[V8] The Saga of the Black Mariah and what's next...maybe

Roger M. Woodbury rmwoodbury at adelphia.net
Sat Nov 18 09:09:04 EST 2006

Well, I didn't need another job.  I have too many projects hanging around my
next, but the job sort of became mine by accident of parenthood.  You see,
my genius son in law got a new job in Virginia, and without bothering his
pretty little head with a serious thought, picked up and moved last August.

Sure, the new job paid a lot more money, but what the Genius did was assign
the details of packing up and moving to my daughter, along with the part
about getting the house in Maine leased or sold.  Sounds good, right?

In a word, no.  The house needed a lot of projects finished, chiefly the
ceiling in one of the front living rooms that had never been installed, and
a complete repaint through a large amount of the rambling Maine farmhouse
that HE wanted, until he found out how much work restoring an older house
can really be.  Doing that kind of work in leisure time, interferes with
watching Sports Center, I am sure that you know.  

To make matters worse, they have a mortgage in Maine, and then bought a
house in Virginia and have another frightening mortgage down there.  At
precisely the time when houses more than five hundred feet from the Maine
coast are a glut on the market and are not selling at 20% less than they
sold for a year and a half ago.  Yessir:  the makings of a first rate
financial disaster.  

I won't go further into the details of why the Genius decided to do what he
did, and what the further ramifications are of all of this, except to say
that my wife and I are making the trek to Jen's house several times a week
to finish the project and make the house somewhat presentable for viewing by
prospective buyers or renters.  The "trek" is fifty miles one way, so the
miles are being pounded to The Black Mariah.  

Today The Black Mariah will pass 175,000 miles enroute to the project house.
That means that I am getting closer to the magic 200,000 mile mark at which
time I said I would retire the car, or next summer when major maintenance
will need to be done to get through the state's inspection.  Actually, the
car runs great, and I am wondering if doing the work makes more sense than
not, but that's not why I decided to write this long diatribe this sunny

I went on line and looked at all the usual haunts and found that there are
two, count 'em, only two 1993 V8 Quattros for sale.  They are on opposite
sides of the country, and very similar only different.  One is perennially
for sale in Atlanta with a gazillion miles...black on black and looks great.
The other with half the miles is in California, is black on grey and looks
great, and they are both about the same money.

Anyway, at the same time that I am thinking about the "next" V8, I am also
thinking about another truck.  And there is this website where you can buy
interesting old trucks from the desert out west...including the best of all
in my opinion, 1978-79 Ford F-series...remember those?  Those were made when
trucks were trucks.  I have had two in the past, and like to think about
another one...for about six or seven grand.  Last forever provided it
doesn't rust to pieces.  

Or maybe something like the 2000 GMC three quarter ton single cab that looks
great, and because it is slightly over 100,000 miles can't bring much more
than ten grand.  Nice looking truck for small dollars:  I like GMC's.

So, I am thinking that when we retire next year (retire to something else!),
I will buy that "next" V8...follow the "buy cheap and restore expensively"
plan, and just drive the thing until I trade it in on a walker.  And maybe
buy that older truck, too.  

All of this was reinforced by the article that I read online about the new
Mercedes C-class.  Bigger and more trendy in appearance to go after the
clientel that Mercedes wants for this car...the under forty year old group.
And then I looked at the pictures on line of those two V8s and again was
struck by how handsome a car that is!  Oh, sure, not much "bling", but very
handsome and timeless.  

So, maybe I'll end up with The Black Mariah rejuvenated (again), another V8
AND the old Ford F250.  Still cheaper than buying a new Camry!

Now, I gotta go and paint like fury and try to save my daughter from
financial disaster!


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