An earlier blog this week about repairs made me think of a funny story from my youth. My very first car was an old Datsun stick shift. I don’t even remember what model. But it was old when I got it, had some rust and eventually a hole rusted through underneath so that when you ran through a puddle, you could easily get splashed INSIDE the car.
My boyfriend at the time (eventually husband, now wasband) and I both wanted to be “handy” so I taught myself how to change the oil/air filter and then we decided to tackle the rust spots. We got a sanding attachment for a drill (which we had to borrow from my downstairs neighbors) and some primer spray paint. The idea was to sand off the rust, prime it and then paint over it with a coat of matching light blue. This plan went off the rails in so many places that I can’t believe we didn’t see it coming. First, as everyone can probably guess, when we started to sand the rust off it became clear that we would probably be sanding straight through if we weren’t careful. As the old saying goes, the rust was the only thing holding it together in places. That meant in a few spots, we just sanded it smooth but didn’t get all the rust. Then, no surprise, the primer didn’t want to stick to the still rusty spots, so we really sprayed it on heavily. Then we couldn’t match the light blue color of the car for love nor money. We ended up with seven or eight cans of spray paint and seven or eight swatches of different blues along the back of the car. BF was sure we could match the color if we went up to the Twin Cities to look (I was living in Northfield at the time). Since he didn’t want the car to rust while we were working on the correct color matching, he put duct tape patches on all the rusted and primed spots. (No, I am not making this up.) From a distance it looked like the car had zits.
We never did find the right color, never did take the duct tape off the zit car. After another few months, we ended up with it in Milwaukee where the car eventually ended its life in the blizzard of 1979. I’ve never even considered sanding the rust of another car!
What was your first car?