Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Since early on, I have been a car affectionado. The very first car I remember from my childhood is a 1951 Chevrolet Bel Air Deluxe. It was dark blue with a white top. It was a two-door coupe. Dad always liked nice cars, and was financially able to trade every 2 years. I remember a 1957 Oldsmobile Super 88. Charcoal gray with gobs of chrome. All of our cars sported white sidewall tires, too. We had a 1959 Ford Galaxie, too. Dad was on his way into work one morning and the local vet ran a stop sign and T-Boned the Galaxie. Insurance insisted on having it fixed, but it was never right after that, and besides Dad never was a Ford fan. A 1960 Pontiac Ventura replaced the Ford, and we never owned another "Found On Road Dead."
I learned to drive when I was 12. I learned in Mom's 1958 Chevrolet. I was allowed to drive, with Mom on the country roads around where we lived. If I was really nice, and played my cards right, I could usually talk Mom into letting me chauffeur her to Grandpa B's, taking the "back way" which was all country roads, and was about 20 miles.
When I legally began driving, I bought my first car. A 1954 Plymouth Savoy. Boy, I thought I was living. It was a two door, and a standard shift. It only had one thing wrong with it; when the temperature got below freezing, it wouldn't start. Well, Dad drove it to work one day for some reason or another, and when he came out of the office, it was colder, and the Plymouth wouldn't start. He insisted that I trade it off the next day, and helped me do it. I moved up to a 1957 Chevrolet. Every guy's dream car. Wish I still had it. Wow! Black with a white top.
Other cars I owned while in my bachelor years were a Volkswagon Beetle, a 1963 Nova, and a 1966 Chevy Impala Super Sport. Ah! Those were the days.
Car shopping now a days is not nearly as much fun. For one thing, have you ever suffered from sticker shock. I remember paying $3600 for my "66 SS. Brand New!
Another thing, all the cars look pretty much the same. What ever happened to being able to tell not only what kind of car, but exactly what body style it was? Now I can't tell a Chevy from a Toyota or a Nissan or Honda. They all look alike!!! Aren't car makers interested in class and style anymore. Where is their imagination and ingenuity?
I long for the day of Tail fins and chrome. Real steel and metal, not so much plastic. There was something to say for the old "boats" of years gone by. They had class, they had style, they were comfortable to ride in. Yes, they used gas much faster and were not eco-friendly, but we have lost something that was near and dear to my heart.



Maggie said...

What a cool post! (and great minds think alike because i just said to ITSam a week ago you could do a bunch of posts about old cars!!)

Curley said...

Yes, cars today are expensive, but I am sure that in 1966, $3600 was alot of money too. It's just that back then you didn't have all the overhead expenses, like rent or house payments cause you were living with your parents.

Jimmie Earl said...

Yes, $3600 was a lot of money, but I was in college, living in an apartment in the city, and trying to make it on my own. Fortunately, Dad and Mom were helping me with rent and tuition, but the car was all on my own! Those were the days, I guess. It's still hard to believe that car prices have increased so drastically that most (note I said most) of us cannot buy a new one and have to settle for used, sometimes buying someone's problems. I have always been pretty lucky to deal with honest dealers that wouldn't sell me a "lemon." Thank you Rod!!