Tuesday, August 25, 2009

There Are Four I've Loved

Me with my first car. (What? I can't hear you, my mall hair is in the way.)

I like to make the joke that my car is the only reliable thing I know. The only true constant. When I say we're leaving at 3, the Blue Angel is ready to leave at 3. If I'm 20 minutes late, she doesn't care, she's ready when I am.

That's the great thing about cars - they don't really complain a lot, they do the heavy lifting and if you're lucky, your car tells people something about you.

I mention this because I paid off the Blue Angel a few months ago. Wow, has it been five years?

I love cars. I know a lot about cars, older cars mostly. I can identify make and model, even the year on some of them. I can spot Ford truck 100 miles away (it was all my dad would drive for a long time) and I can hold my own on engine talk. (It's nice being a daughter to a mechanic sometimes.)

My first car was a 1978 Monte Carlo.

It had a V-8 305 engine in it (exactly what a 16-year-old needs), and it would smoke any dirthead in a V-6 Camaro who wanted to step to me. (Not that I ever did that, ok mom?) It was black and it awesome. (See photo.)

It also took most of my allowance to keep gas in it. Real smart of me to pick out a V-8 engine given a teenager's predilection for driving.

Still, I loved that car. My dad let me pick out and I knew I wanted it immediately. It cost $2,800. I was in to old cars and big engines, what?

The Monte Carlo also had this deafening exhaust leak. WHAT?! WHAT'D YOU SAY?! I THINK SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THE MUFFLER! I'd scream to my friends.

God I was so cool in high school.

My second car was far more practical. A 1985 Ford Escort hatchback. Easy on gas and bucket seats. A college car. I loved that car, even though it left me stranded on the highway countless times because it would flood itself on trips over 10 miles. My dad chain-towed that car all over Indiana. Good times.

My last Honda, a 1994 Civic, didn't have air conditioning so for three years I roasted in the summers, covered in sweat and anger. It was brutal. But I loved that car too. It was the first car I bought on my own.

It was on a lot in Virginia and the Escort had stranded me for the last time, I decided. When I finally sold the Civic (Smuckers, I named it) I cried a bit when they drove it away. I like to think she misses me.

Now it's me and the Blue Angel. She's reliable, sporty... she has a sunroof! We'll be together 'til the wheels fall off and burn.

It's me and baby girl against the world.


Adam said...

Love first cars. Mine: Datsun B1000 pickup truck painted primer black. The Bruise. Took me months to get it running and about 10 seconds to wreck and destroy it. Respect for The Bruise.

Gina said...

As I recall that was an otherwise excellent day for you though. Minus crashing The Bruise. (RIP)

Lizz said...

Why don't I remember the Monte Carlo? Why do I remember you with the Escort in high school? I had the white '81 and I remember yours was "newer" than mine. When did you get your Escort? Am I losing it?

Mike_R said...

the blue angel is in my parking spot

Adam said...

Yes. The best of times...the worst of times...