Man, I remember it well.

My family bought a brand-new Fairmont in 1980 just before we moved to Virginia from Oklahoma. That car was with us for over 10 years.

It made many trips up to New York to see family, and my brother had it at college for a while, and then after I totalled the Chevette and after it sat in our driveway for over a year, my dad got it running well enough for it to be our second car and the one I drove to school and such. It had little or no rear brakes, the carburetor never worked, the hood had once popped open while driving and bent the grille between it and the windshield, I once let it go 2 quarts down on oil, it didn't like accelerating when you pushed the pedal, and it didn't like starting when wet.

It had an 8-track player and room for 5 people. It was also a steaming piece of crap and a symbol of the dark years of the US automotive industry. Somehow, it survived long enough for my brother to take it back to Virginia after I graduated high school, drive it for a few more years, and take it back to Oklahoma where my father now lives, to live out the rest of its life again in a driveway until it was towed away for charity.

I spent many a heady high school day in that car, and to this day I feel sorry for adolescents who don't know the joy of front bench seats, shall we say.... But man, the Fairmont was right up there with the K-car or the Monza or all of the Worst Cars of the Millennium in terms of how well it worked.

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