Wednesday, February 09, 2011

My Very First Car

I was 14 and living in Woodstock Georgia in 1966 and got my first job sacking groceries. I saved my money and when I was 15 bought my first car, an abused and badly maintained 1963 Corvair Monza - yes, the car Ralph Nader killed, with his book "Unsafe at any speed".

I drove the dog out of this little car, cutting doughnuts, and running the back roads of north Georgia. I even made the 20 mile solo drive through the "S" curves to Canton, to take my drivers license exam.  After we did the road test, the State Trooper asked me how I got there and I replied "I drove here from Woodstock".  He laughed and signed me off as "passed".

The car had 2-one barrel carbs which were real sludged-up and I decided to buy some rebuild kits and redo them. It was a daunting task, but I figured I could do it.  My dad had taken a job in St. Louis with McDonnell-Douglass, so I took on the task solo and successfully, I might add.  Well kind of.

Being inexperienced with gas-related repairs, I made the car-destrying error of not checking for leaks and in my haste to enjoy how much better it now ran, I headed out to work.  The engine caught on fire as I drove to my new job in Marietta and that was the death of my cool little car. It looked like the photo below and was great, regardless of Mr. Nadar's slam. I have loved little cars and trucks ever since and still drive one, a KIA RIO 5.  Do you have a first car story you would like to share?


Erwin Calverley said...

Whoa, your car was caught on fire? Yikes! I’m sorry to hear that your car went up in flames, but I’m glad you got out of there safely. I bought my first car off of my parents, actually. We all decided that instead of buying a new car, I would just buy the car that they had (which I had used to first learn how to drive – yes, it was that old!) and they would buy a new one for their anniversary.

Michaele Drakes said...

I share Erwin's concern about your car bursting into flames. Good thing you weren't hurt seriously. Buying a car sure is a privilege, however, there are alternatives if you can't afford to get one personally. You could rent a car for months at a reasonable price from online shops. Thanks for sharing, and stay safe on the road! :)

Michaele Drakes @ Payless Car

This tariff business ain't going away

I read Steve Showalter's opinion piece in Wednesday's Sun and I posted a comment in response. If you recall he is qualified ...