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What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

Posted July 31, 2017 11:30 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: automotive luck superstition

Even though cars are nothing more than machines, their growing complexity has led plenty of drivers, mechanics, and enthusiasts to believe there’s something more going on under the hood than easily explained mechanical motion. Gremlins, Christine-style possessions, and the like have led to all sorts of incantations and rituals to go along with simply turning the ignition key.

So tell us about the beliefs you or somebody you know have about the supernatural as it applies to the auto world. Do you regularly swing censers around your old car? Talk to it in terms of endearment and affection? Call padiddle every time you drive through a yellow light to avoid misfortune? And where do you imagine these beliefs come from?

This post originally appeared on Hemmings Daily.

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#1

Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

07/31/2017 12:43 PM

So you're asking what we believe in that we know to be untrue? Well I believe that to be an oxymoron....

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#24
In reply to #1

Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 9:24 AM

First off, why are you calling that ox a moron?

Secondly, Just because you know intellectually that something is false, it does not mean that you cannot emotionally feel that it is true. Even though we know there are no evil spirits that will attack if one breaks the Sacred Geometry of a triangle, we still are reluctant to walk under ladders.When technology misbehaves in unexpected ways and with no clear cause, it feels natural to attribute it to 'gremlins,' and just ask any Theatre person about the superstitions they have, such as never wishing someone 'good luck,' never whistling backstage, and never stating the name of The Scottish Play. Not to mention never letting the stage go completely dark, even in a 'night scene,' there is some light on the stage, and when the theatre building us dark, there is still a single bare bulb on a stand at center stage, glowing brightly. That bare bulb is called the Ghost Light so named because it is (depending on the person asked) there to give light for the theatre ghosts as they cross the stage in the middle of th night, or else there to let any people working late at night to see trip hazards, so they do not fall into the orchestra pit, die, and become another ghost in that theatre.

The whistling superstition actually has a common sense origin. In the early days, theatres hired sailors to set up and run the rigging the set backgrounds were on, because the sailors were well-versed in rigging, and found that being the crew on a play was more entertaining and better financially than getting drunk in a bar. The sailors communicated between the wings using the whistle-codes they all knew from sailing. Some idiot actor (but I repeat myself there) whistling backstage could sow confusion between the rigging crews on each side, and lead to someone getting crushed bu an incoming piece of scenery. The sailors and whistle-codes are gone, but the whistling ban remains.

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#2

Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

07/31/2017 12:44 PM

They (automobiles) are becoming SKYNET-on-wheels!

With Hackers and NSA(EPA?) relishing the chance to eavesdrop and control things.

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#3

Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

07/31/2017 1:22 PM

"Do you regularly swing censers sensors around your old car?"

There, fixed that for ya'.

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#7
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

07/31/2017 6:11 PM

No, the author was correct in the context. A censer:

Censer - a container in which incense is burned, typically during a religious ceremony.

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#8
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

07/31/2017 7:14 PM

Yes, I know the word censor. I know it was correct for the context. Since I don't have any "Superstitious Automotive Beliefs", I decided on some word play as a different way of saying NO!

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#9
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

07/31/2017 7:44 PM

Sorry I didn't catch it!

So, in that case, and !

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#14
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 3:46 AM

I swear I gave you a GA, but it seems someone has taken that away.

That is quite petty to whoever did that.

[Edit to this post]:

I just tried to give another GA, and it let me. Something wierd happening here.

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#17
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 6:55 AM

I don't know,... seems my 'off topic' button worked on your post...

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#22
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 8:56 AM

Gremlins!

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#25
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 9:26 AM

[Reading the edit]

Great, now we have to start working out the superstitions about CR4 as well.

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#4

Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

07/31/2017 1:43 PM

Ok,... I believe when your low fuel light comes on... you have 23 miles till you need to walk...

How's that?

Never tested it out... with the exception I went 22 miles when the low fuel light came on about 2 miles after I read the sign... "24 miles to the next gas station"... and I'm not going to push it anymore.

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#5

Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

07/31/2017 1:47 PM

Every time You gun it through a yellow light you're one step closer to a moving violation?

I've run into a bird's in flight.. at times it makes me feel fowl.

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#6
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

07/31/2017 2:47 PM

lol,...

Ok, ok,... there's only one comedian allowed on CR4,... I don't know who it is, but I do know its not you...

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#33
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 1:59 PM

I'll be here all week either way.

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#35
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 2:00 PM

ya, I have no place to go either.

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#10

Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

07/31/2017 9:16 PM

Well, if I hit more than 4 or 5 traffic lights in a row green, I expect a lightning bolt to drop out of the sky and even up the Karma.

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#11

Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

07/31/2017 10:43 PM

If you fix a component on a car then another one will quickly fail. So always leave a minor problem that you can live with.

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#27
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 10:42 AM

Actually, that's a general principle. The entropy of the universe always increases. Every time someone fixes something, somewhere else something has to fail or break!

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#28
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 11:46 AM

In that case:

Rixter, quit working on your car, it's racking up my auto repair bills.

(Does this count as 'entropy' or 'spooky action at a distance'? Are the two, in fact, related? Perhaps even two effects from the same cause?)

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#29
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 12:11 PM

Hey,... turn the radio up to drowned out the Fill In the Blank

  • rattle
  • Squeal
  • Creak
  • Thump
  • Squeak
  • other
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#12

Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

07/31/2017 11:35 PM

Just thought of this recently - thanks for bringing this up!!!

Dad's car ('63 Desoto??) had a shatter back window. Internal safety plastic held it together, glass pieces the size of tiny dice.

He told me it was because he had the air conditioning on high and the internal temperature was too low. When the air inside expanded with all windows closed, it blew out his back window.

While I still think it was some neighborhood punk with a pellet gun, to this day I am still so paranoid I always open a side window slighly as I exit my 2016 Subaru Outback.

These days I expect internal/external pressures are equilibrated......but I still feel the need to crack that window as I exit!!

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#13
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 12:48 AM

My Mustang does that automatically....when the door opens the window goes down about half an inch, and then goes back up after you close the door....

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#15
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 3:52 AM

Really?

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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 12:22 PM
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#16

Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 5:12 AM

D'uh, cars aren't airtight, they have plenty of air vents to allow for airflow so all this popping windows open is superstitious bull... oh, yeah, that's what this thread is about...
My big superstition is always drive on the left, even when I'm coming back
Del

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#18

Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 6:58 AM

Remember when you parents wanted to save on fuel and instead of turning on the air conditioner, they would say open a window... Now-a-days with the aerodynamic designed cars of today, I understand you get worse gas mileage with the window open, than closed with the A/C running.

Superstition, old wives tale,... or what?

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#56
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/08/2017 3:50 PM

I think you're right. I've read this is most accurate in the case of highway driving, where the engine is going to be running at about the same RPMs at highway speeds and running the AC compressor anyway, so you might as well reduce drag and let the AC run.

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#19

Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 8:10 AM

My father had a blue-car theory: blue cars would always give good service -- last a long time, need few repairs other than regular maintenance, that sort of thing. Between 1982 and 2011 I owned three different blue cars (two Toyotas and a Subaru), all of which exceeded expectations.

That said, I know a lot of other non-blue cars that are just as good .

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#20
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 8:16 AM

Must never had a 'Blue Chevrolet Cavalier'

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#21
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 8:28 AM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA no, he was more of a Plymouth guy until I convinced him to buy a Toyota. The last car he bought was a light-blue Camry, in 1989 or 1990. My mother sold it last year for $1800.

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#23

Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 9:20 AM

It's not car related, but dropping and chipping a new motorcycle helmet before a race is one silly superstition I remember. A pristine helmet must therefore be higher in gravitational attraction. Chipping the helmet breaks up the gravitational sine wave, lessening the face plant force.

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#26
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 9:31 AM

Ah, I think this superstition is to ward off irony.

It would be HIGHLY ironic to suffer a head/neck injury while wearing a new, pristine helmet.

By dropping and chipping the helmet, it is no longer a 'new, pristine' helmet, it is now an 'old, dinged-up helmet,' and there's nothing ironic about getting injured wearing an old helmet.

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#31

Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 1:03 PM

I find myself turning my stereo volume down any time I'm looking for a new street or place of business and I think I'm getting close. As though I could hear which street was the correct turn.

It hasn't let me down yet.

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#32
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 1:37 PM

I know, right?

There's something about the more senses we have involved, the harder it is to concentrate!

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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 2:00 PM

My Niece's father-in-law has his pilots license and a twin engine plane, She was telling me she flew with them on a joy ride, but if you fly with him, he does not like talking in the plane because it distracts him... sounds like a lot of fun, right. It gets better.

Well, he landed his twin engine plane and he forgot to put down the landing gear...

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#36
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 2:04 PM

Jeez! Hopefully everyone was OK. Don't want to think about how bad it could have been if they had been talking at the time.

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#37
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 2:09 PM

SILENCE! while I'm flying....

yes, everyone was ok... his pride was the only thing damage.... that and his company's pocketbook for repairs.

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#38
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 2:24 PM

All this talking is not going to fly!

Ok, I'm done...

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#49
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/03/2017 3:43 PM

Well, he landed his twin engine plane and he forgot to put down the landing gear...

"I was going to remind you to put down the landing gear, but you told me "no talking!" "

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#50
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/04/2017 7:28 AM

His son also an engineer, (my nieces husband, also very intelligent) My dad, (nieces grandpa) gave them a pony for their kids.

He actually drew up a sketch on how the fence should be. I thought it was a joke when this was told to me, but he wanted the fence wire to be level . didn't take him long to figure out why his pony kept escaping.

I'd never say this out loud, but the guy is the stupidest, smartest guy I know. Well, I take that back, when I found out it was Thanksgiving Dinner and I did say that out loud. I use to like going to these family gatherings, but I can't keep my mouth shut, he gives me too much material.

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#39

Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/01/2017 3:20 PM

OK I got one....I never drive next to an 18 wheeler....after seeing tires explode over the years, I can never relax seeing one out of the corner of my eye....

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#40
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/02/2017 7:10 AM

That's not superstitious....

That is what I always watch for if I'm passing one on a 4 lane... looking to see if the tread is loose.

Friend of mine had one happen (30+ years ago) when an oncoming Semi had one go, it took out the left side of her car and also broke her windows.

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#41
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/02/2017 9:08 AM

"That's not superstitious...."

Not all superstitions are false. for example:

  • It's bad luck to walk under a ladder. (It's also risking a 'struck by' injury from falling tools)
  • It's bad luck to whistle backstage in the theatre. (In early days, whistle-codes were used by the riggers to communicate between the wings. (Whistling backstage was the equivalent of going to a complex machine and pushing buttons at random.)
  • Lighting three cigarettes on one match is bad luck. (In the Trench warfare days, a lit match in the dark attracted the attention of enemy sharpshooters. Lighting the first cigarette let him see your general position and get in firing position, the second cigarette gave him time to get his aim, the third cigarette allowed him to keep his aim as he pulled the trigger.)
  • When turning off the lights in a theatre building, one light must be left lit on the stage, this light, typically an incandescent bulb on a floor stand that elevates it to shoulder high, is called the 'ghost light.' (This light also provides a reference point and illumination of floor clutter for people who need to navigate the stage in what would otherwise be utter darkness.)

It's best consider the definition of 'Superstition' to be "Something that people believe whether it is true or not." That would also lead to another word to be a counterpoint, "Substition: Something that is true whether people believe it or not."

(The concept of 'Substition' is borrowed from the late Terry Pratchet.)

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#42
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/02/2017 12:18 PM

OK I guess it is in iffy territory....but you have to admit the odds of a piece of tire tread flying off and hitting your car and actually doing any damage, are pretty long, and that's as close as I could come to a superstitious belief...Where is the line drawn between overly cautious, and superstition..?

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#43
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/02/2017 1:26 PM

"Where is the line drawn between overly cautious, and superstition..?"

"That line, yourself you must draw."

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#44
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/02/2017 3:30 PM

Great, words of wisdom from a talking watermelon....

Eat me!

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#45
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/02/2017 3:47 PM

You dare question the wisdom of the green ones?

Must I unleash the most powerful force in the universe upon you:

Moichendizing!

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#46
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/02/2017 5:40 PM

Easily countered with the magic cards....

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#48
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/02/2017 9:05 PM

With work, I oftern say there is a fine line between dedication and stupidity.

And occationally you have to cross back and forth.

I think of this when I'm driving to a work site at 1am!

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#47
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/02/2017 9:03 PM

Several years ago, I was on Interstate 80 through Omaha. I noticed a tire on the truck ahead appeared to be moving away from the vehicle. Fortunately, I was on the left, because a right side tire must have broken something in the axle. It continued to drift right until it was free - a big tire with a five-foot piece of axle attached headed for the right side of the highway. Through a fence and into a car in a parking lot! Ouch!

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#51
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/07/2017 12:15 AM

When the tire turns on you.....

You won't want to go out on the street after watching this....

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#52
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/07/2017 7:33 AM

About 20 years ago, I traveled 50 miles to work.

It was 2 lane highway (one lane North bound, one lane south bound), an oncoming implement dealer truck had a tire on its bed, came off and was rolling down the road at 60 MPH, talking about life going in slow motion, this tire cross the center line between me and the vehicle 200 feet in front of me still bouncing about 6' in the air and into the ditch. It actually rolled and bounced on the road for about a quarter of a mile along side the implement truck it fell from.

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#53
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/07/2017 5:46 PM

About 10 tears ago, I was almost to my destination. It was a 35 mph two-lane-two-way road.

I noticed a Jeep Cherokee coming from the other direction about 50 yards away slowly cross the centerline, and before it got to me, crossed my lane and went into the ditch on my side of the road.

As I looked back, I could see it do a couple of end-overs from the irregularities of the ditch, and land in a yard.

I parked my car, got out, and when I got to the yard, the Jeep was on its (drivers) side and a girl was climbing out the passenger window, followed by the guy.

They were pretty badly bruised up, but they claimed they were OK. Not feeling any pain.

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#54
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/07/2017 6:19 PM

Wow,.. that'll get your heart pumping... I had an experience with a keep Cherokee also.

this was about 12 years ago. i was driving home from a job site in my Internation 4300 box truck about 2-3 in the morning on Hwy 10 east of Appleton, Wi. The top end speed of my truck is maybe 60-65 mph... this guy had to pass, and he did, as soon as he passed, a herd of deer came charging on the rode... (they just appeared... or maybe they were just meandering on the road and protesting something.... )

anyways, this Jeep just plow a path right through the herd... like Moses parting the Red Sea... deer flying every which way... well this guy stopped and I passed and it took me about 50 yards to stop... I ran back to see if he was alright... we both were shook up and adrenaline was pumping... but all I could see was a fender that was bent, and a bunch of fur... I could not believe how he came out of that literally unscathed.

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#57
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/09/2017 1:00 AM

Maybe because it wasn't Moses who parted the Red Sea .

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#58
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/09/2017 7:20 AM

Word has it,... Moses was a 'tool'.

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#55
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/08/2017 8:22 AM

Those Jeeps have got some GOOD roll cages built into them.

And that pair were wearing their seatbelts, obviously, and I suspect that their first response to the out of control situation was not fear (which would have caused them to tense up and get hurt) but confusion, leaving their bodies to 'ragdoll' once the impacts started.

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#59

Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/09/2017 3:03 PM

This isn't so much superstitious, but an event milestone about to happen.

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#60
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/09/2017 3:22 PM

Wow...as far as odometer poker goes, that's about as good as it gets.......better buy a lottery ticket, knock on wood, and toss some salt over your shoulder, just to be safe....

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#61
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/10/2017 8:47 AM

lol,... and better have some good running shoes... anyone that has five 9's in a deck of 52 cards better leave in a hurry.

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#62
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Re: What’s Your Most Superstitious Automotive Belief?

08/10/2017 6:31 PM

My first car was a 1970 Dodge Dart, 2 door, red with a white vinyl top. My Dad knew the dealer and bought it (with my money) so for me it was sight unseen....

Looked very cool, but had 99,965 miles on it. I was a bit upset with him for such high milage. But he said "trust me - let's go see some zeros!" So we went for a drive until we saw 00000.0

Drove it to college and many years after, not sure I ever thanked him properly!!

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