I’ve had a few interesting cars. Most of them could be dealt with in a reasonable manner once you discovered all their little quirks. You know, simple things like the car wouldn’t act up in reverse if you just didn’t shift there or the fact that my Ford Ltd has a self changing oil system. You know the one. You carry a case of oil in the trunk and refill as needed? That particular one was really great for paybacks at the drive-through window. As rich kids made fun of my car while sitting in the new one Daddy just bought them, I simply revved the engine so they could get a good taste of what kind of oily smoke a Ford Ltd. can put out. But, even that was not the most memorable car. No, that award would have to go to my Gremlin X.
I believe the beast was a ’77, though it’s been some years since I had the car. Let me tell you, this car had so many little issues that it was a blessing. Why? Well, when you’re young and stupid, everyone wants to borrow your car and you haven’t had to pay enough in fees and fines yet to know that it’s just not a good idea to loan your car out. The Gremlin was no easy car to drive. To teach people how to drive it would have taken hours. So, it did afford me the ability to say “no” when I otherwise would have said yes.
You have to understand that the Gremlin X was the luxury version of the Gremlin, which is sort of laughable in itself. It came with carpet instead of rubber mats, a luggage rack, more colors than the basic Gremlin and proudly displayed the phrase “Gremlin X”.
My Gremlin X also had a locking gas cap. Well, that it until I broke it off and dropped it in the gas tank. After that it had a shop rag!
From time to time modifications make it necessary to put toggle switches in your car. Fair enough. Heck, you can even make the car look really cool with them. I’d like to say this is what happened with the Gremlin, but I’m not a very good liar. Instead, I’ll tell you straight up that my Gremlin has a massive amount of toggle switches laying directly between the gear shift knob and the dash. There was literally a toggle switch for everything, including the brake lights.
My Gremlin X even had something that no other Gremlin had unless their owners put it there. That’s right, my Gremlin came complete with clothespins on the wires so that when I changed plugs and wires I wouldn’t forget which on went where.
Another unique trait of the Gremlin was its complete and utter refusal to live in the past. It displayed its refusal by completing ignoring the reverse gear unless it was parked on a hill. Then, it would simply jump out of park and roll down the hill. It was also a great trainer for driving a manual transmission. Mind you, the Gremlin was an automatic, but you actually had to shift it through its gears.
I miss my Gremlin and i actually cried when it died. Okay, I cried when I killed it. It seems that for all my little Gremlin could take, it couldn’t take a huge puddle on a dirt road going at speeds that I won’t even mention. Though the Gremlin would start every time the key was turned, it apparently just couldn’t move on a broken axle. May the Gremlin rest in peace.