Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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                   Friday, November 13, 2009 - 2:58PM

Old photos: Storm observing in a 1980s station wagon

25 Years of Storm Observing
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I found this in an old stack of photos that I'd been meaning to scan for the blog a couple of years ago. This is my grandparents' 1982 Buick LeSabre station wagon on Crooked Creek Road in Teays Valley during a storm sometime during the summer of 1998. I'd been driving it for a few years during my college days, and eventually as transportation to work in Scott Depot. The cars' days were numbered at this point, being replaced by a company car that I started driving in 1999. I got my first Ford Ranger pickup in 2000 (which my dad still drives, now with nearly 250,000 miles).

click to enlarge

My siblings and I grew up with this wagon model style. My parents had a 1985 Chevy Caprice wagon that we kept until around 1993-1994, a vehicle that was a fixture of all of our major family trips. Prior to that, we had an older late-70s Chevy wagon. The LeSabre wagon was identical to the Caprice, simply rebranded for Buick with a few minor detail differences. I learned to drive in the Caprice, went on my first storm expedition in it in 1993 and, unfortunately, got into a minor sideswipe collision with it in 1992.

The '82 LeSabre served occasional local storm observation duty during the 1995-1998 era. Here is a shot of the car during an expedition in Montgomery in 1996:

click to enlarge

These cars were nice and roomy on the inside, and pretty comfortable. The ride was smooth, the V-8 engine had great power and overall the things were built like tanks - but they obviously weren't great handlers. They were also gas-guzzlers and fairly breakdown-prone. The LeSabre seemed to be going into the shop every few months for something.

I'm not a classic car enthusiast by any means, but if I had to pick an old model car to own purely as a novelty item, it'd be a toss-up between a DeLorean DMC-12 or a Chevy Caprice wagon.

Nice read, Dan. Thanks for sharing!
- Posted by Dann Cianca from Centennial (Greenwood Park), Colorado
Wow! What great memories. And I'm always amazed at your memories for details.
- Posted by Katie from Melrose, MA

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