Back Shlaes! Up Next

A goodbye e-mail to the International Merkur Owners' Network

(What's a Scorpio?  Click Here)

To all those expressing an interest in my Scorpio, sorry, you're too late.

After 6 years, it is time to say goodbye to IMON.  Sunday morning, I watched my
1989 Scorpio head down the alley in the hands of its new owner, a fellow IMON
member.  I'll miss it, but things are different now.

IMON was my first online community, and still the best one I've been involved
with.  I think I would have sold the car in '87 if I weren't having so much fun
owning it.  Thanks to everybody, especially Roland.

Mostly, I'll remember

--Finding Merkurbahn, and discovering that I wasn't a slave to the dealer
--The first Landmark Ford show, where my Scorpio was the only one there, and I
learned that my online friend Chris was actually Christine.
--115 mph most of the way across Canada
--Flying to Minneapolis to pick up my second Scorpio (long gone) from an IMONer
--Having Andrew Steere find me a replacement turn signal in a scrapyard in New
Hampshire while I drove cross-country
  to Maine, and having it waiting at the summer house.
--Driving back from Minneapolis, and testing out the car in the Kettle Moraine
State Park.
--Explaining again and again what the filler buttons on the right door are for.
(Where the mirror control and window switch would be on a RHD Scorpio)
--Talking to my younger son while he sat in the airbagless front passenger seat.
(I'll especially miss that.  It's just not the same from the back.)
--Listening to him beep and whistle when he pressed "his" buttons on the right
door (see above)
--Hauling a fully assembled motorcycle (scooter, technically) back from Detroit
with all the doors and windows closed.
--Getting talked into euro lights when a cretin in a Suburban creamed my right
front headlight
--Trading my remaining headlight for a liter of single-malt scotch, by mail
--The baffled Ford parts guy when he forked over shocks /struts for all four
corners for less than $100
--The look on my mechanic's face when I hand him printouts of
  which BMW fan to buy, and where to cut the airbox, and where not to.  (Making
a 1-hour job out of a "totalling" repair.)
--The look on any person's face who is lucky enough to ride in the back seat
--Talking to potential buyers who were willing to fly to Chicago from Los
Angeles, Seattle, St. Louis, and Ottawa, Ontario to pick it up.
--Seeing that the buyer was about my height.  (The seat wouldn't budge in its

But since 1995, a lot has changed.  I make more money, and have less time than I
used to.  Any my 6-year old, mildly quirky car has turned into an 11-year-old
rarity.  Meanwhile, the group's Scorpio content has grown.  At first it was
almost all XR info, and I looked for posts from Chris Cleeland or Homer Shannon
or Kevin Randles or Paul Doering or Steve Baert for anything about my car.
(Sorry if I missed anyone.)

Also, we used to talk about problems with Ford dealers.  How long has it been
since dealers were a practical solution for our problems?  Now we talk about
scrap dealers.

I wish everyone the best, and hope that the members figure out a good way to
stay together.  This group is too good to just go away.

It's been a great run.  I flew to Detroit saturday to pick up the Volvo, then
hurried home so I could meet the buyer flying in on Sunday.  My other friends
don't understand why there have to be airplanes involved.  "Why does getting a
car have to be an adventure?" they ask.

I know plenty of people who could tell them why.  And I'll miss them.

As ever,

'98 Volvo V70 T5
'92 Camry LE
'81 Honda C70 Passport
No '89 Scorpio, 75k miles, euro lights, Borla exhaust


Copyright 2000 by Noah Shlaes