3.08.2011

A Tale of Two Cars

© shoutingforha

This is a picture of my very first car, a 1964 Plymouth Fury Convertible.  The contrast between the pearly white paint and the red leather interior was spectacular.  My dad had spent countless hours restoring the car and, in a moment of insanity, gave me the keys right before I turned sixteen.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I loved this car.  The big bench seats provided enough room for me and five of my closest friends to take full advantage of summers spent cruising with the top down.  The trunk was so big that we could smuggle three other people into the Drive In Movie Theater.

The Plymouth was the perfect car to take on a drive up to Estes Park or on day trips to Boulder or Ft. CollinsNo matter where I went, or who I was with, you can be sure that I was driving.  If my dad was upset about how many miles I put on the car during that first summer, he never said a word.

During the snowy Colorado winter, my car would sit, stowed away in the garage, waiting for the roads to clear.  If memory serves me right, my dad was on a car restoring kick at the time, so there was always a car or three at my disposal.  My dad was not a man who understood the meaning of the word moderation.

I drove that car for two fun-filled years.

Then one fall afternoon, I returned home from school to see my beloved car being driven into the back of a semi truck.  A collector from Detroit was having the car shipped up North.  As you can imagine, I was devastated. I had no clue that my dad was trying to sell the car until I watched it being driven away.

My dad promised that he would get me something "cute" to replace the Plymouth.  Even as a child, I was ridiculously practical, so I was expecting something like a VW Bug or Rabbit.

To my dismay, he bought me this:


image source

A beat up 1979 Honda CVCC Wagon that he purchased from our neighbor.  Don't be deceived by the stock photo above.  The car was in horrible condition.  It literally took my sister and I an entire Saturday to remove all of the gunk, grime and garbage from the inside.  

I was not a happy girl.

Knowing how upset I was, my dad decided to do a few little things to spruce up my new ride.  He replaced the old, cracked steering wheel with a nifty wooden one and bought me some lovely gray-blue colored sheepskin seat covers.  I'm sure it will come as no surprise that I didn't view either of these modifications as an improvement.

The worst thing about the car was that it had a manual choke.  In my seventeen-year-old mind, lawn mowers and weed eaters had chokes, not cars.  My dad assured me that it was, "No big deal."  I wanted to believe him, but something about it gave me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

During the warm summer months, the wagon ran like a champ.  It was hideous, but virtually indestructible.  I decided to use this fact to my advantage and would drive the car into the middle of fields or up winding mountain trails.  Why drive a Jeep when you had the "Sporty Wagon" at your disposal.

Once the weather turned cold, it became exhausting trying to adjust the choke so that the car wouldn't stall.  Too little gas and the thing would cough and sputter, threatening to die at any moment.  Too much gas would flood the engine rendering the car useless for the next five or ten minutes.

The stupid car stalled more times than I can count.  My prayer life reached a new level as the car would randomly die while I drove down the highway or through busy intersections.  The number of curse words flying out of my mouth increased as well.  

Thankfully, the car was so small that I could easily push it to the shoulder of the road by myself.  After five or ten minutes, the Honda would purr to a start as if nothing had happened.  Needless to say, my hatred for the little blue car grew with each passing snowstorm.

I am sad to say that I still had the car when I married the hubby a few years later.  That first winter we were married, we noticed that it often seemed like snow was falling inside the car.  It was as if someone had drilled a million tiny holes in the roof. That was the last straw.

We gave the car away to a family in desperate need of a vehicle and purchased a used 1992 Toyota Camry.  Compared to the CVCC, it was so luxurious that I felt like I was driving a Rolls-Royce.  Perspective is everything.

On a positive note, my years spent driving the cruddy Honda CVCC cured me of any car lust.  To this day, I couldn't care less what kind-of vehicle I drive;  I just want something that's dependable and fits my needs in the most practical sense.  I'm boring like that.

What about you, dear readers?  Tell me about your first car.

1 comment(s). Leave yours!:

helen said... Best Blogger Tips

In 1960 I bought a '57 bl/wh Pontiac...no powering steering, no air, sturdy as a Mack Truck. It was a beauty...but back then it took weeks to get insurance cleared (no high tech/one day approval systems) so my car sat in front of house for 2 weeks because my mother would not let me get behind the wheel...not totally true, my friends and I would sit in it, hang out and listen to the radio...what fun memories...thanks Mrs. Ha.

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