The car totally punk'd me.
Remember, I thought I was just out of gas? Then I decided that the fuel pump had gone out? After 6 weeks of my lazy self working a few hours each Sunday afternoon, I finally figured out the problem.
I'd replaced them in January, but they'd deteriorated--thanks to a power steering fluid leak--to the point where the "suction" line was drawing air. No gas, no running engine. How simple. Car's laughing her ass off at me.
Took her on a 70-mile "trial run," the closest thing to a road-trip I've done so far since getting the car in January of '09. She's come a long way from the pitiful-looking, filthy little car that barely had enough power to drag itself off the trailer on delivery day. The engine was so out of tune and tired that it sounded like a diesel.
She's a long way from restored...but she's solid and strong and coming into her own, now. The trial run was flawless, the engine growling along with ease. The only disappointment is in fuel economy: about 18.6 mpg, burning just under 4 gallons in that 70 miles.