Disaster strikes...

It had to happen. Last time my car needed some bodywork was in 1998 when the rear corner clipped another car while going in reverse, due to the brake lockup problem described at that point. But I didn't expect this one. Imagine a nice calm weekday afternoon, heading home from work with the windows open and some nice soothing music through the vintage GM sound system, enjoying the early Fall breeze, feeling as if nothing could go wrong as you sit behind the wheel of your favourite ride.

In fact, it's so nice that you decide to take some residential boulevards instead of sticking to the stressful congested highways. My wife had picked up the kids, I didn't have a care in the world that early evening.

A few stop signs, hardly any traffic, a traffic light turning green ahead of me, could this get any more pleasant a drive?

Apparently not... as I approached the green light I noticed a van poised to turn left at the intersection, pretty much standing over the last "left turn" arrow painted on the pavement.

As I approached to pass the stopped van (waiting for its priority left turn light which was about to trigger) I was engulfed by my usual defensive sixth sense, and instinctively removed my foot off the accelerator... just in case... just because something didn't feel right, not knowing exactly what was beyond that van.

Well, it wasn't enough because just as I passed the van (blue in the above diagram, my car is orange) I was immediately faced with a side view of a Mazda 3 as it tried to turn left in front of me before getting caught at its red light.

That's right, full contact. I had come across a perfect example of an imbecile who should not be allowed to drive. She was definitely trying to beat the light and didn't think to be careful of possible oncoming vehicles (ie. me). She tried all sorts of excuses... I blew the red light (!), I was speeding (obviously the fact I drive a sporty car makes me a menace on the road by default), and the best was "didn't you see I had a kid in my car????". It was all I could take from physically injuring her with my bare fists... if it hadn't been for quick reflexes and good brakes on my car, her kid would have gotten a face full of Pontiac thanks to her imbecile mother.

You might think I intentionally whited-out the license plate in the photo to protect her identity, but it was actually just the way the camera flash behaved on that shot. I'd have no trouble publically denouncing her as a total moron behind the wheel... the eventual excuse given was that she was preoccupied with her baby's ear infections. Passing paramedics even stopped to check out the baby... if that baby was sick, I wish all my kids' ear infections were that pleasant!! A total disgrace to watch, this spectacle. When I went back to my vehicle, my heart sank.

The offset contact between my car and her bumper had left the nose badly scraped and the fender slightly buckled. The irony regarding the bumper is that if I hadn't tried to swerve, I might have suffered damage that was far easier to repair. The buckled fender had me greatly concerned. New fenders were no longer an option, and aftermarket quality was claimed to be spotty at best.

I also had some concern over the front bumper having been pushed down some, causing a possible misalignment with the hood edges.

The mission was on, to get the car back to its former glory as much as possible.