Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Truck bumpers

Windy asked about mine, and it made me think about my first truck. It was a red Ford Courier, one of the first mini-trucks. Actually made by Mazda for Ford(didn't know that when I bought it), four-speed stick, little 1800cc engine. Looking back, it suffered from a number of faults(body rust, not much power, etc.) but it was the first vehicle I bought by myself. And it ran. Good weather and bad, the only real problem I had until it got old was when I got some bad gas that required the carb being cleaned out. Otherwise, one of the most reliable means of transport I've ever had.

When I got it they had two options on the rear bumper, a light stamped-steel job or a heavy welded-steel number made of stock about 1/4" thick. Dad recommended the latter, and it saved the back end of that truck three times.

1. Driving to work, stopped for someone turning into a parking lot and was rear-ended. Sheared two of the mounting bolts and bent the bumper a bit, no other damage.

2. Parked in front of the house and some idiot who hadn't bothered to clean the frost off her windshield when leaving a friends' house ran into it. Scratches, bent bumper and a couple of dents in the tailgate, her bumper and grill were pretty much smashed.

3. On my way to work one snowy night, came to a stop and some idiot slid right into me. Broke a mounting tab and sheared two bolts, bent the bumper(again). His radiator was blowing steam like St. Helens and his grill smashed.

In all that had to straighten that bumper and repaint it a couple of times, but it kept the back end from being smashed up. Best $50 I ever spent.

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