Now I'm sure all of you have had at one time or another a favorite car you owned. I've had several. Some weren't even mine but, sort of qualifies as mine since I drove it around. That one would be my brother's hand-me-down 67 GTO. Eddie was a racing fool. When he came back from Vietnam, he bought the Goat and converted it into a nitro-fuel breathing monster that he would race every Saturday night down at Mid-Ohio Raceway on the 1/4 mile track. Not only was he a great driver, knowing not to just sit and spin the tires (a real crowd pleaser but, doesn't win races), but, how to slowly jump out of the hole and get it rolling before applying power. Eddie accumulated trophies until he had a wall full of them. That fire spitting demon car was just bad-ass with it's dark blue metal-flake paint with the wide racing stripes in white going from the front of the car to the rear. The number four sticker, required by the race officials, was stuck to the back quarter panel just above the wheel well. It just screamed "fast". Until one night when Eddie hit the nitro switch and blew the engine. I caught the whole thing on my dad's high speed camera, two pistons shot up into the sky like fireworks and the car lifted off the pavement in a ball of fire and smoke. And believe it or not, he still won the race beating the Camaro by a half a car length. After he toasted that car and replaced the engine with a standard engine, he allowed me to drive it around. It wasn't the nitro demon any more but, it was still fun to pretend. At 16 with only a learner's permit, I became an ace rubber layer. Eddie was more interested in trying something new, sports car racing. His next car, an Opal GT, went on to garner him even more trophies at Mid-Ohio. The Mid-Ohio track is famous for it's curving, twisting, sports car track and the Nationals are held there. Eddie reached third place.
Probably the worst car I ever owned and also my favorite was the VW van I bought in San Fransisco. It ran horribly, chugged, clunked, rattled and wheezed and I loved it. It wasn't exactly my first car but, it was the first car I bought on my own. I will say it got me all over California before finally dying for good in Santa Cruz. The good news? I sold it to the junk dealer for more than I paid for it. It's now serving duty as a set of Campbell Soup cans.
Over the years I've had my share of basic transportation cars. Nothing much to mention about them except they were all used, in need of repairs both minor and major and got me to work and back over the years. Most notably was the Mustang Cobra Two. Always a sucker for a fast car, I ended up rebuilding this rolling wreck after buying it from Sneaky Sam the Used Car Man. I had it four days and the engine locked up. It seems the previous owner NEVER changed the oil. The oil plug was still factory sealed.....on a ten year old car.... After new everything under the hood and some body work as well, it turned out to be a nice car. Five thousand dollars poorer, of course. I think I only lost half that much, my shirt and my pride when I sold that one to a kid with dreams of hot-rodding the strip. Let's just say, that wasn't a car, that was a bath.
And for all those old school cool cars we used to own, we now have......the beater mini van. Hmmmm.....how did that happen? When is it alright to even drive such an ugly contraption? I suppose I should just hold my head up high while I cruise down the street in Miss Clunk-a-Plunk and smile as I remember the feel of that steering wheel in the GTO. I think I better not try to get rubber at the stop light, though. I might lose the tranny...