This is Simon's 1984 Escort in 1984. Notice the shiny blue finish. It is the basic "L" model. This car is named "Snarf." If you don't know what a Snarf is, refer to this snarf homepage. Snarf has been around for a long time, almost as long as Simon can remember.
The Snarf features a 1.6 liter CVH engine and a three-speed automatic transmission. It has power front disc brakes and state of the art power rack and pinion steering. Its amenities include the optional AM radio as well as sporty dual accent body paint stripes.
This is a main selling point of the 1984 Ford Escort line: an electronic fuel injection unit that is supposed to "provide precise fuel delivery for prompt start-up and cold engine response." The Snarf does not have this feature.
Another innovation incorporated into the 1984 line was the EEC-IV computer. It was designed to monitor and control vital engine functions. The Snarf does not have this feature.
Simon uses the Snarf almost every day on the University of Illinois campus where he is a student. The Snarf burns oil. All its interior plastic is cracked from years of exposure. The doors are rusting through. The locks don't work. The windows do not work in cold weather. The rear defogger works only sporatically. The windshield is mortally damaged with a large crack (which has recently bifurcated) and may shatter at any moment. In fact, most anything breakable is broken or well on its way. The Snarf's biggest problem is a worn carbeurator... it stinks of gasoline and gets 12-13 miles per gallon, just like a Porsche.
The Snarf does have a neat-o hatchback feature. This enables it to haul things that no sedan could. Simon once stuffed all of his worldly possessions into the Snarf when he was homeless for a day between apartments. The Snarf has also demonstrated its ability to transport six or seven normal-sized humans with only minimal discomfort and risk.
A Little History...
Simon's family bought the Snarf in December 1983 from a Ford dealer in Niles, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. Simon remembers his first ride in the back seat when it still smelled new and the floor mats were still covered with plastic. From then on, the Snarf took Simon's mother to and from work.
A number of years later, when Simon learned to drive, he was not allowed to touch the Snarf, lest he somehow damage it with his newly acquired skills.
All this changed in the summer of 1994 when the Snarf was involved in a minor accident. A woman ran her Mercedes convertible into the right turning lamp, cracking that and crumpling the bumper. This damage, which is visible to this day, virtually totalled the Snarf. It was decided that no repairs would be made and that the Snarf be given to Simon for his personal transportation.
"Oh frabjous day," chortled Simon. "Callooh! Callay!" Simon then used it to get to work every day that summer. Unfortunately, the Snarf's condition was deteriorating. The transmission was failing. Oil leaked from the crankcase in torrents. Despite Simon's attempts at repair, the exhaust system fell off. The car ceased to function in reverse gear. It was later found that the front brakes actually did not work. The local Car-X mechanic refused to fix the Snarf, fearing that his welding torch might touch off a fire under the car because of the leaking oil. This guy offered to buy the Snarf for thirty bucks. Outraged, Simon took the Snarf to a less reputable and less careful mechanic who was able to bring it back to life.
The Snarf then spent a year taking Simon's brother Andrew to school and work every day. During the summer of 1995, Simon needed to use a car at the UIUC. The Snarf was driven on the Interstate from near Chicago to its new home in Urbana, Illinois. It was a taxing journey that resulted in a slightly damaged radiator and an overheated engine, but the Snarf survived admirably.
The Snarf still faithfully serves his grateful master Simon by taking him around campus and to the grocery store. The Snarf is also a fine lesson in auto mechanics. Simon finds it to be an adventure to keep it running. All the Snarf asks for in return is a quart of oil every couple of weeks.
A car with personality, if there ever was one...
The Snarf is no more! On a recent trip to an art supply store, the Snarf's
transmission failed with a loud bang. It is no longer capable of speeds
in excess of 10 mph. Simon believes the transmission case to be cracked.
Transmission fluids escape in torrents. This would cost in excess of $1000
to repair. Thus begins Simon's sad search for the Snarf's successor (not
December 6, 2002, from Simon:
"As I am no longer a poor professional student, I have sold Snarf III who is still running well. Selling price was $1."
April 18, 2001, Simon Ho emailed Ted to thank him for rehosting the Snarf site, and to give an update on Simon's latest mode of transportation:
"Since I continue to be a poor professional student, I am currently driving Snarf III, a Ford Escort."
Simon also provided a new email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Cool Machine]-[AMCAS Shortcut]-[Ars Vida]-[Snarf]-[Mail email@example.com]