GET TO KNOW ME – MTH jan 2011

This month’s question is a hold over from December ’10: “What was the first car you owned?”

The following tale was from Lotte (Nov.’10). All my siblings had different tastes in cars. My oldest brother had a black T-Ford, 1938 or something, a two- door sedan. It was a convertible and he often put the top down. Every time he took the car for a spin, he was wearing a big brim hat, sun-glasses and a white scarf that swirled in the wind. He was a very cautious driver. It didn’t matter whether all the cars passed him. He really enjoyed his car and took care of it with a passion. His car was always spotless.

My second brother was a totally different kind of a driver.

His car was a Ferrari, 1950-something and bright red. He liked fast and furious cars and even became a race car driver! Every time he took his car out of the driveway, my parents always prayed (silently) he would come home in one piece. Nobody wanted to sit in his car — not even his dog.

My sister was the best defensive driver of them all. Her Car was a green 1960 Citroen, Deux Cha Faux. It was, as they say, an “ugly duck”. The seats were quite uncomfortable and the ride bumpy. When our father rode with her, a cushion was brought for him. He said, “Every time when I ride in your car, I am afraid it will shake my kidneys loose.”

When it was my turn to purchase a car, I had no problem in choosing. My car was a two-seater, a 1950s MG. It was a convertible, because there was no roof. The top was down all-year. You had to wear a heavy sweater, hat and scarf plus gloves in the winter. My family asked “Why did you buy a car that had no roof? If any of us want to go for a ride in your car during the cold, we have to bundle up otherwise we will freeze. Didn’t you buy it new?”

No, I didn’t buy it new, but it was a good deal!

Every time when my father sat in my convertible, he laughed and said, “If you go slowly, I can pick up nickels, dimes and bills.”

My car gave me many happy occasions and took me where I needed to go without any trouble. When it had to go to the car cemetery, my heart broke.

**

Fred (Apr.’09) tells us, “One thing I do know: I wish I still had my first car. It was a 1928 Ford, two-door sedan that I bought when I was fourteen for only $75 from my hometown Ford dealer. (It would have been 1958.) It needed work and my dad would help me.

He helped me replace the head gasket on the four cylinder flathead engine, and I spent a year re-upholstering it, too. 

Then one day when I was fifteen-and-a-half, I mentioned to Dad that I’d need to start thinking about insurance since I was ready to get my beginner’s permit and start driving.

That’s when Dad told me I wouldn’t be able to drive the car on streets because it didn’t have hydraulic brakes. I was shocked.

The next week, I saw a hot red Italian motorcycle (a Parilla) at the gas station. It had a “For Sale” sign on it. The guy who owned it started it up for me and rode it around the lot. I grinned. It sounded like a Harley.

I traded my 1928 Ford for it. My mother was terrified. Then, after taking it for a maiden voyage, I discovered I couldn’t coax it above 35 MPH. There was something wrong with the engine. Later, I learned it would cost more to repair than the value of my fixing my old Ford’s brakes.

My mother’s spirits soared.

**

 Next month’s question is: “You can’t pay me enough to do THAT job!” (What job is that? )

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