May 08, 2007
My first car
Originally published March 11, 2005
In 1971, my father co-signed a bank loan for me to buy a fire-engine red 1968 Javelin, which was a sweet deal at $1,000. It belonged to a friend of mine who was shipping off with the Navy. I was responsible for insurance, gas and upkeep, plus paying back that loan in one year.
Do you remember the sense of FREEDOM you felt when you had your first car, one that belonged to YOU? Especially one that was fast, good-looking and a real pussy-magnet. No more begging the parents for the car keys. You had your own wheels and you could go when and where you pleased.
I loved that car. I paid off the loan on time and kept my insurance current because I had a job flipping burgers while I went to college. I also played guitar in bars on the weekends. But DAMN! Owning your own car was an expensive proposition, even back when gas was 26 cents per gallon.
That was my first dose of adult responsibility, especially after I got my first speeding ticket. But I thought I was hot shit at the time, so I moved out of my parent's house and started living on my own. That was another shock, as I discovered that meals didn't just appear by magic on the supper table and laundry didn't wash itself.
That was my SECOND dose of adult responsibility, and I still don't have a handle on that one today. But I loved my car.
I drove it for five years, put over 120,000 miles on it and sold it for $500 to a guy who drove it for at least another three years. I'm pretty sure that I saw the car broken down with the hood up on Lynes Parkway sometime in 1979. I might be mistaken, but it sure looked a lot like my first car.
It's strange... but I still dream about driving that thing.
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