Inspired by a friend’s blog, I’ve decided to write a car timeline. It’s not like I have anything better to do. Well, actually I have a handful of things going on, but I figure if you can’t find a minute to write a car timeline, then your priorities are seriously goofed up.
My first car was a 1966 Ford Mustang. Kind of a blue/green color, purchased from my wacky brother-in-law. I had to make a lot of hamburgers at Jack-in-the-Box to buy that thing, but it was cool. At that moment, I was hooked on the “my car must be cool” idea.
Next came the extremely boxy, extremely orange, Datsun 510 (not Nissan, mind you). Not nearly as cool as the Mustang, but it was the best I could do at the time. The carburetor kept messing up, no matter what I did. I used that little 4-door car on my pool-cleaning job, making it permanently smell like chlorine and acid. I also drove a bunch of high school kids to a retreat in it, which couldn’t possibly have been legal. It eventually died a quick and painful death, hit by a very large truck driven by a very old man. My back is still not right, 26 years later.
Then came a reattempt at being cool – another Mustang, this time a 1965. It was black, and very fun to drive. It was the first car I had when Kelley and I started dating (she thought I died in the accident with the Datsun, but she was mistaken, so she ended up having to go out with me anyway). Once one of the back tires suddenly fell off while I was driving. And that was one of the more minor experiences I had. I also proposed to Kelley in that car, parked in front of her house.
We kept the Mustang for a few years, and then traded up to a 1980 Subaru hatchback, bright red, no a/c, with vinyl seats. It also had a weird dent on top of it – no one knew why. We eventually got tired of everything breaking down, and needing special Subaru-only tools to fix it.
Continually pursuing the desire to be cool, we got a 1981 white Datsun (not Nissan) 200SX. It was a “Z” for poor people. We kept that a long time, until someone on our very tiny Old Torrance streets felt it necessary to run into it and total it. A few years later, I bought a 1980 red Toyota Pickup, and put about a million miles on it. It was my first real “musician” vehicle.
Somewhere around 1990, right after Courtney was born, a friend sold us a Pontiac Ventura for one dollar. I can’t remember the year – it was kind of old, but it was immaculately cared for, and he wanted us to have a bigger car, since we had become a family. We kept it for a few months, and traded it toward the next car (below).
Simultaneous to the Datsun (not Nissan) 200SX, we had a 1985 Toyota van, back when they were shaped like old fashioned bread delivery trucks with the engine inside, under the console. It leaked oil, and that worked out pretty well when it was stolen, and the engine blew up somewhere north of L.A. (Actually, that car was stolen twice, but we got it back the first time).
Before the van was stolen, I got a 1969 red VW bug. I had a love/hate relationship with that car – when it was working, it was kind of cool – but it made me smell like gas and exhaust fumes all the time. It broke down a lot, but as long as I kept duct tape and a few extra hoses with me, it was OK. It wasn’t safe at all, full of rust holes, new noises every week, but a lot of people became very attached to that car. It was very California.
After the van, simulataneous to the VW, we had a blue Ford Escort station wagon. It was a temporary lapse in our efforts at being cool. There was nothing cool about that car. The radiator leaked fumes into the car, which was not good. I’m not sure why we had that car.
We eventually got rid of the Escort, and got our cool green Jeep – a car that just recently went to be with the Lord last month. I liked that car.
Also, three years ago, we became the proud parents of a 2004 Green/White Mini Cooper. It was our first actual “new” car. With the Mini and the Jeep at the same time, our cool status was once again intact.
Finally – this week we became the proud parents of a 2003 Nissan (not Datsun) Pathfinder (like the photo above). Little Miss Courtney is planning to steal it from me – HA! not a chance.