Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thankful Thursday 7

I am thankful for a really sweet memory.
100_1813.jpg fall 2008 picture by jasonbinggeli

This is the car I had in high school. Well not this very car, but this year and this make/model.
It's a 1970 Olds Cutlass.
((sigh)) I miss the purr of that engine.

Speaking of engines, here is the engine it had in it. Well, not this very engine, but one exactly like it in every way.
It's a 455 Rocket, V-8 4 Barrel.
What that means is, it went fast. Very fast.
If you hit the gas, it would go for a bit and then jump out from under you like a spooked horse.

The "4 barrel" part of the numbers and letters above means it had four intakes for gasoline, instead of 1 or 2 (thanks Lee, for helping me describe it). What that means is, if I stepped on the gas to enter the freeway, I could quite literally watch the gas gauge move.

Even when gas was 85 cents a gallon (I know, back when the earth was cooling), that gas guzzler cost me a boat load of money just to drive around.

Just like a high school boyfriend, my car had his good points and bad points. Yes, the car was a he and not a she. I know it's customary that all cars are female, but not this one. That was clear. No, I never named him.

The bad stuff:

Stuff was always breaking or falling off or rusting out. I had the dual-mufflers patched one and then finally had to replace them all together.
I had the radiator worked on twice and then had it replaced. Man, that sucker could overheat like Old Faithful.

The carburetor spent the better part of the winter causing me to stand outside every morning in the snow with a hair dryer, trying to dry the condensation that had built up after being driven hot and then left outdoors overnight.

I had the windshield replaced because a tiny rock chip turned into a spider's web in a matter of two days.

New battery.
A new alternator.
Belts--every single one.

The good stuff:

Man, the car was a looker. Eye candy with a sexy, deep voice.
Blue with a black, vinyl hardtop.

Because I was in high school, I naturally wanted boys to talk to me. This car was how that happened. My boyfriend had a Grand Torino, so he wasn't so impressed with my car as boys that drove Gremlins or Pacers or their mom's station wagon. Still, it was a nice way to break the ice.

It holds memories of my dad. He was a car dealer. He had what he called a "pot lot". It generally was full of old beaters that he spent two hundred dollars sprucing up and then selling for a small profit. When this car came in, he called me and said I needed this car. I was driving a land yacht (68' Cadillac, butter yellow, 4-door) at the time. Not a very "teenage girl" sort of ride.
I didn't know what all the engine numbers meant on the Cutlass, I just knew it was a Cutlass. I bought it from him for $400. He helped me find the right garage when something needed fixing. He showed me how to start it when there was condensation on the carburetor.
He had to have known what an amazing car it was, but he never let on. He just told me not to let anyone drive it--especially boys.

I let two boys drive it.
The one that matters out of the two is Lee.
That car is where we shared our first kiss.
A quick, goodnight kiss that was the beginning of the rest of my life.

So, what happened to that car?
I sold it.
I needed out from under it "nickel and diming" me. It was either sell it or pay for a radiator. I didn't have the money.
I sold that amazing, memory-filling ride for $800.
Somebody got the deal of a lifetime, but I got the sweet memories.


  1. Yes, sweet ride! Reminds me of a horse. Jumps when he's spooked, doesn't like to be run hard and put away wet, a real hay burner, and a guy magnet.

    Wish I could have been around to cruise down the street with you on a warm Saturday night.

  2. I love the part about the kiss! I hope your kids read your blog. That's too sweet. What a cool car. I always wanted an older style mustang... someday :)

  3. Maybe someday you can get, if not that never you still know the vin #? Another one.

    Old cars are the best.


  4. Leenie, I never put all that together, but you're absolutely right. :) I did, do some cruising in it, also.

    Sarah, I think Jenna is the only one that occasionally reads my blog.

    Linda, it's funny, as I was writing I began to wonder if they car was still around. I only wish I had the VIN to find out, but I don't.

  5. That is so sweet about the first kiss in the car. Your car was "way cool". Definitely a "guy" magnet.

  6. I'm waiting for the day my father decides to give me his 1969 olds 442 convertible,they are a sweet car!

  7. Beautiful car! My first car was a '68 Impala. Nothing at all to look at, but I sure did love it. They just don't make 'em like they used to, do they?