My First Car
For some reason I seem to be somewhat nostalgic this week. I suppose that my trip home and reconnecting with family might have spawned this spate of remembering, but I've been remembering some pretty cool things lately. Today, I am remembering my very first car.
I guess I was about 15 when I got my drivers license. I know we tend to forget just what a big day that is in a person's life and it was no different for me. I took driver's ed in summer school. They didn't really approach it like summer school, though. this was just plain out good fun.
At any rate, shortly after I got my license, I also got my very first car, I wanted something sporty and sleek. I wanted something that would turn heads and symbolize my new found freedom. Okay, to be dead honest, I would have taken anything. I just wanted a car.
I could barely sleep the night before we went to search for my first car. I imagined all sorts of really cool, sporty cars that I would be able to choose from and, the more I imagined, the harder it was to sleep, but I eventually nodded off in to dreams that 15 year old boys have about first cars.
Since my dad had to work, my mom took me to do the actual car shopping and, of course, do the dealing. My mom had one hell of a personality and was more than up to the deed of negotiating the price. I knew I was in good hands as far as that went.
We looked at several cars and, of course, I liked them all. I wanted this more than Ralphie wanted a Red Ryder BB Gun. Finally, we found ourselves at a used car lot where I guess my mom felt comfortable. She told the salesman what we were looking for and he told her, "I've got just the car for you." He had no sooner uttered the words that he disappeared around the corner. What on earth was he going to bring back? What marvel of engineering did he have set aside for just such a special customer? I watched the corner where the salesman disappeared for what seemed an hour. My patience was rewarded when he drove around the corner in what was to be my first car.
The not so shiny, slightly used beauty rounded the corner and I saw it; the car of my dreams.It was a 1961 Mercury Comet and was the ugliest shade of green you've ever seen. The body style was hardly space age and the whole car looked about as aerodynamic as a brick. In other words, I fell in love with it right then and there.
The point is not that the car was pretty much a total lemon. The point is that it was my lemon. I washed it and waxed it all the time and in return, it fell apart on a daily basis. Make shift parts were made and the rear passenger door would fly open every time I took a left turn. The transmission was a bit slippery and woe unto the person who had to drive behind me in traffic because they would find themselves in a cloud of smoke that looked like I-10 on a foggy morning.
Recently, I decided to look up the 1961 Mercury Comet and see what was available out there. Needless to say I had a case of sticker shock. Now, I know my folks paid about $600 for that car and yet, today, the '61 Mercury Comet goes for somewhere around 10 to $12,000. If you like classic cars, I heartily suggest you go to Oodle and check out what's there. Very cool site and I want to thank them for allowing me to use their picture.
This car is actually for sale. You can get all the details HERE