THE STORY: It all starts on a very bad week in January. Basically, everything that could go wrong that week did. From my work life to my personal life everything was awry. I took a minute out of my day to peruse the Mercurys on e-bay to see if I could find anything good for my webpage... and that's when I found this: Ebay - 1977 Mercury Grand Marquis (click to see the auction page). I showed it to a few friends... at that moment the car was going for $850. They all persuaded me to bid on it... so I did. That was Wednesday. On Friday, I won the auction at $1525. On Saturday, January 12th, 2002 I contacted the seller, then called my friend Jim to see if he would go down to Matawan, New Jersey with me. ?He said he would, so I got ready and started off on my journey. En route to Jim's apartment in Middletown, I hit his exit too fast at about 73 mph and forgot that there was a sharp curve to it... and sent my Lincoln Town Car into a 180 degree tail spin facing the wrong way up the exit. Fun, fun. Very shaken, I went to Jim's place only to find out that I lost my rear license plate in my little spin-out. So, Jim drove us to where I spun out, we found the plate then headed onto Matawan.

Four hours later we got there and pulled up to the Mobil station where the car was. My first words were, "I don't want it." It was a lot rougher than the Chet, the seller, had led me to believe. He told me that he won an award in the spring at a local car show! I can't fricking imagine for what. Worst in show? Anyway... the station owner called Chet up and we waited for him to arrive. The car was pretty rough. The bumpers were pitted and rusting, and the paint was shot. The vinyl was peeling a bit on the roof. Also, the rear fender had been hit. I was really ticked. This was not at all what it was made out to be. Chet finally arrived and I voiced my concerns telling him that there was no way that I would pay $1525 for the car. He wasn't too happy with me. He said $1300... and told me to take it for a drive. Oye. Driving it was even worse. The steering was shot. And there was a loud hissing noise... I pulled over to find that there was a hole in the exhaust pipe. Good Ole Chet was trying to squeeze as much moola out of me as he could. I told him $1000.00 or I'd just go back home. He went into the Mobil Station to talk to the owner kid who ran the ad for him - most likely to see if he could hold me to the $1525. He came back and accepted the grand. We took of his plates, put on mine from the Lincoln and started up the Garden State Parkway.

I drove it up through three toll booths up the Garden State Parkway, and stopped for gas in Bloomfield, NJ, and the car never started again. Not a soul there spoke a word of ?English, so no one understood me when?I was asking if I could leave it?there. I was wigging out because I was driving an unregistered, uninsured car with plates off my Lincoln... and of course this gas station just has to share a driveway off the turnpike with the State Police.... and I had no tools to even get my plates off and abandon it.

So, Jim and I pushed this 4548 lb car to the back of the Mobil Station so that?it was out of?the way, and drove to the Home Depot in Clifton, NJ. I bought some screwdrivers, and took my plates off, and some mementos... like the?hood ornament, some of the?badges, and the word "Grand"?never intending on seeing the car again.?After that we headed over to Paramus to the mall there that I knew from my Nordstrom days and had some dinner. After while we walking around, something in our conversation made me look at the title... the seller's name was "Chester Sylvester." I was like, "OMG... I just bought a car from someone who sounds like a cartoon character!" I had pretty much made up my mind that night that I didn't want to have anything to do with the car anymore.

That next week everyone was telling me I was crazy for spending?money on a car and then nothing to show for it. My friends and coworkers talked me into going back down there to see if it was still there and maybe having it towed back on Wednesday. So, I took the day off, and the car wasn't there. I was like, "Okay, let's go spend the day shopping in NYC and see our friend?Edward!"


Jim was hell-bent on finding out where the car was, so he talked to the Mobil station only to be referred next-door to the State Police. I was like, "There is no way I am going to the New Jersey State Police to ask about my unregistered, uninsured car that was driving up the Parkway!" So he said he would go in and ask... and he did.. and before I knew it, we were at Twin Towing in Belleville New Jersey which was the scariest place on earth! Aside from the fact that everything had 12ft high chain link fences topped with barbed wire, and then I saw how far they had towed it, I was like, "No way, it's going to cost $300-$400 to get the car out from towing and storage. Jim went in and talked to?them... as it turned out, it was only $80.00 to get the car out.


The front tire was flat, and I still couldn't get it started again. I was going to have it towed back to CT, at a rate of $80.00 an hr (to and FROM NJ) but they suggested I have their garage look at it for a cost of $31.50, which would be waived if I had the car fixed there. The mechanic there was really nice. He got the car started for me, put in 2 qts of oil, and fixed the tire... all free of charge! So with that, we thanked him several times and were on our merry way, with Jim and my sister in my Lincoln following me. At this point it was about 3:15 pm.

Well in this awful town, I couldn't find our way back to the Garden State Parkway, but did find the New Jersey Turnpike... I have never been more scared in my entire life! There was?a constant fear that?the car was going?to?break down, or that I'd be stopped by the police or something. We were heading to the George Washington Bridge about 4:10 and I was very frightened that we were?going to hit rush-hour traffic. Going over the bridge was scary enough, I thought for sure that I was going to break down somewhere and have a lot of angry New Yorkers on my tail. I was so scared that all I did was pray outloud... but then I was so nervous I thought I was going to throw up, so I just prayed in my head. :) ? I was also afraid that my friend Jim wasn't going to be able to drive the Lincoln that well in New York traffic.... it's a wee big bigger than his Accord , but he did just fine. By the time I got over the CT line my hands hurt from gripping the wheel so tightly! To make this long story short (too late, I know) I made it to my grandparent's in East Hartford where it sat for the wintertime until I got it registered and insured.

The Virgin Mary looks on from beyond to see that nothing happens to my car :)

(Notice the lack of hood ornamentation. But do not fear, for I now have 4 hood ornaments due to my OCD! heh)

Ready to attack


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