My grandfather was a proponent of everything American made for years. He owned a ’85 Cadillac DeVille and a ’88 Chrysler New Yorker as I was growing up. I don’t remember much about the Cadillac, but I remember that the New Yorker had a computer that would talk to you and I remember that when that computer broke the speedometer and everything electronic also stopped working. We spent months waiting for that computer to get fixed. We would still use the car, of course, we would just not have any idea of how fast/slow we were going, or how much gas we had in the tank. We were driving blind. Old habits die hard however. When my grandmother asked me what car the family should get, I suggested a Ford Taurus. We got it, everything was oval shaped, just like Ford’s logo. I had done the research, I had seen the car I really liked, I even had pictures of a rally version of that car. The year was 1996, I was 13. My grandfather died a few months later, and my watching of movie Westerns on video and my liking of American cars died with him.
The Taurus was plagued with transmission problems that were so common, they should have placed them in the brochure. I remember these clearly since every time we had to go to the garage I would believe this was my fault because I had picked out this car. My grandmother picked it over the Volvo my father suggested, and that was a vote of confidence in me. I had let my family down by having picked a Ford. I was not going to make that mistake again.