Friday, October 14, 2011

My First (and other) Car MEME....

Idea courtesy of Old NFO.
The first car I got to drive on a regular basis was my Mom's 1964 Corvair Monza Spyder. Fun little car until my sister got rear-ended by a semi one day. She was OK, but the car was never the same after we got it out of the shop. I learned more than I wanted to know about "Trailing-Throttle Oversteer" in that little guy. It was "Monza Red" with a black interior. It also had one of the neatest radios in it I'd ever seen. It was a Sony MDL-something that had AM, FM, SW, and LW, and it hung under the dash in an accessory bracket that let you pull the radio out, and carry it along as a portable.
I spent many a cold winter night listening to WRVA ("The Lou Dean Show") while laying in bed with the headphones on.
Mom traded that one in for a 1967 Corvair Monza, with the 110 HP engine, and a POWERGLIDE.
Oh, the ignominy of going from a 4-speed to a two-speed AUTOMATIC right when I was getting my driver's license!
The '67 Monza was "Marina Blue", one of the prettiest colors you could ever paint a car.
The next car we got, which was still my Mom's car, was a graduation present for me. We got a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T with the Special Edition package. I was bummed when it came in because the dealer we order it from was a grade school friend of my Mom's, and he checked the "Delete R/T Stripe" on the option box because he didn't think my Mom would like having that big white stripe around the tail. They substituted some chrome and red R/T emblems on the rear fenders, and the thing wound up being a real sleeper. Wit the f-70x14 bias ply tires it wouldn't hook up for sh1t (I could lay rubber for blocks with that thing!) but once it was rolling, hang on!
We kept it for a couple of years, and then the insurance companies came down on "Muscle Cars".....HARD. Even though I was an "A" student, had NO accidents or tickets, and was getting the good driver/good student discount, or insurance went from $186 a year to $483 EVERY SIX MONTHS! The Charger was "T5 Copper Metallic" with a tan interior.
So, we got rid of it, and I moved on to....
A 1971 Ford Capri. It had the 1600 "Kent" engine, with a four speed, and the tiniest one barrel carb I'd ever seen. The "Kent" 1600 was a pretty stout engine (it was the basis for the early Formula Ford cars), but this thing was seriously DE-tuned. It wouldn't pull more than 5000RPM in NEUTRAL! I swear, you could put a brick on the accelerator, walk away for a week, and it would still be running when you came back.
Really a stone, but it handled pretty well, got great mileage, and got me through college in style. It was some kind of non-descript medium blue metallic with a white ( ! ) interior.
I could go on about the cars I've "owned", but these were the ones I was driving during my 'formative years'.
Maybe I'll just do a post listing all the cars I've owned. It covers the gamut, from Corvairs to Jeeps, and Corvettes to El Caminos.....


  1. Heh. My first car was a pickup - '65 Ford F100SWB with a 240 six banger and a three on the tree. You could wind it up until the valves floated and it just wouldn't run any faster - but it never died. A fifty cent piece could shut the one barrel carb down. One might think it might just accidentally make a few mpg, but a few was right - about 11 to 12 was all it would do. I put bucket seats, a Hurst shifter, Grant steering wheel, chrome wheels and a JC Whitney AM/FM 8track in it. Lots of memories good and bad wound up in that ol' hunk of metal.

  2. Thanks for 'chipping in' on the meme- And yeah, trailing throttle oversteer was something you learned rather quickly in a Corvair (especially on gravel roads!!!)... Re the insurance, try $1200/yr for a Corvette in the early 70s!!!

  3. I can't imagine what a marina blue color on a car looks like. Anyway, I'm hooked on reading blogs like this. LOL. First cars are the best. These blogs pull you back to the memories of your teen years. :D

  4. Marina Blue was kind of a medium blue-silver, almost a "candy" color with a silver undercoat.
    It's very pretty when it's applied right.
    Here's some pictures of a 1967 Corvette in Marina Blue. It's actually a much prettier color in the sun, and is one of those car colors that's very hard to photograph properly.


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