Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Forever Cars, Part 9


By Brody Burroughs

It’s hard to forget a car that bursts into flames as you’re pumping gas into its tank, and I’ll never forget that faded blue ’74 Saab 99.

It was purchased for $25 when both the car and I were 15. While awaiting resurrection at the local mechanic’s shop, it was struck by my newly licensed buddy, who plowed his parents’ wagon through the mechanic’s lawn and into the lot of cars awaiting repair, totaling a Trans-Am and smashing my taillight.

His insurance company gave me $350 for the damage, and that was enough to get it rewired and road-ready, and for a year we roamed from Prosperity to West Alexander in the bliss of newfound freedom.

Driving it was like driving a car you just found somewhere, abandoned – the thrill of what should not be. It soon developed a heavy smoking habit, and on the way to trade it in the fire happened. I had barely heard my father (the G.O.E.) cuss, let alone scream profanity as an alarm to all. After calmly extinguishing the fire, the attendant loaned us the extinguisher for the day and we went from dealer to dealer, parking around back in case we had to put the fire out again.

3 comments:

Moe said...

Beautiful!
You totally resemble Jon Cryer as Duckie in 'Pretty in Pink' in this pic. Loving it ...

Rebecca Plante said...

Park, unrelatedly - the book looks fantastic! The pictures are great too and on sabbatical, I will have nothing but a steady diet of book-reading.

Nichole said...

I remember you took us on our first date in this car. We went to West Virginia for some reason. Just driving and talking !!