Last post on Mar 10, 2011 at 10:36 PM
You are in the Automotive News & Views-Archives
What is this discussion about?
Jun 09, 2007 (9:31 am)
Two vehicles stand out. His 1957 Chevy Belair, and his last,
a 1993 Nissan Access.
I'll never forget that day when Dad drove up the drive in the 57 Chev. We were so happy to have a new vehicle, and one that was considered "cool". Unfortunately, he piled it in to a tree one dark, rainy night and totalled it. Mom and Dad walked away though, so that was good.
My Dad's last vehicle was the Nissan. He drove it til he was 86, then decided to give up driving altogether. Passed it on to my little brother, and still gets to ride in it occasionally.
#16 of 64 My Dad's Cars
Jun 10, 2007 (1:25 pm)
I have a lot of pictures in my carspace under the album "Our Family's Cars"
His first was the Opel he was supposed to bring over from Poland. He rolled it so that didn't happen. My dad is the one on the left.
See more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com">
So instead he brought over the Austin 1300 that he liked to work on a lot. Well maybe from the looks of the picture he didn't enjoy working on it a lot.
See more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com">
A few cars later (they're all mostly on my boomchek's carspace
I think his favourite was the 300D that lasted only about 6 months before the motor seized up doe to an oil leak.
See more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com">
Jun 11, 2007 (11:36 am)
I guess that my dad's favorite vehicle is his current vehicle .. a 1970 Chevrolet C-10 pickup. Puce (orange) with a white roof, 350 and a 3 speed automatic transmission.
I don't specifically remembering him buy it (he bought it new), but I do remember him driving a '53 Ford pickup before that. Legend has it that when he bought it, Mom told him that it would be the last truck he would buy. Little did she know how right she was ... 37 years later, it's still his daily driver.
My dad worked two jobs most of my childhood .. he was a full time firefighter, plus on his days off he did carpentry work and later became a certified CPR instructor and did some work for Shell Oil and the Navy.
The Chevy took him pretty much everywhere. He added some type of custom mufflers to the truck and you could hear him coming down the block. The truck hauled tools and lumber and kids (this was in the day where riding in the back of a pickup truck was not only OK, but cool).
On his (rare) days off, he would go bass fishing at the local lakes and that truck pulled his boat up to them without complaint. I remember going with him a few times, getting up before dawn to get to the good fishing spots, then stopping at a country store on the way home for some home-cured beef jerky.
As I got older, my dad transitioned into a new job of fire cause investigator (think of the Robert De Niro character in the movie "Backdraft") and had a city car to get him back and forth to work. The Chevy still did weekend duty, though by this time he had sold the boat and was playing more golf.
Everybody in town knows him by his truck. He had the top end of the engine rebuilt just after it turned 100K (about 15-20 years ago) and a couple of years ago spent about $5K to have all the exterior bits and pieces redone - new chrome, rubber gaskets for the windows, paint job, spray in bedliner - the works. Looks like a new truck now.
I don't know how many miles it's got on it at this time - he probably averages about 5K a year in it and it probably hasn't ever been more than a few hundred miles from home in the time that he's owned it.
My dad has refused many, many offers to buy the truck ... it's not that he doesn't trust the modern technology (my Mom drives an '03 Sonata), but I think it's become such a part of who he is that I don't believe he can see himself without it.
If all goes well, I'll get to see him on Father's Day this year and we'll go for a spin in the truck.
#18 of 64 Re: Grandpop's Cars [fezo]
Jun 11, 2007 (12:02 pm)
LOL, we had a Grenade in the family as well, a 78' with the cloth roof, yellow with a 302. That was traded later on for a yellow Torino wagon a few years later.
#19 of 64 Ding!
Jun 11, 2007 (12:08 pm)
We had a Torino wagon at one point as well.
Jun 11, 2007 (12:13 pm)
My grandparents had one at the same time, a brown one with the faux wood panels (I think they were stickers). I think the two of them parked next to each other took up the entire block.
I remember my parents had a celebration when they rolled the odometer over on theirs. It was pretty durable as I recall.
#21 of 64 Re: Ding! [anythngbutgm]
Jun 11, 2007 (12:20 pm)
Yeah, the "wood" panels were stickers all right. I remember when they started to peel.
I ended up having to drive that sucker for a couple of months. I was going off to grad school and my brothers conveniently borrowed my car right when it was time to pack and go... I'd have gotten it back but they were heading to Kansas while I was heading to Florida and they are in very different directions when your starting point is New Jersey.
Actually I got to bring a lot more junk down for that year than I would have since you could cram a lot into one of those and my car was a Volvo 142.
#22 of 64 Re: Dad's Truck [michaell]
by Karen@Edmunds HOST
Jun 11, 2007 (12:22 pm)
I'd love to see a photo of that truck!
#23 of 64 The Excellence wasn't Expected...
Jun 11, 2007 (3:17 pm)
The Old Man (we always called him that...) had many cars, three stand out. He learned how to drive on my grandfather's 1937 Packard 160---in 1948!!! in the days when my grandfather "worked over to Fords". Brave man for driving a non-Ford car to a Ford plant! I spent years trying to find it to buy it, and surprise my Dad with it. Never could find the car.
Fast forward. Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1964. First new car in the family: 1965 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport 396 Coupe. It was on the show-room floor, and he bought it. We literally "saw the U.S.A." in that car---driving over two summers first to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, hitting Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons along the way, and then the following year to Maine. It had real punch when you floored it. Sadly, he sold it for $600 in 1974 when gas was an outrageous .44/9 per gallon! When it hit 75 cents a gallon my Dad went and bought a new car. (Ohh, what that big block Chevy is worth today...where is that car??? If you find the butterfinger wrappers stuffed down the left-rear armrest under the ash-tray, I did it!)
Then there was...the Porsche 912. It was the rage in 1967. Bought second hand, dark blue, black interior. It was the only sports car my Dad could fit in. Though not a car guy, he went all out with this car, joining the Porsche Club, and then sport racing at Elkart Lake within the Club. Many happy power slides, down shifts, and blasts to 90 and 100 plus mph in that little trumped up VW. Especially the downhander before the finish line!! It always sounded like we were coming in for a carrier landing when downshifting from 90...it was, well "Groovey"
...but (isn't there always one of those?) service at Porsche dealers was non-existent because they had been sold at Mercedes dealers, but in 1968 became allied with Audi/VW, and that was the end of that. You had to beg to get the car fixed---no there were no authorised mechanics ready to go when the switch happened. While the enjoyment was great, the little things weren't. It was also the late '60's and half the mechanics were, well "smoking" something other than blue tail-pipe smoke on start-up, (at least those that were not former tank mechanics for the Wehrmacht!!) .
Yet the poor Porsche suffered mightily---first when my Mom blew the engine racing, (she was better than my Dad at it...), second when (crime of crimes) my Dad gave the Porsche to my older brother in 1975, a brother who did not know a plug wire from a piece of string! He learned to drive too fast and too furious, however. How many times did that tranny get miss-shifted, and that was before the wreck...ohh but am off my story.
Dad took the Porsche racing---under the aegis of (an un-named co-conspirator and former University of Wisconsin Professor who shall go nameless) his friend "L". Jim Clarck my dad wasn't, not even finishing....but the little Porsche limped home, tape over its lights, the tailpipe smoke a little closer to the dark blue of its finish.
That was the last great car my Dad bought...it became Pontiac Grand Ville's and then a disasterous FWD Cadillac, followed by a slew of somnambulant Town Cars that just kept on ticking. Yet, I had the supreme pleasure of taking my drivers test in the 912. Lucky Me: the examiner missed all my speeding and double shifting to take power curves, and gave me my license anyway!
But in our family, though "we" (my brother and I) mourned the loss of the big block Chevy, Dad's Porsche was king, and the excellence was not expected---it was exciting!.
#24 of 64 A Life Measured Out in Cars...
Jun 12, 2007 (7:46 am)
My Dad was in the US Navy before WWII broke out in Europe and was discharged until after the end of hostilities in Japan. All in all, he gave almost 8 years to the service of his country.
Once discharged and home again, he managed without a car for quite awhile but finally bought a used mid-fifties Ford, shortly after getting married. Through the 1960's and early '70's, he had a 1961 Olds 88 (beige), a 1962 Buick LeSabre (pale green), 1968 Olds Delmont (maroon), and a 1973 Ford Galaxie 500 (medium blue). To my recollection, with the exception of the first Ford, every one of these cars had at least a 350 cubic inch engine, and I know the Delmont had a 455!
Then the first Oil Crisis hit. So he bought a 1976 VW Dasher (dark green), with a 97 c.i.d. 4 cylinder. Unfortunately, every penny saved on gas was spent trying to keep that dang fuel injection system functioning (incredibly unreliable car). But he liked the efficiency of the car, the comfortable seats, and small size for parking.
The Dasher was traded on a 1981 maroon & silver Pontiac Phoenix hatchback (one of the X-bodies). It had the "Iron Duke" 2.5 litre 4 cylinder engine. The Phoenix was the first car he ever had with air conditioning and the first car that he ever bought new.
The Phoenix was followed by a new 1985 Olds Cutlass Ciera (bronze), again with the Iron Duke engine.
But his favorite car was his last one. A 1989 Nissan Maxima SE. Although he bought it used, he loved that car, in an elegant beige exterior with black leather interior. He loved the smoothness of the engine and the power that it delivered. It's the car that I recall him doting on the most. He'd sometimes show up at my office at lunchtime or pull into my driveway on a Saturday afternoon, the car freshly washed and waxed.
By 1996, my Dad was slowing down physically and I was warning him about driving at night. Finally, one evening I got a call that he had been in an accident - it was pretty bad and the Maxima was totaled. He and my mom were bruised up badly. A week later, I actually had tears running down my face when I emptied out his personal belongings from the car while it was in the salvage yard.
My mom and I convinced him not to get another car, but it really broke his heart and spirit to lose his independence. The physical aftermath of the accident started his last downward slide and he died 4 months later.
Even today, when I see a Maxima of that era (and there are a surprisingly fair number still around), it catches my eye. Honestly, it took a couple of months after his death for me to stop looking for Dad behind the wheel whenever I saw one.
Thanks, Dad, for letting me help out on car maintenance projects when I was just a little kid, handing wrenches and sockets to you. I realize that I was probably more of hinderance than a help for at least a few years. Thanks, too, for letting me take on some of the work on my own as I got older. It was a tremendous confidence builder for a gangly teenager trying to make sense of the world and my place in it. And thanks for the heritage of tools - I still use them today and think of you whenever I handle one of them. I miss you still.