David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/23/14 11:31 a.m.

Old cars are simply older than new cars and, as such, sometimes they break. If it’s any consolation, in the past we’ve been stranded by brand-new cars as well.

Our 1975 Pontiac Catalina Safari recently broke. First, we must add, the timing was pretty good. We started that day with a trip to Jacksonville, Florida, for the Automotive Addicts Cars & Coffee. We’d heard that it attracts a nice field, and when our friends’ surf band, the The Crowkeepers was tapped to provide some entertainment, we made the trip.

The wagon cruised up there effortlessly. After the show, we crossed through Jacksonville for lunch. Then we drove back home—a little longer than an hour each way.

As we pulled into the driveway, we smelled something sweet and heard that telltale hiss. Yep, blown coolant hose. The foot-long hose that connects the block to the heater core burst. The replacement cost us only a buck or so, though, and didn’t even take long to replace.

Soon after we got the car running, we again smelled coolant and were met with a puddle. This time, the water pump went. While the car was down, we also replaced a brake master cylinder that was going soft.

Despite the minor setbacks, the car still continues to turn heads.

By the way, this weekend is the Rolex 24 At Daytona. To see the wagon in person, cruise by our infield compound. The whole gang will be there.

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joehancock None
1/29/14 12:56 p.m.

I got to see this car at the 24hrs! I LOVE these old land yachts!! I would love to find one for myself. Got a kid coming and who needs a mini-van when you can have these super sized wagons. :-)

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