'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

15 October 2011

First Car

My first car was actually a pickup. It was a 1948 Chev 3100 pickup. It really belonged to me and my 15 months older brother (and was therefore a subject of many fistfights over possession on any given Saturday night). Here's picture of the truck but not my truck. My truck always looked like something a farmer had abandoned in a field.

We lived next door to my mechanical genius, could do anything, former homesteader and Hughes Aircraft Inspector grandfather. We pulled out the six cylinder and three speed and dropped in a 327 and a Rock Crusher 4 speed. Just because we could. During that build we took off the bed, ostensibly to get at the driveshaft to shorten it and get easier access to the transmission. Talk was heard about "body work" and "a paint job" but I think that was mostly youthful fantasy and bragadoccio. In any event, the bed never again saw the frame rails of that truck nor did anything more than rattle can primer touch the cab.

It could modestly be called a Tire Smoker. It'd break loose the rears in any gear with barely more than a thought and a dare. Being severely financially challenged it wore a series of two dollar used tires on the back. Usually about three miles from being bald as Captain Picard. Probably a good idea because we never did get around to a rear end swap. That stocker would have snapped like soft candy if we'd ever on put anything stickier than those bias ply tires that were harder than my head.

We got the truck while I was still, let's just say somewhat shy of the date where a license could be legally acquired (I think the statute of limitations must have run out by now). I remember driving with one of my best friends past the high school and seeing the driving instructor coming the other way. I was scheduled for Drivers Ed. in the next semester so we were motivated to avoid detection. I still wonder what he thought on seeing a totally pilotless pickup pass him. I wonder more how I ever managed to miss a parked car. Thank the Mormons for very wide streets.

We later sold it when it became apparent it was totally uncool (though it'd be awesomely cool to have it now, exactly as I remember it) and we were never going to actually complete any of the grandiose schemes we had for it. I moved on to a 63 Impala SS and later a 69 Chevelle SS. There was a certain Vega in there somewhere that that same mad scientist grandfather dropped a small block into but that's a story for another day. Want to be tempted to throw something hard at me? I later abandoned the Impala. Abandoned it. It was towed by the city and who know what happened to it. I totalled the Chevelle in a head on with a bread truck and sold it for scrap. Kids.

Though I wish I still had a lot of those cars the one I'm most tempted to try again is that 48 pickup. I guess the first girl will always be special.



innominatus said...

You have fine tastes in autos, sir!

My first was a '69 Camaro. It wasn't a real SS but some previous owner had built it into a clone of one. I had it from 1985 to 2006. Didn't want to sell it but I needed the dough a lot more than I needed 9 mpg. (13 on the highway! Woo!)

It is still sitting in the showroom of a used car dealer here in town. I check in on him every six months or so but he never gets around to doing anything with it except tell me "Someday I'm gonna put my 427 in it!"

The DO said...

Ah, man Inno, I had the chance to buy the Car Guy's '69 Camaro, I just didn't have the money to put gas in it. I still regret that! My first car was a shit brown '79 Dodge Colt that the Six bought for me. I had a love hate relationship with that car. I hated it because, well, it was a shit brown '79 Dodge Colt. But on the other hand I didn't pay for it, and it was wheels. When you're 16 that counts for a lot!

Six said...

Thanks Inno. 69 Camaro's are already way cool but one with a big block would be 9 kinds of awesome.

Hey sweetie, that car was....well ok, it was a Colt. But you learned how to really drive a stick in that car. A gift that just keeps on giving :) Plus Car Guy's daughter ended up with it and it just kept on chugging along, even after she drove it into a tree. We fixed it with lexan, sheet metal screws and some caulking! Couldn't kill the thing.

instinct said...

I would kill for a 69 Camaro. I have seen kits out there to build one, and I don't mean those crappy kit cars, this one is a full Camaro but made with newer and better parts.

Maybe that's what I'll save for and then when the boy is old enough we can build it together. Would be a hell of a first car for a kid :D

Six said...

It really would Instinct. I'm a real fan of father/son builds, especially for first cars. I never knew my father but my grandfather stood in for him. That 63 Impala SS I mentioned was one of those builds and is a memory I will always cherish. Whatever you choose I know it'll be a sweet ride and a memory he'll pass along to a son of his own someday.