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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Beater Diaries: Talon’s 1996 Ford Escort

Talon is my brother, and as such he drives a 1994 Ford Escort named Otis. Before that he drove a 1977 Volkswagen Beetle named Sunny that was powder blue. Talon currently haunts the streets of Pullman, Washington where he attends Washington State University. He took time out of his strenuous academic schedule for a phone interview with the Beater Diaries: 

Name: Talon
Car: 1994 Ford Escort
B=Brandon, T=Talon

PART 1: The Interview

B: Hello! How’s my special guy?

T: I’m doing fine, how are you?

B: I’m doing good; let’s dive right in. I have a 1991 Dodge Dynasty, you have a 1994 Ford Escort and our sister has a 1996 Jeep Cherokee. Would you saw we’re a family of beater lovers?

T: I would say that yes, um, but I actually have a 1996 Ford Escort and Destry has a 1991 Jeep Cherokee. 

B: Oh. I stand corrected. 

T: Yeah. 

B: Okay. Well now I just feel like an ass.

T: It’s fine. 

B: How does Otis compare to other students’ cars at WSU?

T: I would say he’s pretty much in the same class as most of them. But I think now that he has snow tires he’s a step above. 

B: Are you jealous of rich kids whose rich parents bought them nicer cars?

T: I don’t think so because I think it would be better to first make my own money and then buy one for myself. 

B: Yeah, they’ll never know that joy. 

T: Yeah.

B: Why did you name your car Otis?

T: Part of it was after the town of Otis, 

B: Where we like to get pancakes. 

T: Exactly, (Goggle “Otis Cafe” in Otis, Oregon) and then it also came from the movie Milo and Otis, about the cat and the dog. 

B: So you’d say your car is cat-like? 

T: No. 

B: Do you think it’s important to name a car?

T: I do, especially because if they’re not the nicest of cars it increases the level of fondness we have of them. 

B: But does that make it harder to sell the car eventually, like you’re not supposed to name a pig because then it’s a pet and it’s harder to eat him later?

T: I don’t think so. Once you know you’re getting a different car it’s finally okay to admit it wasn’t that great of a car to begin with. 

B: So you just eat the pig, and you’re like, ‘eh, that pig wasn’t so great’? 

T: I’ve never really equated selling a car to eating a pig so I don’t really know. 

B: Fair enough. You enjoy a nice body wash, correct?

T: Yes. 

B: Do you ever wish you could lather Otis up with sweet Shea Butter? 

T: Not really, when Otis gets too clean you can see all the scratches more, so it’s good to have at least some level of dirtiness to cover that up. 

B: That’s why I use bar soap. Do you think Otis is nicer than my Dodge Dynasty?

T: I think its objective. The Dynasty has a smoother ride but Otis has some advantages, like cup holders. 

B: Would you like to race?

T: Sure. 

Otis and I didn’t have the chance to race or even go for a drive after the interview due to the state of Washington being in between us. However, when I’ve taken him for spins in the past, I’d describe him to be in keeping with other American-made cars of the early 90’s I’ve come across: Disturbingly reliable. His little engine runs strong, but not great. It hints at sputtering, but only shivers briefly. The transmission is sloppy, but doesn’t really slip. These are telltale signs of a quality beater, one that should survive a four-year stint at WSU with proper maintenance.. And the occasional shea butter bath.  


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