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While checking out reader Hugojcardoso’s other projects, I came across an awesome photo of a rigged-up starting procedure that made me laugh. This image is the classic busted key scenario and a reminder that we’ve all been there.

Back in the day I started my Ford Courier just like this for about 3 months before I managed to get a new key for it. Just so Hugo doesn’t feel bad — when I met my wife she would start her GMC Jimmy by shorting across the terminals with a screwdriver. I was a bit taken aback but I remember thinking, “Damn that’s hot; I should marry her.” Of course the joke was on me a few weeks later since I gave her my car to drive and was chasing down electrical problems in it full-time.

The moral of the story here is just get where you’re going. How you got there is unimportant after you arrive. Also, be careful what you wish for; the hot chick that can start her car with a screwdriver comes with a busted-ass vehicle.

Thanks to reader Hugojcardoso for the Badass photo.


8 Responses to Start Your Engine — If You Can

  1. Dan says:

    My dad let me drive his old jeep wagoneer around when I was in High School. Eventually I lost the key but discovered that you could just turn the little horns that were around the key in the starter and it would start right up, no key required. So I just could not lock it…

  2. I used to drive my dad’s Jeep, too, a Cherokee Pioneer, and at some point it got to where you could pull the keys right out while driving and it would just keep on going. You had to have the key to start it or turn it off, though. I’m pretty sure I found this out by accident, but then again I was 17.

  3. Gough says:

    For years, my work truck was a 1967 university-surplus IH Travelall. Any key or tool that would fit into the slot would start it, but I generally used my paint can opener.

  4. Chris W says:

    In a different vein, I know someone who drove her car from the mall to her home before realizing that it wasn’t hers. It was the same color and model, and the key worked! She raced back to the mall and explained to the owner and the police that it was a mistake.

  5. buckshot says:

    A lot of old cars could be started without the key after a bit of wear. My dad’s 1980 Chev pickup was like that. Then again it was the worst vehicle I’ve ever driven, since everything but the role up windows malfunctioned.

  6. jeffrey immer says:

    i had a 90 ford ranger that after started you could remove the key and it’d still run, so in the cold winter months, i’d do just that and then lock the door. on really cold days, i’d wait until all the snow melted off too.

  7. amber says:

    these stories are funny, been there and done that!! I had an old 96 mustang that for some weird reason the key would not work at all.. but a flat head screw driver did the trick every time lol

    and Now i have a 99 Dodge 1/2 4×4 truck that will start with the key, then after that i dont need a key at all.. lol

    It will run, drive and turn off without the key.. and as long as i dont lock the steering wheel, i can evens start it without lol..

  8. rob says:

    well I have owned some 4 89/90 ford probes and my g/f has had 3 of them
    I’m not sure whos keys I use or from which car but I know when i bought the car I am in now I was able to open the driver side door and start it before the I bought it

    I went to look at this car and the owner was late getting home to show me it so I poked around it a bit and having had 3 others and the g/f having 1 as well at the time I knew that the keys were pretty old and worn and almost universal
    so I was able to open the driver side door and trunk and start the car
    funny how the passenger side seem vastly less worn 🙂 but I bought this car for $400

    I now use my key regulalry to open and start my g/f’s current probe

    this is also very true of 83-93 rangers bronco2 and explorers I have had some number of them as well and I kept a set of keys from each one before I have them crushed or what ever it has saved a couple friends now call me up to help them get into a locked truck I come with the tools and the ball of keys
    and I would say 70% of the time I have had a key that will work

    there apparently was only 7 types of key for each model of ranger each year
    though I find this hard to believe

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