“Say you drive a Chevy – say you drive a Ford
Say you drive around the town ’till you just get bored
Then you change your mind – for something else to do
And your heart gets bored with your mind and it changes you
Well it’s a doggone shame – and it’s an awful mess
I wish you love – I wish you happiness
I wish you love – I wish you happiness
I guess I wish – you all the best”

–John Prine, All the Best

My first car was a turquoise 57 Chevy. I remember my father bought it from one of his colleagues for $100.  Look great on the outside, but the engine was shot.  I would drive down the road trailing a cloud of white smoke killing mosquitoes. I used to joke that I had to pull into a station and say check the gas and fill it up with oil.  The interior was black and had a vague musty smell.  I think someone had left it out in the rain with the windows down.

At any rate it didn’t last too long before I “traded it in” for a 63 Ford Galaxy 500 390 engine three speed standard shift on the column with overdrive.  It had dual glass pack mufflers and sounded like a Harley going down the road. Varoom!  It could go really fast, which I sometimes did, particularly down the straight river bottom highway trying to “bury the needle” at 120 MPH.  Seat belts?  What seat belts?  Oh, yes, it had “roll and tuck” upholstery. Very fancy.  It was a metallic off red color.  Luckily, I didn’t crash and burn on hills and curves like some of my contemporaries did.

A while back I realized had I put my 57 Chevy “up on blocks” and had a new engine installed I could have increased my original investment mega-fold.  I see now where there are 57 Chevy rallies all over the country, and I bet they are highly prized.  Oh, well.  I could have bought Apple stock back in the day as well.

My next car was a 67 Ford Galaxy 500, 390 engine, which, I think contained a lap belt, an automatic transmission, and good upholstery.  It was lime green with a white top.  It ran good until I rear ended another car on an icy stretch.  I think I sold it to a junk yard.

Next came a light brown AMC station wagon.  AMC stands for American Motors, a now defunct car company that cranked out substandard vehicles.  This vehicle drowned in a flood.  Good riddance.

By now you are probably bored with my car histories, so I’ll keep it short.  What followed was a Mazda GLC (Great Little Car which was a noisy little box with good gas mileage), a GMC pickup with topper which was good for camping.  Since then I’ve owned a Honda CRV (not sure what CRV stands for), and now a Toyota Prius hybrid that is a noisy little box with great gas mileage.  I am cutting my carbon footprint and no more bombing the straight-aways trying to bury the needle.  No more varoom!

A while back my father wrote down what he called his “book”, which was an autobiographical account of his life.  Along with recalling his kids and grandkids, and his jobs, he detailed a list of all the vehicles he ever owned, which started with a Fraser, no longer in production.  This car thing must be in my genes.

“Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brm, brrrm b’ brrrm,
Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brrrm b’ brrrm,
Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brrrm b’ brrrm.
Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brrrm.

Take me riding in the car, car;
Take me riding in the car, car;
Take you riding in the car, car;
I’ll take you riding in my car.”

–Woodie Guthrie, Riding in My Car



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