Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shoulda Coulda Woulda

As I read an email today from yet another wildly satisfied customer, I was reminded of this saying and how it applied to my car-buying life so far.  This customer told me his new Ford was his favorite, but not his first love.  I know the feeling, brother.  If you love cars like I do, you'll understand.  If you don't, no amount of explanation will suffice.

I am fifty-three years old (I know, I know, I don't look that old) and have owned fifty-one vehicles since I was sixteen, some of them more than once.  There are a few that have owned me, others I've wanted to own and didn't, more I've wanted to own and couldn't.  Just a sampling:

--1971, 1989 Mustangs--enough said.  Those two cars got me in a lot of trouble.  A lot.  And yet, I still want one several.  I'll clarify later.

--1965 Ford Falcon Sprint--Red, Red, RED.  Jacked up, Cragar wheels, tight as it could be.  It was a sleeper Mustang (same chassis/drivetrain).  I couldn't have hid in that car if I'd wanted to.  I'd get pulled over for stopping at a traffic signal.  Ah, if cars could talk...I'd shoot that one before it could finish its first sentence.

--1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo--Sandalwood Beige, vinyl top and all.  350-cubic-inch, four-barrel engine.  I loved that car.  I put different wheels and tires on it, air shocks, but you couldn't improve on the bodystyle and panache.  I "fell" in love in that car.  More than once.

--1971 Pontiac Grand Prix S/T--455ci, Holley 550 carb, competition crank.  It sounded like it wouldn't get out of its own way at a traffic signal, then it would eat every other car's lunch and pop the bag.  It also had a CB radio.  Daddy's handle was "The Silver Fox" and mine was "Bear".  Breaker, breaker, one-nine, what's your twenty?  Those were the days.  I'm glad they're gone.

--1970 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight--four doors, true hardtop, copper gold with a HUGE interior.  You could fit thirty-seven people in it and manage to lose track of thirty-three.  It was a land yacht and drove like one.  I made that car look good.  And it. would. fly.  But it. wouldn't. stop.

--1966 Mercury Montclair--another beast, affectionately dubbed "The Silver Bullet".  Yes, before Coors Light, there was this car.  It looked like a limo and drove like one, too.  People rode in it and didn't want to get out.  Some are still in it, wherever it is.

--1955 Ford Crown Victoria--if I'd have known Daddy was going to sell this car while I was away at college, I'd have tried to buy it.  Sadly, it was not to be.  He knew I didn't have a "bag of money" (which is what he told me he both bought and sold it for).  I loved that car, turquoise and white, with a 292ci Thunderbird engine.  And it's a great memory.

--1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442--I saw this car on my sixteenth birthday while in Atlanta.  It was at Mitchell Motors downtown.  I told my dad excitedly about it.  He excitedly asked me how I was going to pay for it.  I excitedly told him I thought he'd buy it for me.  He calmly explained that I would have to pay for my first car.  I bought the red Falcon.  I never did get a Cutlass.

--1971 Pantera--I was driving on I-10 just outside of New Orleans when I saw my first Pantera.  It was low-slung, black, and the exhaust fumes spelled "POWERED BY FORD".  I fell in love with it.  Right up until I found out how much they cost.

--1973 Jensen Healey--Midnight Blue, Cashmere convertible top, this beauty was owned by Col. Chuck Patton, USMC Retired.  He, I, and Daddy were the only people who ever drove this British piece of art.  He offered to sell it to me for $4300 in 1975.  I thought that was too much.  One just like it sold at Barrett-Jackson two years ago for $87,000.  I guess it wasn't too much after all.  I'm an idiot.

--1967 Cougar--289 four-barrel, it was owned by Tim Evans on Carleeta Street in Barnesville.  How do I remember all this?  A)  The Cougar was Lime Green Metallic, and 2) my next-door neighbor ended up buying it after Tim refused to come off the price $25 and I refused to pay $25 more than I offered.  Again, I'm an idiot.

--1965 Mustang 2+2--it would have to be black, with a red interior.  The 2+2 had the 289 Hi-Po engine and was a stone cold fox.  One bad ride, and it would make me look good in my declining years.

--1968 Mustang GT--this one had the 302ci V8 and was the beginning of Mustang's performance glory days.  Again, black on black on black.  I'd wear black when I drove it.

--1971 Boss 429--I dream.  I couldn't afford the insurance on one then, and I couldn't afford the gas for one now.  But it would look great in the garage.

--2011 Mustang GT--oh, I wait.  The 5.0 is coming back, bigger and badder than ever.  I'll take mine in black, please (as if you didn't already know).  Add the Track Package, and I'll have more horses in that pony than I'll ever need.  But there won't be a teenager in Northeast Georgia that can make me look old.

My plan is to buy these cars when I make my second million.  I've given up on my first.

1 comment:

bella said...

I would have taken ANY of those mustangs. Oh, baby.