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How our classics were treated back in the day.

  • 26-04-2021 8:08am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 78 ✭✭ Lleyn elec


    I’m sure many of us have stories of doing things with cars or jeeps back in the day that would get you a free holiday at the expense of the state these days!

    To start the ball rolling a 1987 (I think) passat pulled a tractor Lime spreader from Galway to Sligo. For “safety” a metal bar was welded to the top of the tow hook in case the hitch jumped out! Pretty sure it rode the bump stops the whole way home.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,862 ✭✭✭ Tzardine


    I was a passenger in a car that was driven from the Burren to Dublin with a vice-grips as a steering wheel.

    Complete shocker. Can you even imagine thinking of doing that today.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Tzardine wrote: »
    I was a passenger in a car that was driven from the Burren to Dublin with a vice-grips as a steering wheel.

    Complete shocker. Can you even imagine thinking of doing that today.

    It was the style at the time


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,607 ✭✭✭ stoneill


    Transporting a calf to market by taking out the front seat of a fiat 131.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,702 ✭✭✭ BrianD3


    Remember the number of cars being driven around which had clearly been in a crash but once they kept running afterwards - not a bother! Repairs carried out which were like something you'd see at a banger racing meet. Crumpled wing rubbing on a tyre? Few whacks with a sledgehammer, sorted.


  • Registered Users, Subscribers Posts: 13,037 ✭✭✭✭ antodeco


    Also remember someone having around 6 people.in a Cinquecento with the boot open but tied down so it wasn't fully open. Light a very large spoiler


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  • Registered Users Posts: 335 ✭✭ steinbock123


    Had 8 of us in an old style mini going into town one night late. Got stopped at a Garda checkpoint. Luckily, one of the guys on the front passenger seat actually knew the Garda who shone his torch in the window.
    “Go ahead lads”.

    If it was now the car would be impounded and we’d be walking home!


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,080 Mod ✭✭✭✭ blue5000


    Front passenger seat taken out of a mini to bring a tractor engine from Cork to Tipp.

    If the seat's wet, sit on yer hat, a cool head is better than a wet ar5e.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,940 ✭✭✭ KevRossi


    First car was a Mini. Paid £150 for it in 1992. 5 of us Limerick to Dublin to a concert. Left Dublin around 5 am to drive back with 2 more in the car. Got to Limerick with a missing rear bumper and the lights had fallen out (fallen out of their newspaper and fibreglass hole). Sold the car after 3 weeks ownership for £250.

    Moved to Germany a few months later, got my second car there; a 1980 W123 300TD. Nice upgrade at the time.

    Grew up in rural Roscommon, nothing fazed you back then. if stopped by the Gardai on a night out with 7 people in a car/van you were OK to drive on if the driver was under the limit as they were trying to promote responsible driving back then.

    Mazda 323 driving through a flood, the badly rotted floor just gave away, we drove 15 miles home with a 30cm X 60cm hole in the floor. Owner of the car couldn't weld, but was a handy carpenter so he made a wooden floor for the left front and rear passengers that held up for several years.

    Nothing unusual in 5-8 people in a family getting out of a tractor in their finest to go to Sunday Mass.

    There was a neighbour of ours who had a tractor, no car. He had two transport boxes. One for working, the other one he built a canopy for it, then put an armchair, rug and small coffee table into it. That was used for taking the wife to town on Saturdays and Sundays for shopping, mass, chat etc.

    Bale of hay on the bonnet off to feed cattle. Can't see a thing, no problem, keep going.

    A 'reserved parking' at the local GAA pitch for cars that didn't start too well. You reversed up a small hill to park, then you could jump start it by letting it roll down the hill after the match. There was a selection of rocks there to act as handbrakes 'just in case'.

    Crash your car? Engine still good? Just get another one with a knackered engine and swap engines out, didn't matter that the plates were on a car of a totally different colour/year model.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭ Thinkingaboutit


    Tzardine wrote: »
    I was a passenger in a car that was driven from the Burren to Dublin with a vice-grips as a steering wheel.

    Complete shocker. Can you even imagine thinking of doing that today.

    Dad's brother would pull off the steering in his fan to give someone a fright if they were annoying him. It wasn't as much of a risk as there was a sort of tiller left.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,716 ✭✭✭ Silent Running


    I remember pair of brothers with two identical green Hillman Hunters. And I mean identical, right down to the registration plates! :D


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  • Registered Users Posts: 404 ✭✭ ec_pc


    I remember pair of brothers with two identical green Hillman Hunters. And I mean identical, right down to the registration plates! :D

    Was common enough, I remember my grandad having a sky blue cortina and there was an identical one 3 miles out the road, same car, colour and reg. My father has an old picture of the 2 cars side by side.


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,749 Mod ✭✭✭✭ kadman


    I know a neighbour who had 2 identical old beetles, and he would use the working one,

    and leave the non starter at home.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,701 ✭✭✭ Type 17


    I remember a Fiat 127 being driven a few miles from a body shop, where it had been getting a respray, to a workshop for some final mechanical fettling.
    The interior was out for the welding/paint, so a large plastic paint tub made a grand driver's seat for the trip, although the driver nearly fell off it a few times on corners...


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,716 ✭✭✭ Silent Running


    I once drove a Morris 1100 from Limerick to Clontarf in Dublin with no brakes, not even a handbrake (hadn't worked in years). A brake pipe had failed and there was no dual circuit jiggery pokery in those days. The ignition switch and the gearbox acted as my braking. Different times indeed.:o


  • Moderators, Home & Garden Moderators Posts: 4,749 Mod ✭✭✭✭ kadman


    I remember putting twin wheels on the back of an old beetle to pull turf out of the wettest bog in Ireland.

    It flew in and out about 10 times with a twin axle trailer loaded to the hilt. I even passed one or two

    old tractors sunk axle deep. They couldn't believe it:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭ w124man


    I bought a trailer in Bantry many years ago and towed it home with a Cavalier with no towbar. Bailing twine was great in those days


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,199 ✭✭✭ Bitten & Hisses


    I remember as a child taking calves to the mart when something broke on the trailer and one escaped on the road. The calf was rounded up and thrown into the back seat of the Toyota KE20 with me for the remaining few miles.

    A neighbour crashed his Hillman Hunter while drunk as a sailor one night. He left it where it was until the following morning and recovered it with his tractor. Then used the tractor and God knows what else to pull the bent chassis leg. He got another year or 2 out of that car.

    Another neighbour had a succession of navy blue Mk2 Escorts and always seemed to have a spare one parked in his yard behind the house, out of sight. Whenever one expired, he used to swap the plates and drive on. He did this with at least 3 or 4 cars.


  • Registered Users Posts: 128 ✭✭ Yarisbob


    KevRossi wrote: »

    Mazda 323 driving through a flood, the badly rotted floor just gave away, we drove 15 miles home with a 30cm X 60cm hole in the floor. Owner of the car couldn't weld, but was a handy carpenter so he made a wooden floor for the left front and rear passengers that held up for several years.

    My uncle had a 323 as well with the same issue of rust. A square of corrugated tin roofing was employed in this instance - The floor felt like waves under your feet in it. I hated getting in when it rained as your feet and trouser bottoms got wet.

    The Datsun Cherry from the early 80's were an absolute rot box in the back chassis - You had to take the back seat out to carry out any welding as it would catch fire from the heat - A word of mouth service bulletin went around our home town after a few got burned to the ground.

    I remember a load of us being in a column change Lite-Ace van sat on a small bar stool between the wheel arch and the tailgate from Letterkenny to Dungloe.

    If this happened now .... FFS you would be arrested - Van siezed and kids put into care

    You did what you did in them days - All means of transport were people carriers and you made do with what you got !


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,326 ✭✭✭ Thoie


    Same owner, but I can't remember if they were the same car.

    As the passenger, you had a bit of bailing twine cutting into the back of your legs, as the passenger door was held on by twine running from the door handle to the handbrake. You got in and out either through the window, or the driver's side .

    There was a bit of string around the steering wheel with a lump of metal on it. You started the car by sticking the lump of metal into where you'd expect the ignition to be, and jiggle it around a lot until the car started.

    This car(s) was only used for "local" journeys - there was a second car that was (probably) roadworthy if you were going into "the big town".


  • Registered Users Posts: 404 ✭✭ ec_pc


    Ah the memories!

    A few memorable ones include my mothers friend had a blue mini in the 80's with a screw driver as a gear stick, my friends father had a Hillman Hunter which started using a tea spoon, the old Corolla with planks of wood wedged against the back seat to keep the front seat upright.

    My dad had several Nissan Vanettes in the 80's which we regularly put 2 wooden garden benches into the back of it. There was often 10 kids in the back of those vans, the craic was mighty. Opening the sliding door as we drove along was great fun.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,831 ✭✭✭ RobAMerc


    ec_pc wrote: »
    Corolla with planks of wood wedged against the back seat to keep the front seat upright.


    :D:D:D:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,695 ✭✭✭✭ Wishbone Ash


    I drove a tractor with a very heavy rotavator from Swords to Lusk with no clutch years ago. The lad I was working for at the time asked me to do it. I was given a run start off a low loader and off I went. It was a very hairy journey. Making the right turn at Blake's Cross was heart in mouth stuff (pre motorway days when the N1 was really busy). There's no way in hell that I'd do it now - I'd tell him where to shove his clutchless tractor.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,080 Mod ✭✭✭✭ blue5000


    It seems the rural stories are worse on this thread. Anyone remember the battery under the back seat on VW beetles?

    I'm the oldest of 5, but coming home from the maternity hospital with either number 4 or 5, I can't remember which, the carry cot and the rest of us were crammed into the back seat of the beetle. The pressure got too high on the back seat springs and started to short the battery. Wasn't long until there was a burning smell in the back. I think the father realized it was time to trade up to an Austin Cambridge after that episode.

    If the seat's wet, sit on yer hat, a cool head is better than a wet ar5e.



  • Registered Users Posts: 885 ✭✭✭ Joe 90


    antodeco wrote: »
    Also remember someone having around 6 people.in a Cinquecento with the boot open but tied down so it wasn't fully open. Light a very large spoiler

    There were seven if us in my first car one evening. The car was a 1961 Mini and we were going to the Guard's barracks. This was 1969, I'm pretty certain.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,296 ✭✭✭ The Red Ace


    Back in the late 70s I shared a house with 4 or 5 fellows who were all uni students in Galway, for the summer holidays a few of the lads used to turn their hands to painting or doing lawns and one fellow had a reasonably well held together Beetle, one night on the return journey from the pub when the boys had a few bevies too many they had a crash and shortened the Beetle a little causing the doors to go a little out of line and couldn’t be held closed. After a lot of fettling we got the passenger door sorted but couldn’t get the drivers door to stay closed, at work I used oxy acetelene so on the way back to the workshop I called by the flat and brazed the drivers door permanently closed, the boys were back to work again everybody loaded through the passenger door


  • Registered Users Posts: 623 ✭✭✭ galvo_clare


    Following the Donegal Rally in 1990 I was a passenger in a 205 GTi that hit an Astra head on (luckily on a windy boreen but speeds were high enough to write off both cars). Had my seatbelt on of course but the girl behind me had her glasses fly off and hit the windscreen.
    After regrouping, we decided to tow the Peugeot back to Clare. I was driving an ‘86 Ascona Cup and it did the job no bother. Probably better that I didn’t find out until we reached home that the Pug at the end of the tow rope was relying solely on the handbrake.
    A lot of Clare rally fans passed us on the way down and they’d have known both cars. They told me their thought process went like this as they passed:
    X’s 205 is going slowly. He’s very close to galvo_clare’s car. Oh.
    The only injury I suffered was a mighty sore chest from the seatbelt. Spent the next few weeks in agony any time I had to park the car. Wide tyres and no power steering was no fun.

    Back in the 80s Dad had a second gen Cressida which was grand for three children. Can’t remember the details but one day we had to drive to Dublin with an extra passenger so six in the car.
    Dad jury rigged a seat for my 7 year old brother by crisscrossing the two front seat belts to create a seat back. A cushion on the centre console completed the modifications. ‘‘Twas grand sure - it was an automatic. Didn’t stop the brother on at least two occasions knocking the car into neutral at main road speeds.


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