This contest is over! Congrats to Brett Ryan (the BMW M3 guy, not the Toronto Crossbow Murderer) for the winning story!
Chances are if you are reading this, you’re what they call a ‘Petrolhead’ in England. It’s ok, so are we. With Valentine’s day coming up, we thought it would be fun to cast a net out there to get some fun, unique, interesting stories for the blog from you guys, our customers. The theme? Automotive love, of course, and you can win $500! At some point in your life, did you ever feel that you loved a car? Did you think about it while you were away? Did you ever just stare at it for probably longer than you should have? Have you ever apologized to it, after throwing a wrench at the engine bay?
The eEuroparts Car Love Story Contest – Enter to win $500!
Love is a very human emotion, and cars are of course mechanical contraptions that have no feelings (even though sometimes it seems that they might). Yet, most of us can reminisce about some point in their lives where they could say that their car was an object of love, maybe you still do. If so, let’s hear about it!
At Least 300 words
The email must have a few photos with the car in them
Send to email@example.com
Winners will be picked on the 14th, Valentine’s Day
What we are looking for is around 500 words in a .doc with some photos about a car that you really love now, or maybe it was the love that got away. We will choose a grand prize winner to be featured on the blog for Valentine’s Day, who will receive $500 in eEuroparts.com site credit!! Additional runner-ups will receive $50 if we want to add a few more in that we particularly like. Submissions must be at least 300 words, and have a few photos. We can take it from there, and don’t be embarrassed about your writing we have a great editor that will make it shiny and fresh.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your car love story and attached photos. Good luck! We will choose our big winner and publish your post on our blog on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. Runner ups will be published later in February.
For an example, I’ll tell you mine, which took my around 30min to write. Not bad!
It all started back when I lived in Illinois, going to school in downtown Chicago. Back then I wasn’t really a car guy, and I drove a 98 Dodge Intrepid with the ‘venerable’ 2.7l Mitsubishi designed V6. It had no power, but it had space and It’s gotta be said I was pretty happy with it. I took the hubcaps off and painted the steel wheels gloss black, with chrome lugs it looked undercover and meaty. Then one day as I was going down a road I commuted down every day, the car shut off. Turns out the engine was prone to sludge and now my Dodge had injested all of it’s valvetrain via slipped timing chain. I needed a new car, and fast.
I never picked the Intrepid, it was a hand-me-down that had bottomed out in value. This would be the first car that I was going to pick myself and pay for myself, so the hunt was on. Hondas were too expensive, American cars were too boring and always had autos (I was dying to drive a stick). Every BMW I looked at had high miles and some severe problem that the owner was trying to glaze over, but I did get some test drives. Eventually I found an ad just slightly out of my price range ($7,000) for a black 2001 Saab 9-5 TURBO, with 75k miles, heated leather, alloy wheels, and a 5-speed transmission. I asked my buddy to test drive it cause I couldn’t drive a manual transmission yet, and he came back all thumbs up. It was mine.
Once I got it home, everyone left and I stood there, compelled to take it for a spin. I rode a motorcycle every day so with some basic clutch knowledge I got in and had a go. I figured out how to position the map light, centered it on the shifter, and backed down the driveway. It was peppy, the HK speakers were brilliant, it was more comfortable than anything I had ever driven, and it was European. So sweet. It even came with a pre-flight safety card like they have on the airlines.
Then, I got on the highway, and it shook. Bad. The wheels were all bent. Eventually with some used wheels off of a 9-3, I was in the hole but happy that my commute to the city was smooth. About a month later, after basically telling everyone I found the best car in the world and they have never even heard of it (it was Illinois, no one knew what a Saab was), the infamous puff of blue smoke started coming out thicker every morning. Welp, crap. Apparently I needed a turbo, and I’d NEVER done any serious wrenching before. There was no way I could pay a shop, so I got a few hand tools and went about upgrading the GT17 to a used TD04. After a few issues getting the banjo bolts to seal, and a snapped exhaust stud, I was back on the road again. Always use new sealing washers!
The SaabCentral.com forums said I had to get a tune to go with the new turbo, so I saved up for about a month and got a ‘hot stage 1’. I floored the pedal in 2nd, my favorite gear, and was pinned to my seat. The tires started chirping as it revved up, I think I shouted out laughing in excitement. This was the fastest thing I had ever driven! With the addition of an open air filter to get that turbo noise, I was in love. It had hit me hard. I put money, and trust, and work into it and I got some neat improvement back every time. Of course everything broke on it, but I learned to fix it. We taught each other, and got better.
I put mesh in the grilles. With a good coat of wax you could read a newspaper in the paint, and I owned something that was more special to me than anything else I had. My family started accumulating Saabs, my girlfriend at the time got a 9-3 convertible with a catalog kit. My dad picked up a polar white 08 9-3. Then we started building a C900 race car for LeMons. They were too cheap to pass up, really the markets hidden secret.
One day I was heading up to a junkyard to pick up some things for a few of the stable cars. As the light turned green,I proceeded across an intersection. Out of the corner of my left eye I saw fast movement. While I glanced over, I also punched the gas, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable. Fwamp. In slow motion the car slid to the right like it was picked up and tossed, and my head jerked to the left. My toolbox blew open, spraying wrenches and sockets all over the trunk in a loud metallic splash.
A Buick ran the red light, the driver was texting and driving.
I forgot to lift off the throttle for a second in my shock, and realized my right wheel was generating a cloud of smoke in a burnout. I limped the car to the side and my knees went weak. The rear wheel was crooked, the door and the main structural portion of the body was smashed in. The bumper was deranged. I wanted them to tell me they could fix it, but it was over. Just as I had gotten it to the point where I felt I was done. It’s often that car love ends with a broken heart, and this was no different. They totaled it, threw some change at my feet, and I suddenly had to find another car for $2500, IMO enough for a beater at best, starting from maintenance square one. I felt like the universe had taken it from me to humble me, but I didn’t take it very well. I eventually got over it, and got a new 9-5, but somehow it doesn’t feel as special. The engine doesn’t feel the same, the shifter is worse…somehow the fuel mileage isn’t as good even with completely up to date maintenance. I miss that black car, and I hope someday to come across another vehicle that I loved as much as that Saab.
For a point of reference, this is 987 words long, all we want is 300 (of course the more words, the better the story so use your judgement, just try not to go past 1000 unless you really need to). Again, send your own Car Love Stories in .doc format to email@example.com and attach the photos to the email. On February 14th, Valentines day, we’ll pick the one we like best and publish it on the front page. We’ll also send you $500 big ones in eEuroparts credit! Good luck, and happy writing!