My attractive new friend in the driveway made me start thinking of all the god-awful cars I’ve owned over the years.
The first car I was given to get myself back and forth to high school cost about $200. Probably that was too much.
The AMC hornet. Mine was manual, with all of three speeds!
The next one was a complete surprise, and came with a fascinating backstory.
My green monster of a Buick Century had originally been a ragtop. My inventive stepdad recruited a friend to help him remove said ragtop, which had been in tatters, cut off the metal top of another hardtop Century, weld it onto the former ragtop, and paint it to match. I drove this unusual gift most of my senior year in high school. Until the day when the power steering gave up the ghost just as I turned into the school parking lot. I drove straight into a concrete barrier. So my Century ended in 1982.
I was car-less througout college, but when The Husband and I were married halfway through my senior year we were the proud (?) recipients of a hand-me-down that came from his aunt, to his dad, to us: a 1974 Ford Galaxie.
Yes, the hood was actually a block long. This monstrosity went through about 8 starters in the two years we had it. The Husband got to where he could replace the starter in under half an hour. Its other quirk was that when the gas gauge read “E” it really meant “E.” No wiggle room. We walked for gas at least twice. In the end we sold the Galaxie to a guy I’d worked with who needed it get himself to California to become a monk. True story.
My next ride was the only car besides my new SUV that I’ve actually shopped for and chosen, a 1987 Thunderbird. That was in 1988. We kept it through the births of all three kids, and what fun it was to put babies in car seats in the back of a two-door.
Somewhere in the middle of our baby years, we were handed down yet another car that originated with The Husband’s aunt.
With four doors, it was slightly easier to get the car seats in and out, but quite a challenge to put three in a row in the back seat. This one slowly got uglier and uglier as it fell apart. Most memorably, the turn signal broke off and Husband replaced it with a screwdriver handle (clever, but really weird). After driving this poor thing to death, we finally replaced it with the first of three minivans. What a day of celebration it was when we could separate the kids’ carseats so they couldn’t whack each other while we were driving.
It’s funny how much of life revolves around what car we drive. So many memories wrapped up in these hunks of metal and wires. What are your best automotive memories?