|My “youngest” car – 2014 Toyota Corolla
February 24, 2017
|Saying goodbye to Mom’s car – 2004 Nissan Sentra
February 24, 2017
My current aka “youngest” vehicle is a 2014 Toyota Corolla. We purchased it in 2017 to replace the 2004 Nissan Sentra we bought from my mom. The Nissan truly fit the used-car salesman description of a car that was “owned by a little old lady who only drove it on Sunday.” My mom stopped driving early in 2011. When I bought the car from her, the 7-year-old car had only about 20,000 miles on it!
|The 1993 Dodge Caravan|
|The 1988 Toyota Camry
Caitlin is showing off her backpack on the first day of school – 1994.
|Too bad this isn’t in color. I looked “right in scale” driving
the yellow Honda Civic.
The Datsun replaced a teeny-tiny Honda Civic. I don’t even remember what model year it was. This was a car people would expect me to be driving – a teeny car for a teeny person! It looked like a bumblebee – bright yellow with a black stripe. The Hondamatic transmission had two speeds and you had to shift between them. No clutch though – that was the “…matic” part I guess. The only good story I have of the Honda is the day I was driving to work on Putnam Avenue and the car just stopped dead. Apparently, the “rubber band” (or whatever) that connected the gas pedal to the engine simply fell off in the middle of the road!
|Proudly standing by my 1972 Plymouth Sport Satellite.
If you read my last post, you’ll recognize that vest!
The Honda was the first of my “smallish” cars. Before that, I drove some massive vehicles. I must have looked ridiculous exiting my 1972 Plymouth Sport Satellite. The body was blue with a black vinyl roof. I do know it freaked people out when they were driving behind me. It looked like no one was driving! This car was HUGE! It had a pretty big engine too. It didn’t take much to get it up to 100 mph on the Merritt Parkway. (I may or may not have done that once – I don’t advise it!) The Plymouth had sweet 8-track. There was a bracket set-up which allowed you to take the 8-track out of the car and use it in your stereo system at home. One day, while my car was parked in the dirt lot behind Davis Hall at Southern Connecticut State College, some moron broke into the car and stole the 8-track. Jerk – you couldn’t even use it without the special bracket!! The other story about this car occurred during a trip with my sister, Kathy. We traveled from Connecticut to Vermont (3 miles from the Canadian border) for a job interview. (I didn’t get the job. My friend Susie did. Luckily we had decided to follow each other on the long trip.) On the way home, the weather took a nasty turn. At some point, the windshield wipers stopped working. No worries! I “Macgyvered” a solution. I tied our shoelaces together, ran them through the inside of the car and tied the ends to the wipers. Kathy did a great job of pulling the laces to make the wipers work until the blisters got too bad. We had to abandon the car in White River Junction, VT. Susie picked us up and we drove as far as we could in the increasingly bad weather. By the time we hit Meriden (just 20 minutes from home!) driving was just too treacherous so we checked into a Holiday Inn to wait out the storm. By then we were smart enough to listen to the radio and discovered we had been attempting to drive through what turned out to be Hurricane Belle, a Category 3 hurricane!
|Wacky Pack stickers from 1973
|Sadly, I haven’t found a picture of my 1965 Ford Galaxie 500.
Imagine this car with gold paint and tiger upholstery!
The purchase of the Satellite was necessitated by the demise of my previous car, a 1965 Ford Galaxie 500. My stepdad, Alfie, crashed it into a pole in the Hamden Plaza during the Memorial Day parade (year unknown!) The Galaxie was the first car I bought with my own money. In 1972, I bought my very own car from the brother of a schoolmate. Oh, how I wish I had a picture of that car! Truly a classic! It was gold with a black vinyl roof. The upholstery was yellow and black tiger fur. And it had…. wait for it…. An 8-track!!! I have no recollection why, but I decided the dashboard needed a little sprucing up. So, I covered it with Wacky Pack stickers (courtesy of the drug store where I worked.) After some time, that seemed “immature” so I recovered the dashboard with black and yellow flowered contact paper. (Actually, I pretty much contact-papered everything I owned at that time!)
The car was full of “personality.” The driver’s seat was held up by a wood block. It was very important to keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times. If the block happened to slip out while you were driving, you’d find yourself totally reclined if you weren’t holding onto the wheel! Making a left turn could prove interesting at times. If you took the turn too quickly, the driver’s side vent window had a tendency to fall out. Oh, and there was no heat! That wasn’t an issue really. Unless you and your two best friends decided to visit your brother in Vermont in the late fall. Just so you know, you can stay pretty toasty warm sleeping in a car overnight if you had good sleeping bags! That was quite the trip. If I recall correctly, we started out by hitting a parked car in the Hamden Mart. I left a note but never heard from the owner. With no money for a hotel, we decided to sleep in the car. Boy, were we surprised when we woke up in the morning and discovered we had parked in the middle of some guy’s field. (Note: It was 1973! I don’t suggest trying that in today’s world!)
I became a pretty good “mechanic” during the years I owned the Galaxie. Back then you could actually repair your own car. I learned what cotter pins were (to hold things together) and how to adjust a throttle so the car
would start. (You stick a flat-tip screwdriver in it then turn the ignition.) I also learned a lot about failing brake lines (Todd Street in Hamden is not the road on which you want to learn that lesson!) and “vapor lock” which was a constant source of the engine stalling.
|My first car – a hand-me-down Plymouth station wagon.
That’s my brother Dean in one of his many “costumes.”