What I really need is a new motorcycle!
But back to cars. How well traveled is your car? I’ve owned some cars that have been exceptionally well-traveled. The Green Hornet is probably typical. I took delivery in SFO and have driven it as far north as the central
So, apropos of nothing, here’s the inventory of cars I’ve known and loved or hated, from first to current, with a few comments on each.
1950 Buick coupe, yellow with a black top, straight-eight with a slush-o-matic Dynaflow transmission. The engine never changed pitch and there were no perceptible shift points in that car. Very weird, very geeky. Like its 18-year old owner.
1957 Triumph TR-3. God, I loved that car! It was a chick-magnet! It had a short life, and very nearly ended my own. I managed to toss it off a 50-foot embankment just outside of
1964 Chevy Impala. Technically not my car, it belonged to the First Mrs. Pennington. But it was the family car for a few months after we were married. I walked between totaling the TR and marrying TFMP.
1965 VW Beetle. A thoroughly utilitarian, forgettable automobile, no matter what Bug-lovers say. Cramped and underpowered.
1970 Dodge Dart Swinger 340. 275 hp, four-speed. The best way to get more than 275 hp out of that car was to turn the ignition key to the right. VERY quick. Sold it during the First Great Oil Crisis, coz it got all of ten mpg, highway.
1972 (maybe 1973, I don’t really remember) Mazda RX-3 station wagon. Very powerful and very smooth, for its size. About as reliable as a hand grenade; Mazda put two replacement engines in that car under warranty, TFMP put one in it on her dime.
(Following my first divorce I went about three years without owning a car at all. I had a succession of motorcycles for basic transportation. An interesting period in life, to be sure.)
1972 Chevy Nova, bought used in 1977. Straight-six, three-speed stick. Best value for money in a car I’ve EVER had. Bought it for $750.00, sold it in 1979 for $500.00. It took me from South Bend, IN to North Dakota, to Florida, back to ND, and out to Oregon. I sold it once I could see my feet while looking down into the trunk. Serious rust-bucket, but it sure worked.
1978 Ford Courier pick-up. Another utilitarian vehicle. Four-banger, four-speed. Took The Second Mrs. Pennington and me from
1983 BMW 320. See above. Another car I wish I still owned.
1984 Nissan pickup. TSMP’s daily driver. Utilitarian. Forgettable.
1991 SAAB 9000. Four-banger, five-speed, hatchback. Front-wheel drive. I seriously disliked this car, even though I kept it for four years.
199X Mercury Cougar. TSMP’s daily driver; I drove this car rarely. Don’t even remember what year it was.
1992 Corvette. I owned this car for seven years and I LOVED it. Technically TSMP’s car, I inherited it in the divorce.
1996 Chevy Impala SS. The last big-assed, RWD, ‘Vette motored Impala. Great road car! Another one I wish I had back.
1953 Cadillac Four-door sedan. Hobby car, money-sink. TSMP christened it “The Smokin’, Drinkin’, Partyin’ Car.” And so it was. It was fun, but I won’t go there again.
The Green Hornet. 2000 – current. Reliable, fun, good looking. This car STILL gets approving comments and glances from all sorts of people, from nine-year old boys to Sweet Young Things, to Grandmas.
The bold-faced cars were my favorites. And there you have it.
Update 1/29/06: I forgot the "other 'Vette." The Corvette was TSMP's daily driver and she didn't want to drive it during the Detroit winters. So I bought a "winter car," as lots of Michiganders do, and the 'Vette was garaged "for the duration." The winter car was a 198X Chevette, maybe an '85, maybe an '86, I don't know. It's hard for me to express just how BAD that car actually was. A Chevette would give the Yugo a run for its money for the title of "Worst Automotive Abomination, Ever." If ever there was a reason to be glad to see Spring, it was the fact I didn't have to drive the Yu...er...Chevette again until November.
More needs to be said about that Cadillac, too. That thing was HUGE inside. TSMP and I used to joke that if we fell on hard times and lost the house, we could always live in the Caddy. I also imagine a lot of kids were conceived in full-size American cars of the early and mid-'50s. TSMP and I split the back-seat upholstery of that car one afternoon (the upholstery was old, we were "exuberant"), and that became an inside joke between us concerning "the best thing about the Caddy."