Cars I Loved

"The Cars that drove my life!"

The Mustang

Ok, my real first cool car! I bought my 1965 Mustang when I was a senior in High School. This was also my first car with a loan payment. It was beauty. A white convertible with red seats and a white top. This was a fast little car, it had a 289 V8 and a four speed shift on the floor. It had a factory set of gauges called a rally pack. Also power steering and a floor console. I just loved this car so much, in fact as I look back over all the cars I’ve loved this one is at the top of my list.

I had a girlfriend who lived about 30 miles from home and I’m not certain now that I may have enjoyed driving my car more to see her than seeing her? Well that may not be true but this was one really neat car. So many fun memories here!

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And I’m still driving

Craig

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The 42 Chevy!

Finally I was 15 years old and I could really buy my own car. I had a job working at a Shell Service Station after school about a mile from home. So even though I didn’t have a license or even a drivers permit, I was driving a little. My boss had this 1942 Chevrolet flatbed truck just sitting there at work. He knew I liked it and sold it to me for only $25.00 and I was so excited! It ran pretty good and just needed things like tires, brakes, fan belts and such. So I would work on my truck in my spare time getting it ready for the day I would get my drivers permit. It was fun to work on and tell all my friends about it. The truck was black with long running boards. A stick shift of course and a straight 6 cylinder engine. I had to put a radio in it so I got a new “8 Track” tape and radio. I remember it as the brand name was “Craig”…very cool! Other little parts that I needed would come from a wrecking yard over in Santa Ana. As everything in life this truck became part of my story. You see, just after getting my drivers permit I was stopped by a California Highway Patrol officer for a burnt out tail light and unsafe tires. Of course I repaired these items and drove my truck to the CHP safety inspection station to have my repairs approved. So a long story short, I was driving home when suddenly I smelled smoke. It seems the battery box under the floor board was on fire and the fire spread very quickly. I was so lucky as an open field only boarded by a fence on the right and a tree on the left was just ahead. I aimed the truck and jumped out! My truck stopped right in the middle of that field and just burned. It’s then I noticed my truck had hit the fence and knocked it down. This fence was surrounding a preschool and I was responsible; what a day! So it was, I ended up working all that summer to pay for the fence repair, my truck ended up at that wrecking yard and my memories are intact. What a great time in my life, what fun I was having!

and I’m still driving….

Craig

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Yes it’s a Crosley?

When I was about 14 years old we acquired a Crosley – Wikipedia It was a funny little car that even included a propeller on the front grill. A real American classic! The car came to us from our neighbor “Jimmy”. Jimmy was a Sargent in the Marines and he just loved to restore old cars. He had some real beauties and had restored this 1951 Crosley Super Wagon. Jimmy was a great guy, he let me come and learn so much about taking cars apart and putting them together. The real art and craftsmanship of automobiles. So when he decided to sell the Crosley, we bought it. It was Green with Red Seats, Popular color combo in 1951! The stick shift was on the floor and it was a 3 speed “H” pattern shift that was synchronized (no double clutching) This was a fun little car. The Crosley as well as the 1930 Model “A” I wrote of earlier were the first cars I really learned to drive. Learning to drive was a real big man experience back then and in California you could get a learners permit at 15 1/2, so I was sure to be ready. In fact shortly after reaching that very mature age I was able to take drivers training in High School and I graduated with honors! This was a very fun time in my life that I remember it all so well.

Thanks for driving with…

….Craig

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My First!

Everyone has one, the first one, the first car! It so happens my first car really wasn’t mine but rather my stepfather‘s. It was his beloved 1930 Ford Model A Pick-up. The truck was green, old with rusted fenders and yellow spoked wheels. It was really cool, I had loved it from the day I first saw it. Here’s the story, my stepfather had owned this truck prior to his college days. He had sold it for needed cash but always kept tabs on its whereabouts. When he graduated from school the Model A came up for sale and his father helped him buy it back. As a young kid I was a bit of a nerd…today I would be a geek.
So when I was about 12, I began to work on this old truck. It didn’t run so I learned to rebuild the flat head four cylinder engine, the mechanical brakes became hydraulic at my hands, the 6 volt electrical system converted to 12 volt with sealed beam headlights. I even learned a bit of upholstery knowledge because of this old truck. So, it was only appropriate that this would be the car to drive first! We lived near the ocean in Southern California and traffic was not anything like today. My driving lessons were out on some dirt roads in an area we used to call the “Back Bay” Interesting truck to drive, it was a stick shift and no synchronized transmission. That meant I had to learn to double clutch! All this and I was only 13 to 14 years old, a full two years before it was legal to drive. Yes, this was my first, my first love. I would go on to drive that car on and off through high school. My brother even learned to drive it. We kept that 1930 Model A in our family until my stepfathers passing many years later. Perhaps you have memories of your first to share? If so please leave a comment..

Thanks for driving with…

….Craig

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