Can My 1 Year Old Have A 16 Month Paci Cars I Have Known and Loved

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Cars I Have Known and Loved

Everything I know about cars could probably fit in a thimble. Considering that my dad and his dad before him dedicated their lives to the auto industry in Detroit, that really tells you something.

I remember my greatest curiosity about automobiles was the number and type of bugs I could find in the grille of my dad’s Dodge four-door sedan every time he returned from a road trip. across the Midwest.

My First Car is worth writing about in that it provided a surplus of lessons for the naïve young woman I once was. It was a 1965 Dodge Dart and I bought it in 1978 on the recommendation of a good friend who loved Dodge Darts. And my dad was a Dodge man himself, having given The Company a solid 25 years of his life. Maybe I had a love-hate relationship with the Dodge before I even bought one because I sure didn’t like the absence of a dad because mine was always at work or on a sales trip . When he got home, my mom advised us to “leave your dad alone” and let him read his newspaper while sipping his two evening martinis.

The Brown Dart certainly caused its share of angst in my early twenties, by which time all I needed was a reliable mode of transportation to get to work and back home. Before owning the car, I had ridden a series of buses, and before that, I had hitchhiked. My friend, the one who loved Dodge Darts, disapproved of hitchhiking, disdained the bus, found me the Brown Dart, and I followed him. He checked and everything looked A-OK, so I signed on the dotted line, and the car was mine.

A few months after buying this “Sepia Lemon”, I was on my way to the beach with my sister Jeanne. Remember, I was 23, so I found it appropriate to drive in a bikini. So when a cop pulled me over because the car was spewing smoke out its tailpipe (I was oblivious until he mentioned it), I got out of the car and asked, “Y is there something wrong, officer? He let me go with a warning – I mean, what else could he do, right?

I took the car to a mechanic suggested by my friend (who I hope isn’t reading this!). Now that he’s gone, and because 30 years later, I think I can now tell the world that Ken at the auto repair shop saw me coming (I had clothes on then- there) and informed me that I would need a brand new engine as there was a crack in the block. You know, $800 in 1978 was huge for a secretary like me. But I swallowed that news and wrote him the first check for several facilities, and let him and his team get to work. It took them longer than they said, and I had to hitchhike and take the bus a lot more than I wanted to, but eventually the Dart was ready.

Wouldn’t you know it, but a few months later the car was belching smoke again. And when I brought it back to Ken, he told me he needed ANOTHER new motor, and there was no guarantee on his previous work. It was kind of my fault that this newly installed engine had another crack or the pistons were bent or whatever.

A 23-year-old girl who has no idea about automobiles + a scheming accomplice named Ken = major fallout

That afternoon I was so disturbed by the whole series of events that I drove the Dart to a collision shop who paid me $100 on the spot for the thing and just drove off .

Thirty years later, I could write you a book about what to do and what not to do when faced with the same scenario. Instead, I’m now going to tell the story of the first car I owned and really cared about, which reciprocated… Everyone who knew it called it the “Love Bug”.

I found it myself through a classified ad in Pacific Beach where I was living at the time. It was a 1968 VW bug that had only belonged to one other person. It had been built in Panama and it was red, and it was adorable. Only thing was I didn’t know how to drive a shifter. So the salesman taught me how to do it and I was on my way the same day.

As much pain and disgust as I felt with the Brown Dart, it was quite the opposite with the Love Bug. It was a pleasure to drive it. I used to change the oil myself. It was the excellent hippy-chick ride! At one point I had it painted purple, my favorite color. Then I had an accident with a guy who should have been wearing his glasses, but wasn’t, that’s when it became the two-tone purple bug. My husband now speaks fondly of it to our friends, mentioning how much it was like being in the Easter Parade while driving.

I never thought of saying goodbye to the Love Bug, except that Mark and I decided to sell or give away everything we owned so we could tour North America, Alaska and Canada in a Chinook (small camper -car) in 1986, so my mom bought the Love Bug for my sister, Jeanne, who almost immediately had it painted blue and didn’t love it as much as I did. By then I had gone on such incredible adventures that no mere good had a hold on me. I fished for trout in Oregon, walked through the redwoods and got chased by a grizzly in the Yukon.

I never took a picture of the Brown Dart (maybe I would have burned it if I had) and I only have one extant snapshot of the Love Bug to illustrate my story telling the story love of this woman with her car.

When we returned from our nine-month trip, we purchased a Honda Civic, the first in a succession of work vehicles over the years. We now have a Ford Focus and my dad is glad it’s a ‘Detroit product’, but the charm that oozed from every pore of the Love Bug is nowhere to be found in our silver-lined station wagon. The Focus is a wonderful, beautiful and reliable means of transport. If I had the Love Bug today, I’d probably rather hop in the Focus for a quick trip to the grocery store or the dentist. Perhaps this is the moment in life that Love Bug represents – when Mark and I were ready together on the threshold of our dreams, curious, unscathed and fearless, proud to drive into a two-tone purple and pink Easter egg.

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