Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cars I Have Owned

It's a rainy day here.  Agility lesson canceled.  Hiking too muddy.   A few running loops around the backyard, a nice walk through the neighborhood.....and that'll do it for the dogs.  (For now!)

Today I've been thinking about cars....    

The car I learned to drive in was a little Metropolitan.  It belonged to my Dad - a very brave man who to taught me how to drive a stick shift in that tiny car.  His was a two-tone little gem that looked like this one, only in faded orange and cream.  I flunked my driver's test first time I took it (something about pulling away from the curb in such a way as to scare the bejeezus out of the DMV guy)....but still managed to have a license by the time I was sixteen-and-a-half.  (Dad was very encouraging, after my devastating failure.)

So I started borrowing Mom's car, or Dad's car, to "go to the library."   Finally Dad said..."How did you put 80 miles on the car last night, while you were studying at the library?"  "Oh, yeah.  Sorry, Dad.  I may have driven by the Q a few times....and I picked up a couple of friends..."     Isn't it amazing how life twists around?  The cruising spot in our town was a drive-in hamburger joint named "The Q." Now, almost fifty years later, I'm driving to dog agility trials, trying to win Q's....


By the time I was a senior in high school Dad decided to sell me one of their cars.  It was a dark blue Lark VI Studebaker - not pink like this one!  It had 200,000 miles on it (our family often drove to Louisiana to visit relatives), and he sold it to me for $100.  I loved that car.  My friends and I called it "The Blue Rabbit."   I told Dad we called it that because of the way it sometimes got "jumpy" when I was shifting from first into second gear.  (3 gears - on the steering column - and it was not always a smooth transition.)  The car's name had absolutely nothing to do with the Jefferson Airplane hit "White Rabbit."  Absolutely nothing.  Heh heh.   

Lark VI

When I moved to Northern California at twenty years old, Dad was afraid the old Lark wouldn't make it up the hills of San Francisco.  He insisted on trading it for his newer VW bug.   What a great Dad.  I was thrilled!

first VW bug
It was a great little car.  Very zippy, and the 4-on-the-floor was fun!  Unfortunately it was totalled a couple of years later, when we missed a curve during a rainstorm out on Hwy 116.  VWs are not made for rolling down a ravine into redwood trees.  Thankfully, no one was too seriously injured.   We were able to sell engine parts for $25.00, and the metal from the body netted $3.50.   With that money I was able to buy another VW, for $50.  My second VW was considerably older than the first.  His owner told me the car's name was "Victor."  Victor was faded red, and looked sort of like this car (I loved the tiny rear window), only it was extremely rusty and beat-up.   I hadn't realized how nervous I would be, driving a VW, after the accident.  When one of the back wheels came off and rolled right past the car, while driving down Stony Pt Road,  Victor found himself SOLD for $30.00, as is. 

second VW
But it's tough to live in California without a car (unless you live in The City).  So I saved up my pennies, and was able to find a really cool Ford Falcon Ranchero.  A sort of car/pick up truck, all rolled into one.  I could haul hay for the horses in it (and soon had my own little crop of grass growing out of the back bumper).  My dog Sammy loved riding in it.  Back then I was probably the only person in the county to make sure my dog was carefully cross-tied when he had to ride in the truck bed.  Not because I was particularly safety-conscious, but because he wanted to jump out and get in the cab with me.

A succession of cars followed.  None were as special as my first few cars.

A yellow Vega we called "The Lemon"
A green Caprice with a rag top that was totally torn up, not nice like this one.
And it had a big dent in the side, from when a horse backed into it and kicked out.
And the passenger window wouldn't roll up.
But I could easily find my car in the grocery store parking lot.

And a big white station wagon - my "soccer mom" car.

And of course there were the pick-up trucks that we used to haul cattle and horses.  An old red Ford 150, a new copper-colored Ford 150 (with matching trailer!), and a white GMC 1-ton dually with a blue and red eagle painted on the hood.  The trucks were fun to drive!

Today I'm lucky enough to own a Toyota Sienna van...my "dog car."  It's a wonderful vehicle. 
We love it!

1 comment:

Elf said...

My dog car is a Sienna, too. 10 years old already. Oh, make that 11. Wish I had a little cute sporty car, too. Fun looking at all your previous cars! They are kind of a reflection of ourselves, aren't they.

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