I am not a "car guy". I have never really been into them (I didn't even get a driver's license until I was 17, about a year and a half after I could have), and for the most part when it comes to vehicles in my life utilitarianism has trumped style and price trumped all. Perhaps that's a strange outcome for a mechanic's son, but then Dad never wanted me twisting wrenches, for a living or otherwise, and I grew up pretty car-ignorant as a result. But even so, I was thinking the other day about the cars I have owned and thought I'd drag you down memory lane with me.
[Note: To make things easy this excludes cars that were primarily driven by spouses current or former. These are "my" cars. Also, some of the photos that follow aren't mine, and aren't used with permission, but most were snagged off of "car for sale" sites so I figure the copyright owner isn't too into the image rights, since they were trying to get rid of the thing in the first place.]
1962 Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass (1977-1978)
Red tuck-and-roll upholstery - sweet! (and sticky in the summer). It had an 8-track stereo in it and I put two house stereo speakers in the back. Yeah, I know - classy. But it could rock. I have many fond memories of speeding through the mountain canyons west of Boulder at night with the music cranked to Heart, Styx, Head East ("There's never been any raisin...") and Pink Floyd.
It finally died when the front passenger wheel fell off right outside my friend Mike's house where I was staying at the time (the result of a frozen ball joint). This was the first car (but not the last) I had towed away for free by a salvage yard.
1976 Datsun B-210 "Honeybee" (1979-1987)
bigger stripe and an actual honeybee with wheels logo on the side.
A manly-man's car all right!]
As with all 1970s-era Japanese cars it suffered body cancer really badly. At one point we riveted a metal realtor's sign to the floorboard under the mat on the passenger side, because otherwise their feet would go right through the floor. Classy.
1978 Chevrolet Chevette (1987-1989)
1989 Dodge Colt (1989-2007)
after a backpacking trip to Colorado (hence the dirt).
A much younger Erin is in the passenger seat.]
Mike and I have bounced this car into more high-elevation back country than you can believe. If I showed you some pictures of the places it's been you wouldn't even believe it. It's been through a few blizzards, too. All that and it was a fun car to drive. It could do 65MPH going uphill at 10,000' on the west approach to the Eisenhower tunnel on I-70 (I know - I've done it). A huge chunk of my adult life is somehow attached to this car and the travels I've made in it. I am glad it is still providing my friend Mike loyal service.
1984 Ford F-250 (1993-1994)
Still - I miss the respect I got in this truck at four-way stops and other intersections with iffy right-of-way situations. That's because besides being just a huge truck, the company's name I had bought it from was still dimly visible on the sides - "Explosive Fabricators, Inc." Nothing like having people think the bed of your truck may be packed with explosives for them to just wave you on through ahead of them! Except the company didn't make explosives - they made things with explosives. Which is even cooler.
1994 Plymouth Voyager (2000-2005)
behind the family it trucked. Pinata optional.]
And no, it didn't get hauled away. It got traded in when I bought the...
2005 Dodge Dakota (2005-present)
Well, that's the journey down the used car lot in my head. Hope you enjoyed it.
What have you driven over the years?