Friday, May 25, 2007

The Ranter's Rides...

As we continue our trip down Memory Lane, and the cars used to get there, I should point out that none of the cars listed in Part I were POS rides - they were all quite nice cars.

The parents decided the Falcon wasn't big enough for a family of five, plus a dog, so they replaced the Falcon with a 1969 Ford Galaxy wagon. This beast had, I think, a 3 billion cubic-inch Pratt and Whitney (jet) engine, got about 4 miles per gallon, and would pass anything but a gas pump. It was like driving a frickin' rocket. Needless to say, I loved it... till I managed to get it upside-down on US Route 1 on Thanksgiving weekend.

After the Galaxie came a 1974 Chevrolet Impala, which -- I have heard -- was the biggest automobile ever produced. It was a real land yacht, and again had tons of power. It was a bitch to park, though. We got the Impala after I wrecked the Galaxie, and of course, I got all sorts of grief from the parents for having done that. Can you imagine the look on my face when Mother came in and said she had wrecked the Impala? (Although it was far in the future then, my first wife would also have a 74 Impala... I should have recognized it for the bad omen it was).

We replaced the Impala with a Malibu wagon, which was much more sensible at the time. The 'Bu got better gas mileage, was much easier to park, had better visibility, and was generally a sweet ride. Plus, of course, I enjoyed the back of the station wagon on dates. Not that it was ever used that way, of course (sigh)... The 'Bu was not the best vehicle for schlepping a son to college, though.

After my freshman year, I was able to scrape together enough money to buy a car my cousin was selling... a 1966 Mustang, in the glorious Forest Green. It had 100,000+ miles on it, and the floorboards were rotting, but who cared? It was my car. My car. I drove it for a year until I got smacked at an intersection. I sold it to a back yard mechanic who restored it, and it is still running around town.

After the Stang, I was kinda strapped for cash, so I wound up with my first POS... a 65 Impair (it started life as an Impala, but the car had gotten smacked and the front end was replaced with Belair nose parts). The Motor Vehicle Department wouldn't let me register it as an Impair, but they would accept Belpala... but who would laugh at that?

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