Tom's Car History



Ready to laugh? I hope so. Here's a pictorial history of the various motorized vehicles (mostly cars) that I have owned or leased during my lifetime.

We were living in Muncie, Indiana when I got this beauty from Montgomery Wards. I believe it was called a Banshee 100 (or was it 1000). I was in 7th grade at the time. That's my mom on the back.

1972 Javelin - In 1979 this was the first car I ever bought using money I received from my high school graduation.

1975 Pontiac Formula Firebird - I bought this car in 1980 and got numerous speeding tickets before finally selling it.

1969 Pontiac Firebird - Somewhere in this pile of snow is the car I received when I swapped firebirds with Kenny Peppin. One time while driving down the road the gas tank fell off of this car. I picked it up and threw it in the truck and drove home. It was also a very fast car.

1978 Yamaha 500 - Can you believe I went 100 miles per hour on this thing? I used to pop wheelies all the time and outraced a police car once too. After 2 wrecks (neither my fault) I sold it and counted my blessing that I lived through the motocycle phase of my young life.

1970 Triumph Spitfire convertible - Sweet riding summer car but not very practical for a college student or for winters in Michigan. After storing it for one winter I ended up trading it in on the truck below.

1980 Datsun 4x4 truck - This was a GREAT car until someone slid through an intersection on ice and punctured the radiator. I ended up warping the cylinder head and having to rebuild the engine.

1984 Ford EXP - This was my first "new" car. It was a 2 seater. I got into 2 pretty bad wrecks with this car. After the second wreck the insurance company totalled it out.

1985 Camaro - Bought this off Mike. I stored it winters but after getting married it wasn't very practical so I sold it and bought the family truckster below.

1987 Chevrolet Suburban - This was an ex-sheriff vehicle. It was a very safe family ride. I'm only showing it from a distance because it wasn't exactly the most flattering vehicle to ride around in. I actually bought it because Alex, Kathy, Lauren, and I were rearended once in her exploding red Pinto, and the even scared the bagezers out of me. Once while driving down Westnedge in the Suburban a 2 year old Alex and 7 year old Lauren starting screaming bloody murder from the back seat. I pulled over thinking someone had severed a limb or something, only to find out that a praying mantis was half way up Alex's leg. Another time I left both kids in the suburban while I went inside to pay for the gas I had just pumped. I can out to find smoke rolling out from under the hood. Talk about freaking out. It turned out to be a fried starter but for a few seconds there I thought I was going to cook the kids. The moral of the story is "NEVER leave the kids in the car unattended". Or is the moral of the story, "If you are going to cook your kids you might as well cook them in a Pinto."? Makes you think, eh???

The 1990 Geo Metro LSI - Your basic wind up throw away after 60K car. In the end it was going through a quart of oil for every tank of gas. But to tell you the truth I never really had to put any other money into it and it never did show any rust.

1985 Cadillac Fleetwood - Sweet riding car that I bought off of my neighbor. The engine blew up on the way to Bear Lake. Turned out that it was a known issue with this version. Too bad too because it was one sweet ride.

1992 Ford Aerostar - Traded in the Suburban for this minivan. It was a great riding car. Even after Lauren folded the front bumper we still got another year of use out of it before giving it to my cousin Steve.

1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse RS - Tom's mid 30's sports car. It wasn't very practical but it was cheap and it was fun to drive. My first experience into leasing and I found it to be very positive. As a result I also leased the Montero below.

2000 Mitsubishi Montero Sport - Your basic SUV. If you can't beat them join them. Everyone else was driving SUVs so why not me. It was a nice ride. Nothing special but the 4 wheel drive came in handy throughout the Michigan winters.

1995 Chevrolet Silverado - Purchased from "Special" Ed. It does a great job of pulling the boat!

2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralley Edition - I drove it for 2 years and then gave it to Alex who drove it all through college. We did have to replace the hood and front bumper at one point. We went with "black".

1998 Audi A4 Turbo Quatro - Very clean car that we bought off Ed because it was just too good of a deal to pass up. Eventually Alex got his hands on it and things started breaking (hahaha).

2004 Ford Explorer XLT - Drug rep card purchased so that we could pull the boat.

2005 Mini Cooper - Black top with a "white pepper" body color. Who makes up these colors?

2010 Kia Soul SE (1 of 1,100) - Ghost colored replacement for the Mini which I bought because the Mini's electronic power steering pump pooped out on the way to the Splash tennis tourney in Traverse City.

2013 Ford Explorer XLT - I loved the Kia but when I became single I needed something larger to help me move every 3 months (ha). After six years I put some sweet black rims on it only to turn around a week later and purchase the Stelvio.

2013 Hyundai Genesis Turbo Coupe - A fun car that I bought because Leona wasn't going to fit in the back seat! Thanks Leona!

2018 Traded in the Genesis on a Subaru Forrester so that Sherry would have something reliable to drive to Ben's soccer tournaments.

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti AWD - I did my homework. And thanks to USAA I got almost 14% off the MSRP. It replaced the Explorer. Ironically six years later this very high tech leather and feature rich car only ended up costing slightly more that what I paid for the Explorer in 2012.

2018 Nissan Kicks - Technically this is now my winter beater (lol).

Comments about anything?

Thomas R. Wolf, Jr. <wmuwolf@gmail.com>