she doesn't like.

By the way, I bought Big Essy used in 1977 with 35,000 miles or so on her for $2,500. Great investment. I can't complain and I bloody well won't.

Now I got to tell you Esmeralda has taken me everywhere I had any business being and quite a few places that I had no business being. More importantly however is that Big Essy, like Grizzy, always got me home.

Esmeralda, by the way, is still running as strong as ever. Though I must admit we drive Grizzy far more than we drive Big Essy. We have been doing that long before the price for a gallon of gas went through the roof (my wife will pinch a penny till she draws a pint of blood from it).

So as it pertains to cars, fuel economy and longevity the new vehicles, as you have just read, do not hold a candle to Griselda. The bonus with Grizzy, other than low maintenance cost, is a low insurance cost. As for gas guzzlers? You just cannot beat an old Ford pick-um-up. Period.

Try to buy one

Y'all want a Geo? By now you very well ought to. Then I would highly suggest that y'all go whine to Chevrolet and GMC loud and long enough to get them off their collective dead butts so that they will start producing, once again, the finest car that has ever been built.

Otherwise — keep forking out them hundred dollar bills for a tank of gas while we drive past y'all in Grizzy, laughing maniacally.

Now you know what I think about SUVs.

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