A Troubled Automotive History

I learned at an early age to accept the curse of the car. My family seems to have had the worst luck with cars, although I’m not sure if it’s because my parents saw clunkers like stray dogs and attempted to rescue them from the dealers or if there was something demonic acting on the cars we owned. I’ve been reading a lot about getting to the true essence to the stories that we tell (see Brene Brown) and finding the blindspots that keep us from moving forward (Theory U). Let this be an example of how I have exorcised every bit of the part of being a man that says I should worship the metal (mostly plastic) box that totes me to work on my two song, one stop light commute.

Jealous? Don’t be, sometimes it smells like mushroom soil. Never smelled it? Imagine West Point (Va) meets the water treatment plant out in Grove. It can be pungent.

Here’s a list of cars and their tortured existence:

1962 Ford Fairlane: It surrendered under a cloud of smoke in Yorktown.

1975 AMC Hornet: A car with air conditioning sounds great, but this one had the harshest carpet and the “peelingest” paint.

1967 Ford Mustang: I loved this car. Randy Dickerson will tell you it had no heat. He’s right.

1972 Oldsmobile 88: The car of life and the beginning of freedom… I took my driver’s test in this car. Thankfully, no parallel parking.

1978 Audi: I ended up with this car in Pa. It had an electrical fire and sleeps with the fishes in South Philly.

1978 Pontiac Gran Prix: Neglect killed this car. It had real power. It also needed oil… This was the Born in the USA soundtrack car!

1984 Ford Escort Station Wagon: Atonement for not changing the “Prix’s” oil. It never got stuck like the DT’s red truck.

1990 Toyota Celica: My first purchase. I learned to drive stick during the test drive.

1978 Mazda Hatchback: The Celica got killed by a Neon. The Mazda would get killed by a LTD.

1995 Toyota Camry: Hated it…

2000s: A couple of Jeep Liberties: Trying to be cool, in the dopiest (not dopest) looking car ever. I see it now and I’m embarrassed…

2000s: A mini-van: Loved the automatic doors!

2014 F150: The first auto I’ve ever loved. Room for my spiked hair, room for my pit bull, and most importantly, room for the whole family.

So after all that misery, I finally have gotten into the groove with a truck. It’s had its share of issues too. A deer lost a game of chicken with it and a three year old kid went Satchel Page on the door with a rock. The deer was understandable, but the reaction of the parents of the young pitcher was mind boggling. Suffice to say that I said something stupid. Normal right? I guess I felt emboldened with seventy pounds of panting muscle sitting by my side. Without going into detail, they refused to help with the bill and the insurance company took care of them.

So after all this driving down memory lane, what have I learned about cars. As long as they work and there is room for me I don’t think I care about the “car experience.” Riding down the road in my grandpa truck is about the first time since the Mustang that I’ve really enjoyed driving something. Getting jacked up about a car is like getting hyped about the election cycle. It’s just not going to happen…

4 thoughts on “A Troubled Automotive History”

  1. Great story! I’m in the other catagory….I’ve worn my vehicles out to the point you could see the road through the floor! My first was given to me….A 1986 Renault Encore 2dr hatchback, manual trans.
    I was 16….i couldn’t kill that car….I’ve owned mostly Fords, but have had others. My current Ford Ranger has 210,000 miles on it. Never skips a beat!

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