I heard an advertisement the other day for muscle cars. The announcer made growling noises and interjected… “Betty….John…. Is this car calling your name?” It took me back to my first car. My father bought it for my older sister and me to share (fight over). It was an old Mustang and the appeal for my father was that it was big and heavy. We referred to it at the blue tank. Boys thought it was cool, but the “muscleness” was lost on me. I was just thrilled to have transportation. Automatic transportation. And the blue tank easily withstood my unfortunate tendency to back over mailboxes. (3 if you’re interested). I became disenchanted with the blue tank when it refused to start on cold mornings. This became a defining issue for me and cars.
Fast forward to 1980 and my father bought me a NEW car! Gasp! Well, he paid for the first two years of it. I would pay the second two. A silver Oldsmobile Starfire… that started all the time. Perfect! Plus it helped that it was metallic SILVER.
During the next several years, we lost my husband’s car to a run-in with a train (he wasn’t injured, but the car was totaled). The Starfire saw us through early marriage and the births of two babies. It wasn’t all that convenient to strap two young ones into their car seats from one of the two doors; and living at the beach without a garage really took a toll on the paint job. The Starfire went from silver to tri-tone – silver, grey and rust, but we kept that baby for 10 years and sold it despite a sagging headliner and a rotting floorboard.
Then we were pretty much given a Chevrolet Caprice (green), which I hated. On the good side, it started and the AC worked great, but when it rained outside the car, it also rained INSIDE the car. Plus the electric windows didn’t work and we had just moved to an area with toll roads. Did I mention it was GREEN? I was so thankful when that car died.
Next, we bought a used ugly, boxy Chevrolet Celebrity, but it was beautiful to me because A.It started easily. B. It was four-door, which was so much easier for putting my children into their car seats in the backseat. C. No rain INSIDE the car. D. It was a pretty SILVER color. This car was very dependable and I still have fond memories of it.
Then we moved onto a Dodge Intrepid. Now THAT was a pretty car. A compromise between sedan and sporty. It started easily, was four-door and IT WAS RED! It was a sad day when I wrecked it in a traffic circle after watching my kids march in a Christmas parade. That’s when I learned that even though the insurance company might not total the car, the car might not ever be the same after a wreck.
I leased a couple of cars after that, one of which was a luxurious (to me) Chrysler 300 M. It was too big, but the leather seats and great sound system made up for it. It didn’t hurt that the color of this car was CHAMPAGNE.
Are you seeing a trend here? Dependability and color are very important. I did a bunch of research on my most recent car purchase (4 years ago). I wanted something sporty, yet somewhat practical, VERY dependable with decent gas mileage, and it, of course, it needed to be a great color. I’m still very happy with my RED Toyota Solara despite the fact that there are some scratches on the bumper because I still have backing-up issues. I’m not troubled by them. My husband is that guy who parks his 8-year old car three miles away from any other car. Me? I like to go ahead and get a scratch on the car as soon as possible. Get that first nick out of the way!
What about you? Do you have any fond car memories? Or nightmares? How do you feel about scratches on your car?