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Cars Of My Life

An internet searchable history of cars you've owned.
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I've had about a dozen cars in my life and it occurred to me on this lazy, daydreamy Sunday afternoon it would be interesting to see what became of them. Pictures of subsequent owners, junkyard history, where the recycled steel went to, what they might have been made into now. Hey, are some of them still driving? Where are they?

The idea would be a database of that stuff. Look up your DMV records, put them into the database searchand go down memory lane. Maybe even have other owners talk about the car, be kind of a bonding thing to talk to others who've owned cars that I've owned, post pictures, look at pictures others have taken.

Kind of a Facebook for cars. Grillbook?

And just to prove that the internet is now entirely filled up, "grillbook.com" is actually registered. Allthough probably for a different meaning.

doctorremulac3, Sep 12 2021

Driver's Privacy Protection Act https://en.wikipedi...vacy_Protection_Act
A legal obstacle to finding out who owns your old car [a1, Sep 13 2021]

How Many Left? https://www.howmanyleft.co.uk/
Tangentially related to this idea - this website will give you statistics on any car type sold in the UK and tell you how many of them are left on the road [hippo, Sep 13 2021]

Carstories.com https://web.archive...p://carstories.com/
A very fell flat version of this idea just asking people to tell stories about their cars. [doctorremulac3, Sep 14 2021]

[link]






       I'll bun that!
whatrock, Sep 13 2021
  

       That would be very hard to do without DMV cooperation and there may be privacy issues. It becomes even harder across state lines. I’ve lived (and owned cars) in Michigan, Texas, California, Nebraska, Ohio, and Oregon. They’d all have to agree to share owner info.   

       There are enthusiast sites that help people track down cars they used to own, but nothing quite as organized as this HB idea.
a1, Sep 13 2021
  

       + I couldn’t even remember how many cars I’ve owned in my life! This would be great, kind of like Carfax , but more personal. Except for the fact that most of the cars I have owned were already used cars, they must have a previous owner report.
xandram, Sep 13 2021
  

       So… I did a little reading and see why the DMV can’t legally give any info about who owns a car, except in very limited circumstance (link). “I just wanted to call them up and chat about the car” probably wouldn’t qualify.   

       The rest of the idea is okay, just that one road is blocked.
a1, Sep 13 2021
  

       Oh yea, this would all be voluntary. You'd log in with your car's information to put it out there so other owners could search for it then put in their stories if they wished.   

       But only those who wanted to participate would be included, absolutely.   

       Cool link Hippo, gonna check and see if there's a single Yugo still running. A buddy of mine bought one and I remember how it shook getting up to speed and how the cardboard doors would bend when you'd close them. Eh, about 40 or so left. Compared to my current car, a Ford Mustang which has like 1,300 or so.   

       Where do you get parts for a Yugo? Machine them yourself? Why?
doctorremulac3, Sep 13 2021
  

       And ladies and gentlemen, trans and non-binaries, further proof that the internet is full:   

       "wheresmycarnow.com" has already been registered.
doctorremulac3, Sep 13 2021
  

       I know the VW camper van I spent a lot of my childhood summers bopping around Europe in, is registered with the UK DVLA as stored off the road. I'd like a "Can I buy it back please?" function for just this sort of situation.
bs0u0155, Sep 13 2021
  

       Exactly. The thing is, it's not so much about a particular car as much as a particular time in your life, the memories associated with it.   

       Facebook should add a search function for this. Wonder if it's patentable. I think you'd be hard pressed to find somebody who WOULDN'T use this.
doctorremulac3, Sep 13 2021
  

       // a particular car as much as a particular time in your life, the memories associated with it.//   

       Cars aren't unique in this respect, but, I think they develop personality, or something similar that lives in the same region of our minds. Certainly a lot more than other frequently used mechanical devices. I have no emotional bond with my fridge or the bicycle I ride daily. In fact no bicycle ever, and they've been involved in some serious memory-generating activities.
bs0u0155, Sep 13 2021
  

       Curious, anybody else here start driving at 13, or earlier? That was 3 years before the legal driving age where I live and me and my circle of friends would keep close watch on our respective family's cars for when parents were out of town so we'd "have wheels". Made copies of all the keys, had a pretty big car pool at our disposal. We were an industrious group of kids.   

       Not criminal in any other way, had a guitar shop downtown, traded guitars, very legit, we just needed wheels is all. We safely drove to get where we needed to as industrious kids, we just didn't have the appropriate paperwork. I tell that story to people and they look at me like I just admitted to running a South American drug cartel.   

       I was about 9 when I learned to drive on an old Willys Jeep. Beautiful beast, about 3 moving parts.   

       Anyway, were we the only ones who started driving as soon as we could peer above the steering wheel?
doctorremulac3, Sep 13 2021
  

       [doctorremulac3]; not me personally, but I have plenty of friends who grew up on farms & started driving very early. (I went the other way, & didn't start my license until I was 18; but by that time I knew most of it anyway, just hadn't actually done so...).
neutrinos_shadow, Sep 13 2021
  

       //an old Willys Jeep. Beautiful beast, about 3 moving parts. //   

       Can't have been safe if one of the wheels fell off.   

       I see how you could get away with driving too young in the US, Around here at least you can drive past a cop over the speed limit with half your exhaust and lights missing, blow through the next stop sign and nothing would happen. A parked cop I saw barely even looked as a gang of ~30 kid on dirt bikes wheelied their way around city hall.   

       In the UK, I leaned to drive at ~20. It took about 9 months of lessons - not to learn how to drive, more to pass the test. Passed first time, which was a shock, and much to the annoyance of my friends who took 2 attempts minimum. I don't think you could get away with it at 13. 1. Somebody would probably report you. 2. You'd make a mistake, be it on a complicated junction or a fast stretch of narrow road. 3. A policeman would spot you and want a word.   

       Not that there's a lack of 13yo's hooning around some of the rougher parts of residential urban decay, but I think they know to stay out of the way.   

       //We safely drove to get where we needed to as industrious kids, we just didn't have the appropriate paperwork. I tell that story to people and they look at me like I just admitted to running a South American drug cartel.//   

       Tell that story in rural PA, it'd get a shrug. In the UK, it's cartel level. In the absence of guns on the "what's dangerous" spectrum, cars are pretty much next. You were operating a deadly weapon with no training, experience, insurance etc. Although running someone over is still the best way to kill someone and get away with it. Even if you reverse back over someone, it's still a traffic offense, rather than assault with a deadly weapon, which it should be once you can demonstrate intent like that.
bs0u0155, Sep 13 2021
  

       By the way, did get caught once. Parents got home early, cop car in front of the house. I pulled the car over, jumped out and ran. Then composed my brilliant cover story, walked around the block and walked in like "Hey, who parked the car down the street?" I probably had sweat running down my face. I seem to remember the cop trying to hold back laughing.
doctorremulac3, Sep 13 2021
  

       Started driving at 14. Early learners permit in Alberta because of farming. I must have been 18 when I got my first wheels because they threw the book at me.
I found a job at an oil-tool distribution place about 20 km out of town and when I explained that I would have to hitch a ride every morning the boss sold me an old pick-up for 600 bucks.
I hadn't gotten a first paycheck yet but I'm a bit of an artist so I painted a 1990 sticker on an old license plate, (It was beautiful...I powdered some aluminum for a metallic effect and agonized over getting the serial number and the shadow line just right)
  

       The transmission died within the first few days. I drove it backwards on a one-way for like 15 blocks to find a place to park and begged a buddy to tow it so I could thumb a ride to work.   

       Cops found it first.
Yikes!
  

       No license.
No insurance.
Falsified plates.
Fraud.
...few other charges I can't remember right now.
  

       The fine was several thousand dollars and I still hadn't received my first paycheck yet let alone payed off the truck.
It was 90 bucks a day off your fine back then for time-served and they locked my ass up.
  

       Heh, my mom kind of went off on my boss and made him bail me out.   

       Not my proudest moment... but not the biggest turd I ever stepped in either.   

       At time of posting - carstories.com is available.
tatterdemalion, Sep 14 2021
  

       Is there a risk of getting drunk and texting an old car to get back together?
pertinax, Sep 14 2021
  

       See? Cars are like bookmarks to times of our lives.   

       Hey Pert, good research. Went to car stories.com and it directed to another site. Found a snapshot from the wayback machine and didn't see where anybody actually used it. Just prompted people to tell stories about their cars.   

       I think you'd need to draw people's attention with the story of specific cars that people have owned. I'd look that up and add a story, but probably wouldn't just randomly tell car stories to strangers. I did here but that's in the context of this proposed idea.   

       Maybe this would work as a Facebook ad or something. Not sure how you'd monetize it though. Sell it to Facebook maybe?
doctorremulac3, Sep 14 2021
  

       ...aged about 12, driving my dad's Peugeot down a very steep private road with plenty of hairpin bends. I was nervously keeping my foot on the brake all the way down which meant that eventually the oil in the brake hydraulics ran out and the brakes failed and we narrowly avoided going over the edge...

...early 90's, driving a Morris Traveller down Regent's Street in central London a van ran into the back of the car causing rotten (structural) woodwork to crumble onto the road and the key to fall out of the ignition (the engine was still running - the ignition lock was *very* worn). It took ages to find the key and I was worried it had fallen through one of the many big rusty holes in the floor...
hippo, Sep 14 2021
  

       Yikes!   

       Don't remember what kind of a station wagon it was, but was stopped making a left turn and a delivery truck rear ended me going full speed, both the driver and his partner were looking at a map back when maps were a thing. An Apple computer in the back flew up and exploded against the back of my head knocking me out. Came to, put my hand on the back of my head and it looked like I dipped in in a bucket of blood. First and only ride in an ambulance, that was kind of fun.   

       Not sure how much brain damage I suffered but might explain some of my crazy ideas on this site.
doctorremulac3, Sep 14 2021
  

       My dad borrowed my mum's Volvo 240, had new tires fitted then set off to drive to a gig. First sprinkling of rain after a long dry spell floats all the dust and debris out of the surface into a slippery slurry. Gentle, slightly off camber left-hander, understeers into the opposite lane, hits the front wheel of a tanker full of diesel coming the other way. Volvo obliterated but my dad gets our with his Fender bass slung over his back (case obliterated), removes the brand new battery, stereo and a spare headlight bulb from the dash and walks 4 miles home with just a few broken ribs and some glass embedded in uncomfortable places.   

       The tanker driver didn't do so well, holding the steering wheel that very rapidly rotated when the Volvo hit it was not a good thing. Volvo 240s however, are a very good, or at least sturdy, thing.
bs0u0155, Sep 14 2021
  

       Damn, he's a lucky man.   

       I personally know of 3 crash deaths, my brother in law, and two friends of the family who lost loved ones. As a parent that's my number one fear and I let the kids know about it. I say "You may or may not know somebody who gets addicted to drugs, or ends up in jail for taking the wrong path, but you WILL know somebody who dies in a car crash, either directly a person close to somebody you know. Cars are the biggest danger you'll face as a young person. Treat cars with respect bordering on fear because they can be death machines."   

       That was one prediction I would have been very happy to have been wrong about. I wasn't.   

       We're sort of easing into the world of automated driving, hoping to see fatalities drop for 5% a year or so as additional safety features are added. Unfortunately, two of the three deaths I know personally of were caused by reckless driving and I'm not sure there's a technological remedy for that.   

       Hmm. Let me re-think that.
doctorremulac3, Sep 14 2021
  

       You're right about the young and cars, but I'm fortunate I don't know anyone, probably because the road deaths in the UK are half the US, and within that they fell by 2/3rds between me being born in '82 and now. Those deaths are especially skewed toward the young, I think it's half of them are of drivers 17-19. I think by waiting to 20-ish I kept my hormone-induced insensitivity to risk on a mountain bike instead of in a car.   

       //hoping to see fatalities drop for 5% a year or so as additional safety features are added.//   

       I'm on the fence about some of the newer ones. In the US, maybe, but I took a very new Toyota around Italy and the thing scared me. It has lane-keeping assist which is supposed to take the wheel and guide the car back into the lane when it senses crossing a white line. Except it went off far too frequently, it saw white lines everywhere, a change from wet to dry surface, the light road surface between the skidmarks of a dual-wheel truck, all sorts. It slammed on the brakes when a cardboard sheet fell off a truck. It did all it's beeping almost did that half the time I was driving down a narrow street. If there are parked cars, you're supposed to keep to your side of the road while oncoming traffic passes you and then maneuver around them smoothly. You can do that at reasonable speed but the car thought it was a crash every time. Same for a Volvo I rented a couple of years ago in Cornwall.   

       Actually, Cornwall might be the downfall of the self driving car. "OK car, this is a 2 lane 60mph road" "it's only 10ft wide." "yes, get on with it, and mind those hedges, there's solid stone walls in them".
bs0u0155, Sep 14 2021
  

       [bs0u0155]; I've from others that the "auto lane keep" is terrible. Some cars just beep when you start going out of your lane, & that's fine (unless, as you say, it goes off constantly...).
But having the car "take over" is the wrong solution, IMHO. Steering is kind-of the "fundamental" part of controlling a car; either I do it, or the car does it, but not both.
neutrinos_shadow, Sep 14 2021
  

       9 years old, and my cousin was 10: we drove a VW bug 'fieldpiece' up and down over corn rows and gopher holes all summer. Later that same year, crazy grandma* gave us the keys to drive the Buick Thunderbird down provincial Highway 16 to the Pit Stop for burgers, reasoning that the T'bird was automatic and therefore 'easier' than the standard-shift Vdub. I was tall for my age, but still needed blocks on the pedals and pillows behind my back.   

       *Crazy grandma died of mixed medications at age 50... not, as you might expect, in a car crash with a 10 year-old driver.
Sgt Teacup, Sep 14 2021
  

       ach, sometimes i want to forget. should have kept the jeep; should never have bought the flood honda.
sninctown, Sep 14 2021
  

       // it went off far too frequently, it saw white lines everywhere, a change from wet to dry surface, the light road surface between the skidmarks of a dual- wheel truck, all sorts//   

       And with that review, I have no interest in having a car with lane assist till they work the bugs out.
doctorremulac3, Sep 15 2021
  
      
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