Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Vagaries of Cars

Originally written in 2007....

I was sitting in my little corner of the local McD's enjoying my morning coffee and yogurt when I noticed a young couple pull in with an older car. It had "stuff" loaded on the top and covered with a blue tarp. While the lady came inside, the gentleman opened the hood and peered intently at the engine. Wiping his hands as she came out and handed him a drink, they talked for a minute.

I didn't see the resolution but when I looked back they had left. It got me to thinking about some of the cars I have had in the past. At one time I referred to as the lady with the disposable cars since it seemed as though most didn't last more than a year in our household.

There are a few standouts though, those cars whose personality, quirks and/or idiosyncrasies will forever have a special spot in my heart and memories.

The most memorable with a little Kharman Ghia that I bought, I don't remember what year it was but it was OLD and TIRED but it had personality. I mean what other car would honk its horn every time you made a right hand turn? LOL! My husband of the time had no sense of humor though, he eventually disconnected the horn (to my dismay). But the car got back at him eventually. We had gone fishing and on a washboardy dirt road, it's revenge was felt. A large bump and he was suddenly sitting about a foot lower in the car. We got out to take a look...the seat had actually fallen through the rusty floorboard and was sitting on the frame of the car. I laughed but he didn't think it was so funny. Ahhhhh...revenge.

Another car I remember well is my little Ford Falcon convertible...who can resist a car who has to get gas at every fourth oil stop!

Then there was "George", an old GMC pick-up. He managed to survive a can of roofing tar tossed at him, an attack with a tire iron (hey, anyone can get a flat tire, it wasn't his fault), and a cracked engine block repaired with some type of sealer that we were told was used by the egg industry to help protect them during shipment. I have no ides, all I know is that it worked! George was like a family member and when it came time to find him a new home, my brother took him in for many more miles.

My first ever new car was a Volkswagen Beetle, sort of a hunter green and named most appropriately Schultzie. He might have blustered and huffed at times but he was like a favorite old uncle who looked and sounded stern but slipped you candy when your parents weren't looking.

My favorite of all was a 1959 Austin Healey 3000 [6] that I got for $500. It was about 13 years old and a bit worse for the wear. The wheels were spoked and often I'd go out and find another spoke broken. The side curtains (window) were plastic (vinyl, fiberglass or something but NOT glass). When in rained I had to roll up my pant legs to keep them dry from the water coming up through the floorboards and put a towel over my lap to protect them from the water dripping down from between the convertible top and the windshield. This was also the car that gave me the unique experiences of dealing with no brakes (thank goodness for the emergency brake between the seats), a tire blow-out at 50 mph and losing first and third gears. But that car had heart and I will never forget it!

So, got any special car memories of your own?

1 comment:

  1. Dale Bradley MorrisJuly 22, 2015 at 9:59 AM

    My son's first car was a 1980 Baby Blue Ford Fairmont. It was infamous in our parts and was an excellent first car for a 16 year old. It taught him a lot, and he was easily spotted all around town. A crooked Highway patrolman stopped him and gave him a speeding ticket (He wasn't speeding- it was the long ponytail that was offensive, we think) but our local judge went to church with us and KNEW that car wouldn't go over 50 without causing shaken brain syndrome so the ticket was dismissed.


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