Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

1994 Citroen XM

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What are your top five cars? I mean, if you had to make a list of realistic, affordable everyday drivers, what would be on your list? When Insurance notified me that my 23-year old Talon would be written off, I had to start looking.

Immediately I began looking for unmolested, turbo-charged, all-wheel-drive Talons. I am specifically attracted to the 1st gen cars with pop-up headlights. Manual trans, leather, ABS brakes and a/c were mandatory. As you can imagine, results were incredibly dismal.

I expanded my searches, primarily looking at 1990s cars, and started finding some very cool stuff. Stuff like this 1994 Citroen XM wagon. What I like about the XM is the entire unusual package. The extreme styling, that kick in the beltline, and the fully adjustable (and functioning) hydropneumatic suspension.

Even if it were an automatic, it would still be a standout daily driver. But hang on to your hats! This is a 5-speed manual hooked up to a turbo diesel! The owner doesn't state whether it's the 2.1 or the 2.5, but since both are equally slow, it wouldn't really matter.

Doing some research led me to an even more intriguing discovery. The XM was available with a 200 hp, 3.0 litre PRV V-6! While parts would not be interchangeable with the 2.8L PRV in back of my DeLorean, it would still be exciting having twins. And Josh at DeLorean Performance Industries could hook me up with any engine part I'd ever need.

The seller says it's a very rare example in North America. Indeed! That's got to be part of the reason for his $15,000 asking price. Too steep for me, however, if these XMs had been AWD I would've certainly checked it out in person. And if I fell in love? Well, I'd cross that bridge if I came to it.

Auto Trader Screenshot.

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Saturday, March 01, 2014

Kicking Me When I'm Down

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Thanks to social media, blogs the world over have suffered, and while I'm guilty of that it's not the primary reason I'd stopped writing. 2013 was a very bad year for me. Here, in the past, I seem to have written some controversial posts and, as a result, gained a lot of haters. I have since tried to eliminate anything negative, even when factual. So, rejoice everyone who despised me! Your collective negativity toward me has, perhaps, rewarded you.

I began suffering health problems in the late part of 2012 and my condition declined into 2013. My blog became difficult to write as I grew more and more confused. At first it was just the odd word, but around May it became impossible for me to hold a conversation. At the same time I began to lose my hearing. People 12 inches from my face were sometimes impossible to hear, while people 40 feet away sounded as if they were shouting in my ear. It worsened to the point that every noise above a whisper became painful.

During this time I was also unable to sleep. In fact, I thought this was the root of my problems. I was exhausted all the time. Countless friends told me, "You don't have kids! You have no idea what tired is!" And I believed them, when instead I should've been telling my doctor.

In the summer my exhaustion became so terrible that I decided to take a Friday off work. I spent 3 straight days in bed, tossing and turning. The entire weekend's reward was about 3 hours of sleep. I couldn't lift my feet anymore, regardless of how hard I pushed myself. That's when I began falling down. But the worst part was how my body felt. My heart hurt, and my whole body felt... wrong. I knew something terrible was happening but I didn't know what.

One day, at the hospital, a specialist gave me my answer. What he found was simple, but severe. What I had was a serious vitamin B12 deficiency. Normal B12 levels (supposedly) range between 250 and 900 pg/ml. Some respected doctors even feel that damage to your body begins when your levels drop below 350. And what was mine? Mine was 130.

My specialist phoned my doctor immediately and told him I urgently needed B12 shots. My heart was in danger. The next day I started a 6-week regimen of weekly shots followed by a 6 week regimen of bi-weekly shots. I am now up to monthly shots.

Around Christmas I had considerable improvement, sleeping about 4 hours a night. I started to feel better, and that's when I really got hit hard.

By a car that is.

In the first week of January I was rear-ended at a red light. A young girl, distracted by her phone, drove her SUV straight into me at 65 kph. My glasses flew off my face and cracked against the windshield. The impact sent me 15 feet into the car in front of me - a mother, her 8-year old and her 1-year old. With tears streaming down my face, I nervously wiggled my toes and reached under my coat to feel my searing spine. I was ok, sort of. Paramedics put me on a backboard and rushed me to hospital.

My seatbelt had torn all the muscles in my left shoulder, a tendon in my left shoulder, and caused nerve damage to the ulnar and radial nerves in my left arm. I lost all the strength in my left arm; it flopped around like a towel hanging from my neck. I was terrified, frustrated and angry.

For three weeks I couldn't move my head due to the pain. But after a month of Naproxyn, Tylenol 3s and muscle relaxants, I started physiotherapy. Today I'm back at work, but the fingers in my left hand are still numb. I'm crossing my fingers that my seven remaining weeks of physio will get me back to who I used to be.

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