Tuesday, June 23, 2009

First cars

I remember when I got my driver's license. I was 17 and not particularly in a hurry to get it. I'm not sure why, but that was just me. Not particularly in a hurry, which is probably why it took about 24 hours for me to be born in the first place.

Anyhow, my dad had a friend who had restored an old VW Beetle convertible. Candy apple red with a white top. Kinda like the pic here. And he'd let it go to me cheap. Oooooh, I wanted that car.

Then a friend of mine was killed by a drunk driver who rolled over the top of her VW convertible. No Beetle for me. I got a 1984 Oldsmobile Firenza.

They don't even make these things anymore. It was a really durable car. I actually wrecked it a month later, hitting the "watch out for the median" sign. That's when I learned dogs go in the back seat.... I got it fixed and drove it throughout high school and college. When I got married, my now-ex wanted to get rid of it. Made him crazy that I kept cars for more than a year or two. We drove that car until the third alternator replacement happened, and so did the first child.

Like me, my son hasn't shown a particular interest in getting his license. He's nearly 18. I've taken him out to the back roads to practice, and so has my dad. He thinks it's fun, but he's not particularly motivated. Not particularly motivated to have a job, either....

Remember this gem from him? "A car is just another girlfriend to drain my money."

Guess what? He just might be about to have that other girlfriend.

We were at a car show for Father's Day. All the kids, my sister, me, Ranger, and my dad. Son and my sister's oldest head off on their own. Soon, I get a frantic call.

"I think I found my first car." Yes, indeed. Love at first sight.

And it looks somewhat like this.

The blue is a little darker and shinier than this picture, but there you have it. A 1968 Ford Thunderbird. The thing would have hit the lot in 1967 about the time my parents were planning their wedding, and I was but a glimmer in their eyes.

The one my son was standing in front of still needs work. My son had the flyer in his hand, though. It had a list of all that had been updated on it, and the price of $3,500. NOW, the boy is motivated.

He still carried the flyer in his hand as we went to his doctor's appointments yesterday. His therapist even heard about it. Back at home, he was still rattling on about it. He was formulating a plan.

He'd get a job. He even knew where. "I need a haircut before I go looking for a job," he said. You coulda knocked me over, hearing that. Cut his hair?? Dang, he wants this car.

"It's a powerful engine," he said. "But you don't want to drive a car that old too fast, or something will break." Come again?

"Grandpa said his uncle works on Thunderbirds all the time," he said. "Maybe we can take a trip down there and he can show me how to work on it." No kidding? Hmm.

He asked me to look up how much the insurance would be. To add Son to my insurance more than doubles my premium each 6 months. I pay $450 every six months. He would add $540 to that. If I add him and a 1968 Thunderbird, it's $604 more every six months. Go figure.

The lady with my insurance company asked if it was a 2-door or 4-door. "Two-door," I said.

She laughed. "So the doors go on for like a mile, right?" Yes, exactly!

So, Grandpa gets home and Son wisely lets him settle into his comfy chair before rattling at him. But rattle he eventually did.

They have an appointment to drive the car tonight, after work.

Grandpa contacted the owner, who is actually only the second owner. He bought it three years ago and started updating the engine and giving the car a thorough cleaning. He wanted to put the engine in a hot rod he intended to build, but never did. Before that, it sat in a warehouse for ten years after the original owner died. It has 120,000 miles on it.

The upholstery has two small tears in the front seat. Back seat is perfect. Air conditioning and heat don't work. Power steering, power brakes, power driver's seat.

Hear that sound? That's the "drain for my money" opening for dear Son.

Drama Queen hates it.

But Son is absolutely in love. And actually motivated towards something, which is good to see.


Ronjazz said...

Let's hope. T-birds are great cars, no matter what year.

Anonymous said...

WOW! What a wonderful turn of events - all of it! It is great to hear that son is getting motivated and really acting on it! Now if he would just kick Drama Queen to the curb . . .

Blogget Jones said...

I have to agree with both of you!

It's good to see Son like this. It gives me hope!

Angella Lister said...


Walker said...

My first car was a powder blue mustang and then a slate gray Dart.
15 cars since then but those were my favorites