What's your most embarrassing car moment?


#1

Mine was as a teenager, taking my high school girlfriend on a first date in downtown Denver on a Saturday night. Early 60’s Ford Galaxy. Somehow I managed to stick a three point landing, ok for an airplane, not for a car. In backing up to parallel park in a tight downtown spot near the Brown Palace Hotel, I got the the right rear tire hovering mid-air over a deep street gutter. When I pressed on the gas, that wheel would spin like a banshee, but the car wouldn’t move an inch. A little lesson in differential physics.

I had to get out of the car and find some bulky-looking pedestrians to help push the car forward so all four wheels were on the pavement.

Girlfriend’s response? Slinking down into the seat, eyes rolling … there was no second date … but there was a lot of teasing jibes in my direction the following Monday from my high school buddies about what they had heard happened … lol …


#2

Well I had an 18’ boat and a 2wd ford ranger, all was usually fine on cement launches, New lake pea gravel launch, luckily there was a bar onsite and 6 dudes sat in the back of the truck, got enough traction to yank the boat, then misjudged leaving as it was a tight convoluted launch, and I was rather new to towing, and had to go into the bar to find out whose car I had just left a scrape of boat fender paint on a bumper. The guy looked, and said don’t worry, I’ll buff it out, when good things happen to bad people!


#3

What’s that line from the Young Frankenstein movie … “Could be worse. Could be raining” … That’s a good story @Barkydog … lol


#4

I’ll tell you true, that was a very humiliating day, glad you enjoyed it, but I still feel angst about that day. Got 4wd now if needed, and getting pretty good at launching and picking up boats, but that was one bad day @GeorgeSanJose


#5

I can give my own high school date story. I somehow ended up with a dinner date with one of those “top 10” in the class gorgeous girls. She also lived in a gated community for the super-rich. You had to check in at the “guard-house.” At the time though, the only vehicle I had available to go pick her up in was a monster yellow 1980-ish Chevy 3500. It was a 3 speed on the floor, dually, with a 9 foot flat dump bed. So there I went tooling through her gated community in it. It felt something like that station wagon scene from The Karate Kid I guess.

But I don’t think that was the worst part. She had a venue in mind for dinner. But when I arrived she looked me up and down and said, “well, we can’t go to [I forget what place] with you dressed like that…” That was our one and only “date.”


#6

@cigroller, that’s pretty funny. That would be a hoot on video. :slight_smile:

I’ve got some embarassing moments but mostly on motorcycles and haven’t quite decided whether to relate those or not. It might reflect badly… :slight_smile:


#7

Well I have several but I suspect I’m wearing out my welcome. At any rate it was a cold January in Minnesota and I had my folks 61 Merc with Suzanne by my side. Cruising around town and some guys (friends actually) started following us. Tried to lose them but it was hard. I finally went around the back of a cabinet plant that had a U shaped drive. I mis-judged how steep it was both going in and coming out again. Try as I might it was just too slick to get either up the hill again or back out the other way. I was stuck and there we sat. We ended up having to make a ten block hike downtown in below zero weather and found the same guys who came to pull us out. Must have had posi-traction or something on his 58 Pontiac 'cause he just backed down part way, hooked a rope up, and pulled me out. It didn’t last for Suzanne the cheerleader and me.

A couple years later I had my 60 Morris Minor at the drive in and of course wouldn’t start. So when everyone else was just driving away, we had to push it up one hill of the drive-in pop the clutch as it was going down the hill again. I think it was four or five of the hills before it finally started. Embarrassing.


#8

@OK4450: “I’ve got some embarassing moments but mostly on motorcycles and haven’t quite decided whether to relate those or not.”

You cannot leave us hanging like that!


#9

My most embarrassing car moment? In HS, when my GF and I were “parking” at our favorite spot and my brother opened the door and shined a flashlight in, saying “cops… out of the car…” then drove away laughing. Without noticing it, I had parked in front of him and HIS GF.


#10

The most embarrasing for me was during my driving test. Rather than struggle with our manual transmission compact (I wasn’t as confident at that point with a stick shift) I used my dad’s minivan which barely fit into the box used for parallel parking and got a little mixed up and thought It was in drive rather than reverse and backed up and almost over the cones in the back. This is while my dad had decided to watch. It didn’t help matters that the vehicle in question had stalled once earlier in the day and left me a little rattled. Still passed comfortably on the first try.

My older brother had it worse, my dad’s office was located right across the parking lot from where you go to take the test and there was a much bigger audience (dad had spread the word as far as what time the show would start)


#11

Well, one of the incidents is funny to me now but not at the time. Due to length I’ll chop it up some.
Last time I went to Sturgis, SD I decided to spend Sat. evening in Deadwood, much lower key than the Sturgis asylum.
After the best pizza (Buffalo!), some beer in a bar talking guitars with a guy who had similar interests, and migrating to another bar with a band revving up I had some Tequila. Mistake. I’m not a heavy hard liquor guy at all but that stuff makes me 10 feet tall and bulletproof.
About 1 in the morning I got an urge to cover a 100 or so miles, camp out, and then home the next day. It was just beautiful outside so why not enjoy it…

Leaving Deadwood the road just continued to climb and I saw absolutely nothing for mile after mile. No lights, houses, fences; anything.
Finally hit a flat spot to stop and check a map, slowed to 45, and the rear tire blew out; putting me in the ditch but not dumping it.
Wrestled the bike out by pushing and riding the clutch; bike and gear about 850 pounds.
With the tire pump, nothing but air hissing so I unrolled the sleeping bag and camped out on the roadside.
I froze all night long even with coat, gloves, and stocking cap on. This was in early August.

Next morning at sunup some noise woke me from what little sleep I had and it was a herd of elk bellowing at me.
So I started removing the rear wheel while having no idea what I would do when it was off.
A CMA biker came by and ferried me 20 miles to the next town while I held my rear wheel and prayed no one would steal my Harley.
At a truck stop they had a close enough car tube so I decided to hitchhike back and declined to intrude on the CMA biker anymore. Surprisingly, an elderly couple stopped and picked thuggish looking me up very quickly. Come to find out he was a custom combiner who cut wheat around where I live and even knew some of the same people I did.

He dropped me off at my still there motorcycle and I started wrestling the wheel back on. About that time 5 outlaw bikers on their way back to AZ stopped to help and did the job for me. They asked me what happened and when I told them they all burst out laughing when they found out I was headed west through WY to get to OK. This kind of ticked me off.
One of them hugged me and said don’t worry about it dude; one of these days you’re going to laugh about this. He was right but it was a long time…

I was pretty miserable with little sleep, feeling like garbage, and still half frozen due to the 8500 foot altitude. It was a long, long ride home and a stop in the nowhere of the NE panhandle to dunk my head in the North Platte River didn’t help much.

Somewhere in my stash of stuff, I’ve still some pics of WY and even one of that herd of elk just down the embankment. No pics of the red face though… :frowning:


#12

When I went for my commercial driver license test, I wasn’t that great stopping facing uphill, and driving off again without rolling back a bit

We’re talking stick shift and air brakes, by the way

Anyways, the vehicle walkaround part went well. We proceeded to drive off, and soon enough we were headed to the freeway onramp.

Naturally, this onramp had a light, and it turned red. I stopped, set the spring brake (parking brake), and waited. Then it turned green. I took a little too long releasing the brake and setting off again. By the time I got going again . . . I rolled right through the red light. I plain as day said “Shit!” . . . I know the dmv guy heard it, because he turned to look at me with a blank face.

I mentally told myself I wouldn’t let that happen again.

The rest of the driving test went quite well. The guy started humming to himself and slapping his hands on his pants. I took that as a sign that things were back on track, as far as I was concerned.

At some point, we proceeded to go up a fairly long hill. From a long ways off, I saw the light turn red . . .

I purposefully slowed down. My reasoning was that if I hung back, I could time it so that I wouldn’t have to stop for the red light, and instead I could roll through the green light.

It worked, and I passed the driving test.

Earlier that day a colleague had rode along with me to the dmv, as guys with a learner’s permit aren’t supposed to drive themselves to the dmv unaccompanied. . . although I saw this happen many times. My colleague got a ride back to the shop.

Before we headed off to the dmv, I was told “If you pass, drive the truck back yourself. If you fail, call us and we’ll send someone over.”

I proudly drove the truck back to the shop by myself.

Later on, I learned that some of my colleagues hadn’t passed the test the first time . . .


#13

Many years ago the state required that a basic written Class D drivers test (same one any 16 year old takes to obtain a license) be taken again as part of CDL testing.

I passed the CDL with flying colors and flunked the Class D written test so I actually had to study the manual again and retake it. The second time around (third if figured back to age 16) was successful, but still…


#14

If thats the road I think it is, you could have gone another 100 miles and not seen anything. That was one of the most desolate roads I’ve ever been on. Did the same thing going to summer camp in North Carolina though. Pretty easy to get turned around.


#15

I was 19 and had just started dating a woman I worked with who was about 7 years older than me. She was only the 2nd person I had gone out with more than a couple of times, and with me being young and her older and more “worldly”, I was in that mode that young guys get in needing to “prove myself” to her. It was my day off work and a beautiful summer day, and I was just out driving around enjoying the day. I had my first car, a 1974 Cadillac that was kind of a rust bucket. I drove by our work (which was in the middle of town) and she and another guy were sitting out front, probably on break. I waved and honked my horn, which proceeded to get stuck on. I should note that this car had a very loud horn. More embarrassingly, I was now stuck at a red light in the left turn lane with the horn going full blast, everyone coming out to look, and the poor guy in front of me in the lane wondering WTF was my problem. Finally the light turned green and I could go. The first place I could pull off, I pulled the fuse for the horn–which was hot enough that I just about burnt myself on it, and threw it as far as I could. Yes, I can laugh about it now, but it took a while to live that one down. Predictably, we didn’t last too long together, though not because of that incident. We did remain friends for over 20 years though.

Another much later one was getting pulled over for speeding, getting a ticket from the trooper, and having my battery pick that time to give up. I had to basically beg the trooper for a jump start, while he made offhand insulting remarks about my car.


#16

@ok4450, I do know what you mean about the tequila. 10 feet tall, bulletproof, and - well - often quite lacking in any sense. But charging forward in a very confident way nonetheless.

I think this is my most embarrassing as a “DIY” mechanic. Several years back, my car started showing signs of a bad wheel bearing - hum/drone on right hand turns. It was early in the week, I had no time for car downtime, and it was pretty miild so I was just going to deal with it the following weekend. But…2 days later I was driving my daughter to school and on my way to work in a torrential downpour - tropical storm like stuff. Suddenly the car started to vibrate and I got - what I took to be - the sound of a now seriously damaged bearing. Sort of like driving on railroad tracks. I was about a mile from a shop that I use sometimes and almost due for a state inspection. And I just had to get on with my day. So I limped it down the shoulder to the shop, left it with them, and had my wife come pick me up.

I was confused when the shop called later that day to tell me the car was was ready and that the bill was $16 (for the inspection). Apparently I had no wheel bearing problem. I had loose lug nuts. Doh! Head smack. I had never even checked them. (In my own defense on that one, I wasn’t the one that left them loose as I had recently had the tire balances checked at a different shop where I bought the tires. But then I had violated my own rule of re-torquing after any shop trip - usually due to the opposite problem of someone having carelessly slammed them on with an impact).


#17

I had a date to pick up my girlfriend…now my wife…after completing a car trade across town. I checked the car over to make sure all the mechanical parts were in good order before I made the deal. I stopped at the local gas station to fill up and to make a phone call to my date. I also bought a few snacks because I had missed supper due to the all important vehicle transaction.

I arrived at my girlfriend’s house and she quickly jumped into the car before I could say anything. I wanted to show my “new” car to her family but she had other ideas. We waved goodbye and set off to the local theater. On the drive to town…she looked the car over from the inside and then popped open the glove compartment…and squealed. She gave me a look and then pulled out a bra and then some panties with a pair of pliers and tossed them on the seat between us.

As my face turned a crimson red and sweat began to form around my neck…she reached in to the glove compartment yet again and pulled out the “coupe de grace.” She asked me…“Just what are you planning tonight?” She began laughing and put several round objects, wrapped in plastic, up on the dash. We pulled into a parking lot and I disposed of all the items after shoving them in a brown paper bag. She eased the tension by saying that I was off the hook because it was all a prank. Her brother had put the items in the glove compartment since he knew the guy and had set up the trade for the car. I got him back several times over the years but it can never make up for the embarrassment of that one moment…so many years ago.


#18

My car “conked out”, or so I thought, in front of the mechanical engineering building when I was a student. The building was donated by GM. One of the techs determined I was out of gas; the gas gage was not working too well and I was on a budget.

The tech explained you needed gas to make this 1948 Chevy run!