Vicki's Ducati Paso 750

[The way the Paso looked when we got it home....with the exhaust temporarily placed on the bike for the photo.]
This is Vicki's 1987 Ducati Paso 750. We found it listed on eBay and struck up a deal with the owner through some emails, and two days later, we were driving up to Indiana to pick it up. The ride up there was interesting......

Here’s my side of the story…….After "backdooring" an auction on eBay where I talked the owner into ending the auction early for an agreed upon purchasing price, my wife and I were heading up to the Cincinnati area from South Carolina to pick up a 1987 Paso 750 that was in need of some serious TLC to bring it back to life. The evening before we were to leave, we spent some time connecting the trailer to the car, checking tire pressures, inspecting wiring, and other things, so that we could leave the house as soon as we rolled out of bed in the morning. One thing that Vicki noticed was that the trailer’s wiring harness seemed to be a little close to the car’s exhaust, as the person who installed the car’s harness has it so it comes out of the trunk. This was how the harness was previously when we’ve used the trailer locally, so we decided to leave it as it was.

We woke up fairly early and were on the road a little sooner than we were expecting. We pretty much drove non-stop to Jellico, TN when we needed gas and a late breakfast. We had stopped at a Shell station sharing the building with an Arbys at the Jellico exit off of I-40, and this is where the chaos and trouble all hit us at once.

For some odd reason beyond my comprehension, I just assumed that Vicki would run in and get us some sandwiches while I was pumping gas. Well, naturally, I was wrong with the assumption, as Vicki reminded me that I don’t seem to be able to fill the car correctly. I typically fill the tank until the nozzle cuts off, then round it up to the next quarter or fifty cents. On the other hand, Vicki likes to fill the tank nearly to the filler cap. Before I knew it, I was the one going into Arby’s as she filled the tank “her way”. Little did I know this was going to cause trouble.

You see, in the past, I've always had this habit that ANY time I get out of the car, the keys are in my hand and go straight to my front-right, pants pocket. I do this all the time, even when Vicki is going to sit in the car and wait for me to come back. Whenever I do this, she always has to inform me that she isn't going to steal the car. Subconsciously, I think I’m really just afraid she’s going to take the car and desert me (edit - after this day, this fear is much stronger). I've been trying to prevent her from getting a complex of distrust from me, so I try to remember to leave the keys in the car when she isn't going inside with me, and well…. she wasn't supposed to be going inside after filling the car.

The line at the cash register was long, so I was still standing there when I looked over my shoulder and saw Vicki walk into the store. She had decided to go to the restroom, if not for anything else than to wash her hands before we started eating. I figured she’d left the car unlocked, so I periodically would look over my shoulder to keep an eye on it. I had gotten our meal before Vicki came out of the restroom and strolled out to the car to discover that she’d locked it. Thinking that she’d be out soon enough, I set the food and drinks on the roof of the car and sat on the trailer. At this time, I am reminded of Vicki’s observation of the previous evening. The trailer’s wiring harness has melted into a bundle of black, hard, and brittle wire insulation and copper strands. I have no idea if anything has shorted out, so I disconnect the harness and figure I’ll mess with it after we pick up the bike. So then, I sit there and wait.....and wait....and wait.....for Vicki to come out of the store.

[The trailer wiring harness was repaired with duct tape until we could get home to repair it properly.]

By the time she comes out of the store, I was a little perturbed at the amount of time that she had taken. As she walks over toward the car, I notice a strange look on her face, and I’m completely baffled as to what seems to be causing it. When she gets next to the passenger's door window, everything falls into place. “Oh crap!” she says loudly. It was at this time she noticed the keys dangling from the ignition. What happened was that she locked the doors manually from the passenger's door without even looking at the ignition. Bad thing is, she bought a new change-purse and hadn’t put her spare key it, yet, so the spare was…….in the glove box! It is at this time we start arguing with each other as to whose fault it is.....hers for leaving and locking the car without checking for the keys, or mine for "finally" leaving the keys in the car when she wasn’t go into the store with me.

Checking with the cashier at the store, the nearest VW dealer is over an hour away in Knoxville and calling them out would be free, but it would be a one to two hour wait. The nearest locksmith was thirty to forty-five minutes away, and I figure he'd charge us at least $125 for the drive there-and-back and for unlocking the car. By this time, I'm getting a bit bent out of shape with us taking vocal jabs at each other, and I’ve gotten to where I just don't care anymore. I ask to borrow a hammer and walk out to the car. Vicki said it was like seeing a train wreck….she just couldn’t help but watch through the store’s window.

Swiiiiiiing……smack…………. The guy at the next pump looks in disbelief…

Swiiiiiiing……smack…………. Now, practically EVERYONE is watching…

Swiiiiiiing……… shards fly all over the interior of the car.

[The temporary plastic bag and duct tape window to make it back home.]

Here I take a mental “Note to Self”: Years ago, an EMS buddy told me a trick of taping a window to prevent glass from flying all over the place when breaking it. I remembered this BEFORE breaking the window, and now believe that I really should have bought that three-dollar roll of duct tape that they had in the store.

Walking back toward the store, a guy says, “That’s one way to do it”. I respond with, “It’ll probably be cheaper than calling a locksmith”. I return the hammer, get a trash bag from the cashier, and tape up the window using the roll of duct tape that I had in the car.......and about 15 minutes after discovering the keys were locked in the car, we were back on the interstate......still bickering......So, for every stop after that, we continued to joke with each other about where the keys were, and I'd usually say I didn't care because I had my pocket-knife on me, and I'd just cut through our new fancy window. The trailer’s wiring harness you ask about? Well, near nightfall, I did the cut, splice, twist, and tape with what little duct tape was left on the roll. Duct tape is a wonderful item, and I strongly suggest everyone keep a roll of it in their vehicle, also.

Vicki’s side of the story: “It’s Terry’s fault!”

Here's another picture of what we used duct tape for on this trip. After picking the bike up, we were watching the pins for the drop-down ramp on the trailer vibrating UP and running the risk of falling out, so...

[Showing how duct tape was used to prevent the ramp retainign pins from coming out from vibration.]

[The Paso on the trailer on its way to South Carolina.]

Back to Vicki's Paso Homepage.