They didn’t have feelings per se, but each one of them had distinct personalities and I developed a relationship, of sorts, with each and every one of them.
The first, in many ways, was my favourite. Not the best-looking, some might even say ugly, but I’ve heard it said that one never forgets the first.
She was a 1963 Chevy Pick Up with 3 on the tree. Previously a milk delivery truck, she had a hole in the roof where the milk sign used to be.
No problem. We stuck a wine cork in the hole to keep the rain out. Her price was good. $150 as is. We called her Pig.
In spite of her looks, she performed well. Many a winter, with sandbags in the back for extra weight, she pulled 4x4s out of ditches and snow banks.
Once, my boyfriend at the time, sat in a lawn chair and made me change one of her tires. He figured I should know how to do it. You know, in case of an emergency? As he watched me struggle to get the nuts off, he offered, between sips of his beer, “When the nuts are rusted onto the bolts like that, you can loosen the crud seizing them in place if you pee on them…you know, if you don’t have WD40 handy…”
Um, yeah thanks for that…
When I moved to Calgary, and after Michaela was born, a dear friend gave me a car, knowing I needed to get Michaela to day care on work days.
She was a 1977 Volare, mustard yellow, could go from zero to a hundred in 20 minutes.
Needless to say, merging onto highways was a scary feat at best, with the gas petal pushed to the floor, she zoomed at about 40 km/hr down the ramp onto the Deerfoot.
At red lights, folks often looked at her, then me and burst into uncontrollable laughter. Still she had been a gift and served me well.
Next, another gifted car, how-lucky-am-I, a 1983 Cutless Sierra.
At first she was amazing! Cruise control. Electric windows, super-duper power steering – I felt as though I was driving a Rolls Royce.
I mean let’s take stock here for a minute.
This was my third vehicle and so far, I’d paid $150!
I named her Betty and Betty had balls, that is until the electronic-computer-chippy-thingy and fan-belt-or-temperature-regulating-gadget started to go sideways.
Translation: A great loss in power and the need to drive with the heat on full blast, all windows rolled down, during the hottest summer I can remember.
Still she did her part. She got me from here to there.
Then, came my current vehicle.
A 1999 Toyota Tercel.
My first brand-spanking-new car!
I was in seventh heaven. Just imagine driving a car that I didn’t have to put into neutral, with one foot on the brake and one on the gas to keep it from stalling out at a red light!
When I picked her up from the dealership, she had 11 km on her. She was shiny and midnight blue and clean. When I started her up she was so quiet, I wasn’t sure if she was running.
Aside from regular oil changes, she didn’t see any mechanics. I grew accustomed to not having to check the oil or anything else for that matter, I just got in, turned the key and drove to wherever I was heading.
It was life in the fast lane for about 12 years in which time, I’d bought a new battery – that’s it!
She’s starting to show some wear and tear. You know normal stuff. I had the brakes replaced a few years back, got a new water pump, and a few other items like fan belts, I don’t remember exactly.
And then most recently, a few issues were found while my mechanic did an oil change. They fixed her all up with a new gasket and everything was tickety-boo.
But just the other day, she wouldn’t start. I had some friends look at her. There was power, just no spark.
I had her towed to my mechanic, who assures me that aside from needing a new time belt kit, new spark plugs and another oil change, she’s still in remarkable shape.
So here I sit, waiting to hear that she’s all fixed up, so I can go bring her back home.
~ HUMP DAY CHRONICLES ~
What’s your car story? Do you remember your first vehicle fondly?