Thursday, April 23, 2009

Forever Cars, Part 3

By Margaret Conaway

My first and favorite car was a 1953 Mercury sedan purchased used in the late 1950s. I drove it for about 10 years, all the while staving off my husband’s male wish to trade it.

My Mercury had a flathead 8 with a dual downdraft carburetor. That was not a car. It was an Automobile! My son (just a kid then) tells me that he and his brother loved when we entered the four-lane, when I tramped on the gas and the engine gave out that whoosh sound.
My husband nagged me constantly to trade my Mercury, saying, “I can’t understand what you like about that car!” My response was “I like the word PAID that is stamped on the title.”

Came a weak moment when I was talked into trading my beloved 53 Merc for a used fire-truck red’63 Ford Country Squire station wagon (above). I suspect it was wanted for camping trips. What a comedown! Straight 6, standard three-speed on a tree, NO POWER STEERING, and I parallel parked it on city streets. How in the hell did I do that?

I hated that boat, and one day when I tired of parking it I went to a VW dealer (with no advice or help from anyone, meaning my husband) and traded that monster for a’68 VW fastback. This was my first car bought NEW. It did not last long as my son, now a high school senior, totaled it two days before his graduation. (He was not hurt).
It was replaced with a’69 VW fastback and this is the car in which I suffered my most embarrassing moment...
(Continued tomorrow.)

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