How do I stop up the holes in my car?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Oct 01, 1989

Dear Tom and Ray:

I own a 1979 Chevy Chevette with no floor. I'm a single nurse trying to make ends meet--in this case I'd like to make the sides of my car meet! I put down a couple of pieces of sheet metal, but they've succumbed to gravity and fallen through the holes. My car has 102,000 miles and it's all I'm likely to have for a while. It's going to get cold soon, is there anything I can do?

TOM: It's a good thing you're a nurse, Chris. Those doctor friends of yours are going to come in handy when you have 2nd degree burns on your backside from sliding half a mile down an exit ramp.

RAY: The doctor friends may be able to help you if you scrape yourself or catch cold because of these holes, but you'd better befriend some undertakers in case you ever get into an accident in this thing. This car used to have "unibody" construction, which means that the floor IS actually the frame. Now, it has "out-of-body" construction, which means it has absolutely no structural integrity.

TOM: If you get hit by anything--even an overweight bicyclist--this car will disintegrate around you. I know it's tough to make ends meet, Chris, but you can't keep driving this car as is.

RAY: If you want to keep it, you have to do extensive structural repairs which involve welding cross-members to what's left of the unibody. But given the age of the car, and the fact that it's a Chevette (not one of the world's greatest cars to begin with), our advice would be to get another car.

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