Filming the burial of my 1983 Chrysler Lebaron was my most ambitious undertaking yet. With so much activity to film at different locations, it felt like I was making a feature film. Unfortunately, today’s massive effort happened to land on one of those days when everything goes wrong — but I discovered a great new stress reliever.
My morning consisted of wasting hours shouting at a new drone my parents gave me for Christmas. Filming the burial of my broken car would have been the perfect maiden voyage — but the drone refused to sync with its controller. Technical issues continued to plague me while filming the video introduction in my storage barn — as, somehow, my supposedly idiot-proof sound recorder setup quit working after nine seconds. This made the entire introduction footage unusable, and I didn’t realize this until later — when I was stranded on the side of the road.
Perhaps my 1983 Chrysler Lebaron Town and Country Mark Cross edition heard my plans, because it decided to throw a tantrum as well. In addition to having a totally flat battery, the carburetor issues seemed to have gotten worse. After driving a mile, the engine began idling rough and stalled. The failed battery wasn’t strong enough to restart the car — and even with another jump, the Lebaron still struggled to idle.
These issues certainly reminded me of why I chose to bury the car in the first place. I bought this car sight unseen from a seller who massively misrepresented it. I requested a car with no rust, and was delivered a car with rotten floorboards with fist-sized holes — along with some form of rust on every body panel. Since these cars aren’t worth much, even in mint condition, spending any money on repairs would have been a total waste. Selling it to some other victim didn’t seem right — and giving away this rolling tetanus trap would be the automotive equivalent of lighting a flaming bag on a doorstep.
At this point, after pushing the Lebaron safely out of the intersection, all the annoyances of the day were finally getting to me — and the attention I was getting as a stranded motorist in a wood paneled Lebaron certainly didn’t help. Instead of installing a new battery, I chose to have the Lebaron dragged to its final resting place (via tow truck) at the home of my mechanic, the Car Wizard, some 30 miles away.
Earlier this week, my car wizard had enlisted the help of a friend to dig the hole — and this friend went way overboard. Instead of a 6-foot, small-car-sized hole, he carved out something that could swallow a small school bus. At more than 10 feet deep, the Car Wizard could fill the hole with water and safely practice competitive diving.
After driving (more like crashing) the Lebaron into the hole, the car wizard fired up his old skid-steer machine and poured a few scoops of dirt on the car. Since the hole was so massive, there was hours of work ahead — and the wizard needed to get back to his shop. I had never driven a skid-steer before — but after 10 minutes of instruction, I was left alone to finish the job. Of course, the camera I had set up to capture the car being slowly covered in dirt randomly quit working, and something was rapidly discharging my phone battery as well.
Seeing my film ruined over stupid technology, along with the day’s other obstacles, certainly had my blood pressure up — but all of that washed away once I got comfortable with the Wizard’s old skid steer. Slowly, I became familiar with the hand controls, and I perfected my scoop technique with the foot pedals. As I became one with the machine, and as the Lebaron slowly disappeared in the earth beneath me, I felt all the stress of the day washing away. In my mind, I was no longer a YouTuber, a writer or a restaurateur (my other job).
Instead, that afternoon, I was just a man moving a mountain of dirt into a giant hole — nothing more. I got to be a kid again — with a full-sized toy and sandbox. Since my phone was dead, I lost all sense of time, and the completion of my stress relieving task coincided with a beautiful sunset on the Great Plains.
I’ve been up all night trying to edit a video together with the footage I have — but I’m still just as relaxed as when I stepped out of the skid-steer at sunset. Thankfully, I’ll get to have another go in my new favorite machine in the future, as the plan is to dig out the Lebaron in a year — and when that happens, this loyal Oversteer audience will get the scoop on how well the car fared. Find a Chrysler Lebaron for sale
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