Friday, February 18, 2011

My First Car

Yesterday, there were lots of nice comments about cars.  It seems as though many people fall into two camps, those who view them as solely means of conveyance and those who hold some kind of sentimental attachment to a vehicle.  I think I'm somewhere in the middle on this one.  For the most part, I side with people who use them to get around.  I drive a very generic car today, a silver 2007 Toyota Corolla.  It's pretty much like half the cars on the road out here.  Actually exactly like them.  Not too long ago, I stood for about 10 seconds in a parking lot pointing my key remote at my car, wondering why the doors weren't unlocking until I realized that I was standing with my back to my car looking at the exact same car parked next to mine.

My first car was a 1968 VW Karmann Ghia.  I bought it with money I had saved delivering newspapers and doing odd jobs.  Of course I wasn't the original owner and the thing had some quirks.  Some of the drives to school in the morning were a little chilly, I could only listen to AM radio, and I would get passed by tractor trailers when going up hill, but I still have a fondness for that little car.

(1968 Karmann Ghia from VW promotional materials)

I can't figure out if it's because it was my first car, if it brings back good memories of driving so low to the ground, or if there is just something about having to struggle a little with the elements and imperfect machinery that seems lost by today's noiseless, climate controlled, perfectly comfortable cars that you never really need to work on, find parts for, or tinker with.

I don't know what it is, but I always find myself smiling whenever I hear the distinctive put-put of a of a VW engine or I see a Ghia drive by.


Ellena said...

Ha ha Nate!
Same thing happened to me pointing the key remote at the car besides mine except that I spend at least 10 minutes trying to figure out what was going on and asking a man who was just about to get into his truck if he new how key remotes work. He fiddled with my remote until I said "how come the car next to mine is making noises" and he answered "because thats yours I guess". I had a good laugh - don't know what his thoughts were about this grey haired lady and don't want to know. Toyota Matrix by the way.

Ellena said...

Tried to edit to correct 2 spelling mistakes but it did not work. Is it because there were more than 2 (she says with a smile).

Nance said...

that might be it. Cars nowadays are too easy. You don't have to work at them. You don't have to be up and personal with the operation of the engine or be changing the oil or checking the tires. Things really are different today. TG

Mathan said...

I got my folks' 1960 Ford Falcon for HS graduation and I loved it. It was a bear going up a hill, but, it taught me how to shift swiftly and accurately. The 1960 model used an industrial engine (in the speed to get something on the market to combat the "Japanese menace") which didn't work that well at the constantly varying speeds required by automotive uses. The oil pump was a bit undersized, so Ford added an external oil line from the oil pan to the rocker arms, and you had to keep an eye on it to make sure the gaskets were holding.

I kept it when I tried to step up in the world with a '66 Mustang, and drove it for many years after falling behind on the 'Stang payments and selling it back to the dealership. Basic transportation that you could fix yourself. Unlike the mobile computers today that even the mechanics don't always understand.

Merideth in Wyoming said...

Wow Nate, I would have loved to have had this car as my first car. Mine was a 1962 PINK 98 Oldsmobile with a 4 something engine. It could run! My dad would have killed us if he knew how we were running that car!

Marlene said...

My cousin owned the same car.

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