I was reading my friend Dwayne's blog (dwayne.blog-city.com) and he was touting the beauty and joy his first car brought to him. Made me reminisce back to my own first set of wheels. It was a 1967 Datsun my dad paid $100 for. A white, 4 door box on wheels. It had a 4 speed transmission, although over 55 regardless of the gear, you shook like you were on a cheap motel bed and had quarters to waste. Soon after acquiring the car, the fuel pump gave up it's ghost, dumped a tank of gas on the parking lot and had to be replaced. Due to the advanced age of the car, the make of the car (it was very foreign in 1980) and the fact that I lived in a town with 2000 people in it and only 2 garages, one of which didn't do "furren veehikles" (the town was in Texas), the fuel pump was replaced with a generic part that was electrically based, don't ask I don't know.
So now once the car was good and warm, the fuel pump sounded something like a jet engine taking off, with rapid fire machine gun like bursts growing louder the warmer it got, even at a stop sign. The electrical system was next to go and took with it the gauges, the headlights and the speedometer. But due to the shaking, I always knew how fast I was going and I wasn't supposed to be out after dark anyways. The interior was roomy, I once had 15 kids in the car. We weren't moving, we were just sitting at the stop sign waiting to take off. Young women protecting their children rushed by, old men stayed inside, some fainted in fear, quite a sight. But what else was there to do in Farmersville at a stop sign?
Almost got my first ticket in this car. When the policemen pulled me over, I was at a stop sign, 2 doors down from my house. It was the day before my 16th birthday, it was dark outside and I had been doing 35 in a 25 (no shaking to gauge at this speed). He walked up to my car and asked me something. The jet engine hampered our conversation so I turned the car off and after only 3 hick, hick, hick, it died. Here is how the conversation went:
Officer: Do you know how fast you were going?
Me: No sir, I don't have a speedometer.
Officer: You were going 35 in a 25 mile an hour zone.
Me: I'm sorry, my car doesn't start shaking until 50.
Officer: Do you realize you were driving without headlights?
Me: Yes sir, I was running late from a church party and I don't have any. (turn them on and off to prove it)
Officer: May I see your license?
Me: Well...I turn 16 tomorrow, but here's my permit and that blue house is mine (pointing)
Officer: (Pulls out flashlight and starts looking all over the car, begins making strange, trying not to laugh noises) OK, if you will go straight home and not drive again until you have your license I think this car is punishment enough! Have a nice night.
Oh, by the way, I failed to mention the custom paint job!
The car had belonged to a football player in a nearby town. During his Junior season, he broke his leg during a game. Since he couldn't drive a standard, it sat undisturbed at the high school for a couple of weeks. During this time, his football buddies decided to fix it up for him. So with the imagination of true arteests, armed with magic markers, they set about labeling each part of the car as well as penning their poetic feelings on the large canvases of the vehicle. Use your imagination, it can't be any worse! Remember: white car, permanent black magic marker. Yep, she was a beut!
I drove it for a year. On my 17th birthday, I upgraded to a brand new, bright red, Chevy Chevette. I knew I had arrived...