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Friday, June 1, 2007

My Cars Part 1

Last night, at work, a discussion came up about the cars we used to drive. Some people had literally a dozen or more cars since they'd been driving. This got me to thinking about how few cars I've had since learning to drive in 1987. I had to Google up pictures of all of these cars as, remarkably, I don't have any pictures of any of actual cars I drove.

These are the cars of my life:

1980 Ford Futura/1977 Mercury Monarch

I never owned either of these cars, but I learned to drive in a Ford Futura exactly like the one in the picture complete with scarlet red interior. My dad would take me out on the highway and let me drive around town as I prepared to take Drivers Ed.
The Futura was the family car for a few years and the Monarch belonged to my mother for driving to and from work. The power steering on the Monarch would go out if you turned a corner too hard and we eventually stopped fixing it. Our Monarch was oxidized silver with giant rust spots and a tattered and peeling maroon vinyl top. Mom eventually replace the Monarch with a 1973 Montego. I don't know what happened to the Futura. I think my sister Traci drove it for a while.
I drove these cars from fall 1987 to the sometime in 1988.

1973 Mercury Montego

The Montego was my first 'proper' car. The one that was mine to drive and I didn't have to share with anyone. I was basically given this car when Mom finally got the Buick Regal she'd wanted for years. My Montego was the 4 door version, with metallic sky blue paint, blue vinyl interior and a kick-ass white vinyl top. The trunk held a respectable amount of beer. I always loved the tail lights in the bumper on this car.
I drove it 120 MPH once with a good tail wind and going down hill. I made it from McCook, Nebraska to Oberlin, Kansas (my hometown) in a little over 15 minutes. The Montego would seat seven high school students comfortably and nine not so comfortably. It had an AM radio so I'd drive around Oberlin and listen to oldies on KOMA out of Oklahoma City. I had a lot of fun in this car with my buddies Jeff, Rhino, and Kris and Ken.
I drove this car much of my freshman year and all of my sophomore year of high school from summer 1988 to summer 1989 when I bought my '84 Pontiac Grand Prix.

1984 Pontiac Grand Prix

I loved this car, and the one in the picture above is almost the same color as the one I had which is actually kind of weird. Mine had better rims though. I bought it the summer before my junior year of high school from Michael Hanson. He'd fixed it up and given it a custom paint job. He'd gotten the paint from leftovers at a body shop and just mixed stuff up til he got a color he liked. The main body was about the color of the car in the pic and then there a wide darker strip on the top of the side panels and doors.
When this car got hit and the drivers side door got smashed I panicked that the body shop wouldn't be able to match the paint. As it turned out there was a little bit left over of the custom colors that Michael had made and there was enough to fix the door with out having to attempt a match.
I blew the engine in this car coming home from Boys' State in Lawrence Kansas, in the summer of 1990 and a rebuilt engine was put in at considerable expense. Thanks Mom! Tons of great memories in this car chasing girls and driving around with my buddies listening to the awesome cassette deck. I had this car when I got my first girlfriend. I drove this car from the summer of '89 until fall of 1992. One of my last memories of this car was loading it with all my clothes, my stereo, and a mini-refrigerator that I got as a graduation gift, and driving off to college. I went in a convoy with my friend Kenyon(in his Oldsmobile Toronado) and a girl from our class name Jill(she drove some white or silver little compact thing, I don't recall exactly what). A year after that Mom thought I needed a more reliable car, because I was in college and driving between Oberlin and Hays, Kansas with some frequency. It was ultimately traded in for my nerdy, practical, fuel efficient 1990 Ford Tempo.
More on that tomorrow in part 2.

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