Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Memories as a Car Guy

In case you didn't catch the hint already, I'm a car guy. If you hadn't gotten the hint must be dense.  Read the top banner again!

Being a car guy, cars are very tied to my memories.  Any time I think of a car that has any type of connection to me, I am also flooded with memories of people, events, and funny stories.  I'll run through a few of the cars that bring up the strongest memories really quick so you can see what I mean.

1993 Dodge Ram Conversion Van - This was the first vehicle that was my "daily driver" with it's V8 and 40 Gallon tank.  At the time, gasoline was around $.89-$.99 per gallon, so it was bearable, although I was in high school at the time.  Thinking of this behemoth makes me think of Mike Bounds hitting his head on the upper part of the raised roof (the rest of that story will not be put in writing, but let's just say he wasn't exactly thinking at the time).  You know what...that is the only detail I will go into with the van in this venue, but many of you know stories or have personal experiences in the van.

1994 Ford Explorer XLT - I think of driving to a play rehearsal in high school, again with Mike Bounds, thinking the Explorer was in 4WD.  Well, it wasn't.  I made the right hand turn into the school and the back end broke loose and I rotated an additional 90 degrees clockwise.  I steered in the direction I wanted to go, but ended up over-correcting and rotating the other direction over 180 degrees.  This lined me up perfectly to pull into part of the parking lot, so much so, that Mike's sister and her friend (who were in the lane leaving the school) apparently thought I did it on purpose to show off.  I also think of Physics AP when we had to make water-powered bottle rockets because the hand-powered pump we were using failed.  We had an air compressor in the Explorer so I pulled it around behind the school so we could use the electric pump to pressurize the rockets.

1986 Cutlass Supreme Coupe - That car makes me think of the graduation gift I received from Kirk Petri - 1 gallon of Anti-freeze.  Why?  I regularly picked Kirk & Chad up on my way to school. Shortly after I got the cutlass, the heater coil failed.  It took a week to figure out what the smell was and why the windshield kept fogging up, but we eventually found coolant on the passenger-side carpet under the floor mat.  Whooops! I also think of an ill-fated date to the Riverside in Old Ellicott City.

1983 Caprice - Thinking of that car reminds me of trips up to Westminster with my grandparents at Christmas to visit my Aunts and Cousins.  Why?  On our way home from one of those, due to snow, rear wheel drive, and a hill, we almost ended up in a road-side ditch.   I also remember other times in the back of that car when I would be impressing my grandmother by figuring out what cars were coming up behind us at night by looking at their headlights.

2000 Nissan Frontier - When I think of my old truck, I think of my Uncle Frank, and by extension my Aunt Mill.  Aunt Mill had passed away a few years prior, and when Uncle Frank passed away, the money we inherited plus some money from our grandparents my sister and I were both able to get new cars (Heather's Celebrity and my Olds were both having serious issues).  I got the Frontier, my sister a 2000 Rav 4.  I also think of all the great times Matt & I had driving the unpaved back roads of Fredrick, driving on the beach in Wildwood, NJ with Chrissy, and getting stuck in "the sandbox" with Chrissy freaking out.

This list just includes SOME of the cars that either I have owned or have been in my family.  There are many more memories tied to each of these vehicles, plus many other vehicles that aren't on this list.  Sometimes I don't even know why I make a connection.  What prompted this post?  This morning I passed a 70's Chevy Camaro headed in the other direction.  That was what my mom said she had for her first car.  It is also very similar to the car her cousin, my late Uncle Bud, had as his first car. A Firebird.   So, whenever I see one of those generation Camaro/Firebirds, I think of my mother and Uncle Bud who coached me in little league one season.

So, if you mention a car to me, and I drift off into some nostalgic trip down memory lane, it's because I am a car guy.

1 comment:

Mike said...

As a side-note. If you want to know what memories any specific cars bring up, leave them as a comment and I will answer.