The seven stages of greaser grief according to Hot Rod

top gear elana challenger

Friend of Hooniverse Elena Scherr is a gal that likes her cars old. She writes and does video work for Hot Rod, and her fleet of cars includes a particular blue Challenger that made an appearance on an episode of Top Gear (U.S.-version). Having an old car means having to work on an old car. It also means that things will, on occasion, not go as planned.

A noise leads to a lane change, which ends up with the car on the shoulder of the highway waiting for a tow truck. Elana then goes into explaining the seven stages of greaser grief. Head over to Hot Rod for her explanation of what happened to the car, and how she felt through all seven stages.

[Source: Hot Rod]

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22 responses to “The seven stages of greaser grief according to Hot Rod”

  1. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    I think I go through that cycle about twice a week…

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      I'm happy as long as I can avoid having my cars fall into phase with one another.

      1. danleym Avatar

        No kidding. Some may think one man owning two cars is an excess, but at times it feels like it isn't enough.
        Also, thank you, I now have another argument when my wife says I don't need more than two cars.

    2. jeepjeff Avatar

      I'm still at monthly. But it normally takes me that long to fix the last thing since it's still usually the first time I've done it…

  2. OA5599 Avatar

    I absolutely admire her taste in automobiles, and am firmly of the belief that there is a place for women in automotive journalism.
    That being said, in a post about grief one experiences during a highway breakdown, the specific cause of which is belt failure, why does one of the four photographs involve changing a tire?
    <img src="; width=500>
    Side note: When you change belts on your car as a matter of routine maintenance, which I'm sure we all do, don't throw the old ones in the trash. Put them in with the spare tire (or other out-of-the-way place if the car has run-flats). You may never need them, but when you do, it will probably be 20 miles from nowhere an hour after the parts stores close, and you'll be glad you have a way to get home.

    1. HycoSpeed Avatar

      What immediately came to mind when reading that the catastrophe was fan belt related was the old trick of carrying a pair of nylon pantyhose with you. Supposedly, in a pinch they can be tied tightly around the pulleys, and make a fan belt passable enough to get you to the next town/auto store.
      Probably ladies that work at Hot Rod don't have to wear pantyhose to work though.

      1. OA5599 Avatar

        The article describes the belts being off, but still there. A V-belt engine with a lot of torque will sometimes throw the belt when you punch the throttle. The crank pully wants to turn a little faster than the PS pump, with the result being a little stretching on one side and slack building up on the other side of the crank, eventually letting the belt jump the pulley. The fact that the temp needle skyrocketed precisely when the steering assist went away (instead of taking a short delay) makes me think Ms. Scherr was exercising her right foot at the time.

      2. nutzforautos Avatar

        I can attest that this works and thank you to an understanding girlfriend.

  3. Maymar Avatar

    I kind of get stuck at Denial.
    That flashing check engine light will go away, the engine will stop shaking like a paint mixer, and throttle response will return to normal on its own. If I'm lucky, sometimes the car indulges me and really does all that.

    1. ptschett Avatar

      Sounds like my Dakota on my trip home from work a few days ago. (The cam position sensor failed… evidently it's a 50,000 mile part.)

      1. Maymar Avatar

        I'm fairly certain my problem is just a broken plastic connector leading to the ignition coil (that I broke when I replaced the ignition coil several months ago). Same symptoms, and if I fiddle around with said connection (and the plug wires, as they seem to be getting slowly shook loose), it calms down for a day or so. I tried to order a replacement connection, but I think I've got the replacement for the wrong side of the right connection.

  4. Elana Avatar

    Thanks for the share, Jeff! I wouldn't normally fret over this, but since OA5599 sort of has me as a representative of all female gearheads, I feel the need to explain the photos. I am aware of the difference between a tire and a water pump belt. The web articles tend to run all the images at equal size, but the magazine layout has those little shots as thumbnails. Hopefully this vindicates me. – Elana

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Elana, tell us about your Challenger – what's it's got in it, how many miles, its history, etc.

    2. jeepjeff Avatar

      I read his criticism as being directed at the layout/copy editor guys, not you (why did they post a stock-ish photo of you doing random maintenance, rather than something related or related-looking?).
      BTW: Your car was the best in that Top Gear bit.

      1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
        Jeff Glucker

        That Boss 302 is for sale by the way… I know who owns that car too.

        1. jeepjeff Avatar

          Nice. You've been pining for a muscle car… (I know, I know, I don't have the cash either. Those things in good condition are worth real money.)

    3. OA5599 Avatar

      I don't have you as a representative of all female gearheads. You are pretty representative of all female gearheads who write for Hot Rod magazine and drive B5 1970 Challengers, though.
      But like jeepjeff suggests, I lay the blame at the feet of sloppy magazine editors, thumbnail or not. You clearly know it's lefty-tighty on the left-side lugs of a '70 E-body (since I don't see any snapped studs in the photo), and I see no reason to believe you couldn't also change a fan belt.
      <img src=""&gt;

  5. elana Avatar

    haha, I'm touchy. Ok, I won't defend the layout folks. They make weird choices.
    dukeisduke – The story of the Challenger is long. I've been driving it for about six years, the engine is a 440 I built for my previous Challenger, so it's got a good 12 years of daily driving, drag racing and autocross on it. I bought the car from the original owner, who still checks in with me on it. It was a 318/904 car, and needed everything (paint, suspension, engine, interior, etc). Anyway now it's the 440/727 combo. 915 closed chamber heads, Holley 4bbl, TTI headers, 3" exhaust, aluminum radiator, Hotchkis TVS suspension, aluminum driveshaft, 3:23 gears, widened rear steelies…what else would you like to know?

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      I still want to drive it young lady…

      1. elana Avatar

        Anytime Jeff. You know where to find me.

    2. OA5599 Avatar

      I suppose a dozen years ago when you built the engine, Edelbrock heads were not yet an option. Most people in that era who didn't want to pay for Indy heads probably would have gone with 906 (on a numbers-matching R/T) or 452 (for the best bang for the buck) on a car intended as a daily driver on pump gas and left the 915's for someone using better fuel. I can't argue with 12 years of street use on modern unleaded gasoline, though. How much compression, and what's your timing setting?

    3. nutzforautos Avatar

      Elana, hard-core HOT ROD readers (39 years with the all the magazines saved in the library) don't blame you. Hell, I don't even blame the lay-out folks. But, and I've ridden (and written) to DF about this: Source Interlink is THE problem. (Damn I miss the Petersens.) /rant off. Thanks for letting me vent.