Stratus refered to as monster, reveals to be victim


Corey Allen

How? That’s the question most commonly asked in reference to senior Andy Rucinsky’s raggedy 1999 Dodge Stratus. From an outsider’s perspective it looks like the car fell victim to a chain gang assault.

The driver’s side mirror is hanging on by mere duct tape, the side panel on his passenger side is dented in and yellow with the paint of a parking barrier pole, and there are various dents and dings along the entire exterior.

Inside the Stratus is cluttered with various garbage and random objects. Among them are such interesting collectables as a Vietnam era combat helmet. Adorning the interior’s roof is an Iron Maiden Rebel Flag, reflecting Rucinsky’s own rebellious character.

“It’s a party house for everyone,” Rucinsky said with a grin. “I have people dancing and hopping on my car all the time.”

Rucinsky got the car a few years back from his mother as a gift.

 “I’ve loved the monster since the first time I rode in it” Rucinsky said.

 Throughout their time together “Old Rusty” as Rucinsky calls his car, has been through a lot.

 “The funniest [story] is when my keys got lost in the steering wheel,” Rucinsky said. Rucinsky then proceeded to rip through the wires in his steering wheel to get the keys out. 

“Now it makes weird noises,” Rucinsky said with a laugh.

Another story is when Rucinsky ran the side of his car into a pole. Rucinsky claims it just gave the car a racing stripe, and shrugged it off as no big deal.

Needless to say, Rucinsky and “Old Rusty” have been through thick and thin. Yet Rusty continues to run as Rucinsky’s trusty yet tattered steed.