I’m not proud of it, but I’ve driven some real piles on public roads. I mean real garbage. But unlike this person in Australia, I’ve never been caught driving a car without its front end, windshield, or rear glass. Let’s talk about this ridiculous reprimand that occurred in the state of Victoria in Australia earlier this month, then see if I can get any of you to admit that you’ve also partaken in such tomfoolery.
I’ve never driven a car that I thought was endangering other vehicles on the road, but I have driven cars that I thought might endanger me a bit. My Postal Jeep before my repairs was definitely the worst.
I’m going to quote my colleague Jason Torchinsky’s words from my 2019 Jalopnik article titled “I Drove My $500 Postal Jeep Only a Few Miles but It Was Still Sketchy as Hell“:
One of the things I think I actually take real pride in is the fact that I’m willing and able to drive some really, really terrible cars. It’s one of those perverse things I actually love, and the worse it is, the better it feels. I don’t think it’s a sex thing, but let’s be honest, who the hell knows?
Anyway, David’s Postal Jeep really delivered here. It’s terrible. And I mean that by my own Torch standards of terrible. It’s barely drivable, and, I’m pretty sure it’s dangerous as hell, too. It’s stubbornly slow, which may be the only reason David or myself or anyone behind the wheel of that thing is still alive. It’s also impressive that the performance of it with a real-car inline-six is as bad or worse than things I’ve driven with a single, wheezy two-stroke cylinder.
The Postal Jeep is baffling in how bad it drives. Nothing makes sense. Why is it so hard to keep in a straight line at 35 mph? How does it require so much steering input? Why does it want to start fishtailing at the slightest provocation, like driving by a sign with colors that are just a bit too vivid? Nothing about it makes any sense.
Except the brakes. They make sense when you understand that they have no interest in stopping you.
I don’t throw the word “deathtrap” around much, but I could be tempted to make an exception here.
Mercedes chimed into my slack discussion to mention that she daily-drove the little Ford Festiva you see drowning in a dirty river below:
Here’s a screenshot from a video a trucker took of Mercedes driving the Festiva as-is down the highway, with the passenger’s floorboard covered in White Claws:
As for that Hyundai Palisade that cops in Victoria pulled over on Saturday the 18th of March? Well, I’ll just embed the Tweet:
Checklist before leaving the house:
???? Front end of the car
Officers couldn’t believe their eyes when this vehicle drove past them on McIntyre Road in Sunshine North on Saturday.
— Victoria Police (@VictoriaPolice) March 19, 2023
“Keys, wallet, front end of the car” read the three items on the hilarious fake checklist on the Victoria Police’s Twitter page. The police’s press release describes what happened:
Police had to do a double-take after watching a car drive past them missing half its front end in Sunshine North.
Officers were on patrol when a 2022 Hyundai Palisade drove past them on McIntyre Road about 3.30pm on Saturday.
It wasn’t the 41-year-old woman’s driving that drew their attention, but the fact that it had no windscreen, back window, or panels to cover its engine.
The Brighton woman had already been issued with a defect notice by police on Wednesday, warned it was unsafe and not to drive it.
She was issued with another fine, this time for using a light vehicle in breach of a major defect notice which will cost her $740 plus earning herself three demerit points.
That’s some sketchy stuff!
Have you driven a janky car before on public roads, even temporarily? Maybe you just got into a fender bender, or your tire keeps going flat after 20 miles, or your radiator is leaking all over the road — any sort of janky driving, I want to hear about it in the comments section!