Dragoon Base

Connecting the Troopers of Today with the Veterans of Yesterday.

Had an Audi Fox just recently purchased in the States before I left for Germany. Drove it around Europe for about 3 years, and brought it home with me - it had crossed the Atlantic 3 times at that point. Also bought a 250cc Harley Enduro bike at the exchange in Mannheim. Enjoyed taking it on back trails in the various forest-parks around Bamberg and on hill-climbs to visit small castles nearby. Even though it was a relatively small motorcycle, it sure drew the attention from all the local moped owners!

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I bought a 10-year-old Renault Sedan from my outgoing battalion commander in Wildflecken. His daughter had driven it and she was known to be a coke head. I was always paranoid there would be a drug stash hidden in it somewhere.

It was a piece of crap. I had to put a new clutch in it, the breaks failed once while driving down a mountain in winter (I had to use the hand brake), and it regularly broke down.
There seemed to be a few "vintage" vehicles around the Kaserne. One SFC I knew had an old VW he nicknamed "Bondo" because that's what held the body together. Learned to drive a stick shift in Germany and haven't looked at anything else since.
I purchased a brand new VW Convertible in late 1959 in Bamberg from Hans Moosemier...If I remember correctly I paid $1200.00,
Had a great time touring Germany and Italy with my wife and two daughters. Great stick shift, the best gas mileage, however, it was to light for the highway....when those big double rigs would pass me, my poor little car almost shifted to another lane....I sold it in late 1961 in Arlington Va FOR $1200.00...Best purchase and sale I ever made...Joe Finch
In 1983 I had a 71(? )Mercedes I bought off of Spec.5 Drozdowski in HWB.Befor we transfered everything over I went home on leave.When I returned I went to Ski's house to transfer everything.....Bad News, he also went on leave and the car was thought to be abandoned and was towed to a local junk yard...we found it!!! It was a 5 X 5 scrap cube,Yep, it was crushed... Never got to drive it..
I and my friend Mike Ratolo bought a '56 Chrysler New Yorker from a rotating Major from S-2...19.5 feet long 440 CI and heavy as a tank. The insurance people charged a ton. We loved to take it out and run down the Mercedes on the autobahn! In those days (1964) the Frauleins had not seen power windows and the amazing "six-way power seat"...we had a LOT od fun in that car. We had to back out of one village because we couldn't make the corner...jeez.
1981 Mustang, black with orange pinstripes. Not as cool as it might sound since Mustang design was in the doldrums at that point. Paid cash for it when I left my assignment at Ft. Devens for Officer Advanced Course; last time I paid cash for a car. Had it shipped to Germany; they had to take off the catalytic converter of course. Great ride - got me all over the AO. Once had to temporarily replace driver's side window with acetate and 100 mile an hour tape. Also once spun out on way to Graf to brief Regimental Commander late at night - snowy evening, but no injury to me or car. Sold it for $300 to one of my sergeants when I left in '84. He got it cheap because it needed a new transmission.
I had several cars while in Amberg the first was an old bmw then a 69 toyota celica and in 1980 bought a brand new AMC Spirit at the px in Graf Boy Did have fun in that car did alot of traveling around germany in it. Remember the old gas coupons so we didn't have to pay the full german price for gas
The AMC Spirit was the car my wife had when I met her in 1983 in Oregon. Could load a lot of stuff in it with the back seat down.
This story goes back to 1969-1971.My buddy from our Redeye group had a VW .We took AIT together at Fort Dix and got stationed at Amberg together.The car's heater and defrosters did not work which was a pain during cold weather and winter.Also the car had NO reverse.So he had to be careful when we parked it ,when downtown it was real tough.We either pushed it back or let it coast back to get out of a parking spot.When we took it to get inspected at either Graf or Vilsek don't remember which place,when we were pushing it out of the inspection garage the German guy went nuts yelling at us,we just took off.The VW lasted my buddies year and a half that we were stationed at Pond Barracks.
During my first tour in 3/2 I helped a PFC Highline uncrate a Honda 350cc motorcycle he purchased from the PX. It was a nice little road bike and he kept it polished at all times. 24 months later, I returned to the same Troop and ended up buying the motorcycle from somebody for $200. By then what had been a nice road bike was now painted OD green, the lighting did not work, and somebody had turned it into a "hard tail" with some really nice twised chrome sturts in the place of the rear shocks. A real "chick magnet," but it got me where I wanted to go. It was fine on the back roads, but on the autobahn, once I got the lights fixed, it was a real kidney buster. Bikes and cars like that just hung around until they ended up in the "inop lot" for parts once they wouldn't pass inspection anymore or something broke that just couldn't be replaced in Germany.
Hello Troopers: My vehicle was an M-38A1, so I did not have the neat adventures that you all have written about. However, I just wanted to thank you all for reminding me of some of the situations that I witnessed regarding my fellow warriors. As a youth, I cannot think that I would have done better with a vehicle in a foreign land, little ability to communicate, and finding that obtaining intelligent help was a crapshoot. No wonder we won the cold war. Best wishes. Robert
I bought an Audi 80 from a local Polizei Officer. It was during the winter and when I drove it back to post I almost wrecked it due to the black ice on the road. That was down by the Bahnhof near the railhead. I believe around 1985.

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This was the third design of the 2d Cavalry DUI, worn from 1924-1931. The sharp points on the ends of the bottom scroll again called for a redesign.

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