Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cars and Trucks



Here in a neighboring county lies a dead Cadillac in the midst of the greenest greenery you'll ever see. If the car had to go out to pasture, this is not a bad place to pasteurize.

(Welcome to CBW's World where words don't always mean what they're supposed to, and all rules of vocabulary, grammar and common sense are carelessly and effortlessly tossed out the window. "Green greenery" is prolific, and "pasteurize" can mean most anything you want.)

Cars--especially old cars--have always fascinated me, and even at a young age I had an unusual admiration for them. This might be attributed to the fact that my father was a mechanic, but even so most girls don't prefer Matchbox cars over Barbies, and even fewer declare their ardent desire to drive tractor-trailers when they grow up.

My earliest recollection of a vehicle was my parents' old black Ford Model Whatever, I can't remember if it's a T or an A or a Q, but it was one heckuva cruise ship car. The thing was so big, I could practically turn cartwheels in the back. Never disposed of and begging for someone to restore her, she still lies--disabled but not quite dead--on the side of my parents' barn.

My high school boyfriend, a very dear person, drove a brand new, sparkling red truck with shiny chrome tailpipes coming out from behind the passenger cab: a Dodge Little Red Express, one of my favorite vehicles of all time.

Oh, how I loved that truck. If I could marry a vehicle, we'd live happily ever after, Li'l Red and I.

Click here for a picture and more info on the best husband truck that ever took me to the prom.

Here is an excerpt from the link above:

When Dodge released the Li'l Red Express Truck in 1978 it was one of the most unique Dodge trucks that had ever been produced. The Lil' Red Express was not only a real looker but these trucks were also real performers. In 1978 The Dodge Lil' Red Express was the fastest American-made vehicle from 0 to 100 MPH* as tested by Car and Driver magazine.

Chesapeake Bay Woman also tested it, maybe wide open down Glebe Road, maybe not depending on who is reading this. All she will say is, that truck was fast and went from zero to whiplash in a matter of seconds.

Lest you think I favored the snazzy, flashy, speedy vehicles, I will also confess to a slight crush on the Ford Pinto--yes, the Pinto--and a lifelong adoration of Volkswagens and their air-cooled engines. This fondness comes naturally since Chesapeake Bay Father was the local car doctor whose specialty was Anything VW. The Chesapeake Bay Family owned pretty much every model of VW ever put into production and still drives them to this day.

So give me a Model T (or A or Q, whatever it was), give me a Pinto, give me liberty or give me death a diesel Rabbit or a Little Red Express. But as long as you're giving me anything, I'll take the Li'l Red Express and some spare time on the straight-away down Glebe Road....preferably on a day when the sheriff and his deputies are out of town at a law enforcement pasteurization convention.

Did you have a favorite car growing up? Does anyone remember seeing the love of my life a Li'l Red Express in the late '70's?

18 comments:

Annie said...

Well, now that you have asked , and reminded me, and being from a slightly older generation, I will admit to having learned to drive on a little tiny truck that my father owned, of which I have no idea the make or model (will have to ask my brother, he would know). I haven't thought about that for years. It certainly wouldn't have been any relation to the little red one you refer to!

Dad also bought a very early model Holden when they were first arriving on the scene when we were kids, that would have been about 1950, when I was about 5) and had a succession of them over the years. The others were our second car for the kids to get themselves to work for my brother, teachers college for my sister, and uni on the other side of the city, for little sis and I. So much for growing up on wrong side of town...and not ever going to college!.

But to get my license I had a few lessons on the mini minor...the smallest car ever made I think. It was in the era of mini skirts here, and my driving instructor reminded me that if it were a wet day on the day of my test I had to crawl into the back seat to demist the back windscreen. And you have guessed it, yes, it was a wet day, and yes, I remembered to crawl in the back, mini skirt and all. I am sure the man doing the testing that day was ...mm...very ..um...well, interested, or impressed!?

I also remember being told that when going up hills, to put my foot down on the accelerator to keep up the speed. And to this day, I always do!

;-)

After that I drove a morris minor to university and work, (I am sorry, we are descended from
the British here on this island colony). After that a succession of rivals to the ford company, sorry, namely japanese cars when we were married. Oh, we did have a ford when we lived in the country, and the company was paying the bill, and my husband was driving around his ag trials all over the Darling Downs. He bought me an old Holden to drive while he was away! The kids walked up the hill to the school.

whew..sorry about the essay! Hope there's some room left for everyone else!

Grandma J said...

Did your father have a VW Rabbit? That and the Thing were probably the lemons of the VW world.

My favorite car was a '67 Camaro 327(Marina Blue). I bought it new in Oct '66 for 4K. The payment was $140 a month, and my mortgage payment was $105. I loved that car, but as I had kids, I needed something bigger so I bought a '70 Opel Kadet wagon. Oh boy what a trade off! Ugh.

Grandma J said...

Oh and the sight of that old cadillac made me think that you should see about trading it in on the Cash For Clunk program.

Country Girl said...

Well, I too have an affinity for cars. They can be a trusted companion or the bane of your existence. (Sorry I can't agree with you on the Rabbit, however). I do like a good Volkswagen and the ones your father has on his farm are not only photogenic, but a a testament to the noble vehicles!
That red truck is awesome. I don't remember them, though.

The word verification is shitcat. Can you believe that? Oh, wait. It's shicat. Same thing.

tj said...

...Wow, this post is near and dear to my heart. And girl, I do believe we were sisters in a past life or somethin'... :o)

...I have always loved old cars and remember loving 'em even when I was a little kid. I grew up to own a few, a '64 Chev' Pickup, '69 Buick Skylark, '46 Chev' Pickup and currently a boat of a car, a '69 Pontiac Executive. Unfortunately she sits out in our little barn now and doesn't get driven much anymore but years ago she won 1st Place at an All Pontiac Car Show held in St. Louis... My husband has been talking me into selling her so I'll probably list her for sale this fall...*sigh*

...And omg, do I remember those Lil' Red Express Trucks... A friend of mine's boyfriend in High School drove one and we fit 6 people in the cab of it to go to a Journey concert...lol I loved those trucks! Everyone thought she had such a cool boyfriend just because of that truck! :o)

...I also liked the Pinto too... Do you remember the AMC Gremlin? A friend of mine in High School had a black one with a white stripe goin' down the sides and I'll never forget arriving over at her house one day and she had the hood up on her Gremlin and she was adding oil to it. She was telling me how it takes "so long" to add oil to it and when I looked at what she was doing she had a small funnel going into the dipstick tube and was adding oil to her car little by little...lol... I will never forget that! lol... And the look on her face when I showed her the Oil Cap and how much quicker it is to add oil that way! Priceless! lol... :oD

...Thanks for the memories CBW! Great post!

...Blessings girl... :o)

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

I had a boyfriend whose dad bought him a Camaro Z-28 for his 16th birthday. It had T-tops. It was fast. He let me drive it.

As my boys daydream about their future first car, they picture some sweet new sports car. I keep telling them to ask any grown-up they know what their first car was, and the grown-up will launch into a very long discourse about some clunker that was the Best Car Ever, despite all its flaws. I tell thim it's a rite of passage. They're skeptical.

nativedevil said...

I remember that Dodge Little Red Express. Didn't your former boyfriend later get shot in the chest (accidentally) by a nail gun? Thank goodness it missed all his vital organs. Had to hurt like a big dog, though.
My favorite car was the Vega I got from my neighbor, one of our old football coaches. It had three coats of Dupont metallic green paint, and an exhaust system that sounded really cool, mag wheels, etc. Of course, it burned so much oil that you had to check the dip stick before the gas gauge. I drove it until my last year at college

Caution Flag said...

I love cars! (including Matchboxes) My first serious boyfriend was a truck -- sorry, he OWNED a truck. After I sent him packing, I bought my own truck. The truth? My truck and subsequent boyfriends just weren't as good.

So now I live in Detroit where cars are life itself. Married a Chrysler employee who still has a job. Getting kind of tired of driving a minivan and wish Chrysler would make a Suburban gas-guzzling vehicle for people like me who have 4 kids, but we are nothing if not brand-loyal in this house. It's funny how love for my Chrysler guy compensates for having to drive a minivan.

Daryl said...

Growing up, living in daBronx,I had a crush on a Triumph .. a TR3.. and its driver .. he, er,it was so cool, so green, he wasnt green .. Britsh Racing Green.. it was his second car, the first one was an Austin Healey painted an odd shade of turquoise .. I grew up to want, nay, covet the Miata in that oh so sexy blue .. reality is I live in NewYawkCit-tay and no one in their right mind owns a car .. sigh ...

My word verif: nofic .. see I aint lyin'

Mental P Mama said...

I remember little about our cars. But I did have my own steering wheel toy to drive along with my mom. While I sat unbuckled in the front seat;)

foolery said...

I associate the Pinto with Sandy Duncan, I really do, I don't know why. I think she looks like one. Bug-eyed and happy and stuff.

So, of course, the Pinto reminds me of Wheat Thins, which is good, but also maxipads, which is less good. And, of course, all of *them* remind me of the Pinto, which is the least good of all, because, really, A PINTO, cheeky?

Pass the Wheat Thins. Or whatever you got.

Big Hair Envy said...

We once had a cute little blue Chevy Chevette. I loved that car! It had air conditioning, and I didn't stick to the seats in the summertime:)

When Cool Breeze and I started dating, he had a '69 Camaro. I loved that car, too. For very different reasons...;)

Anonymous said...

I remember that truck and you in it and I rode in native devils vega, my mom had a gremlin, I had a falcon and went to prom in a chevette(in a hoop skirt) when I grew up I bought my own truck and now my life is like a country song about a morgage and a suv!!


KL

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

I love these! Thank you for sharing your memories.

Annie-Never heard of the mini minor, but I have heard of a mini skirt! You take up as much space as you want, it's there for the taking and I love hearing what you have to say.

Grandma J. - Yep, we had a diesel rabbit which actually was not one of my favorites BUT in college my roommate also had a diesel rabbit which we drove from Charlottesville to Key West and oh what stories can be told about that trip, so I do have fond memories of that car. An Opel! Haven't thought about one of those in years...another friend in college had one.

Country Girl - I think I cleaned up some shicat recently. It wasn't pretty.

tj-Your Journey concert in the Little REd Express is all the proof I need to know that we are related. WAsn't it the best truck ever? I do remember the Gremlin, oh yes. There was a famliy around here that had one, and I confess to making fun of it on more than one or twelve occassions.....great story about the oil/dipstick (talking about the dipstick in the car, not the one who might have been putting the oil in the wrong way....)

Meg-Camaros were very nice, and I loved me some t-tops. Almost talked about those but didn't get around to it. LOVED the t-tops.

nativedevil - indeed he did receive a nail to the heart from a nail gun, and through no less than a miracle he's still alive to tell about it. I think I remember your Vega, really, not that I ever rode in it but I recall it - did it have a hole in the muffler or something? I remember it being loud...

Caution Flag - What a nice thing to say about your spouse, and I'm glad to hear I wasn't alone in my matchbox obsession.

Daryl - I can easily see you behind the wheel of a sporty car, a convertible racy/sporty sort of car, your chin up, hair flying straight backwards - yep, you belong in a convertible.

MPM- I had one of those too - remember it even though I could not have been more than 2 at the time. Loved shifting the make believe gears...

Foolery- I'm laughing too hard to locate the wheat thins....

BHE-Oh, I knew between you and Mr. BHE there'd be a great car to talk about. And the chevette - I'd forgotten about that one. A friend drove the heck out of one of those, I couldn't believe how long that thing lasted.

KL - Awesome - it's great to hear from fellow Mathewsonians. A hoop skirt? That's impressive.

Thanks for commenting, everyone. I'm off to do ten thousand things before bed time.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Oh, and KL - I promise it was not your Gremlin I was laughing at...it was another family who shall remain nameless. There was more than oen reason I was laughing at it, but that's a story for another day.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Ok dont laugh...I had a Vega! And I loved that car!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

NNG-I loved the Vega. My neighbor had a white one with red and blue stripes down the center of the hood. GREAT car.

Karen Deborah said...

Wow you got me, and I thought I knew cars. I loved the VW's. MY favorite was a 1953 Chevy pickup that I bought for $200. Loved it.
I had a VW bus that was pretty cool and a Pinto. The Pinto stories scared me and I sold it, but it was a nice car.

I drive a stinkin Grand Marquis because it was a good buy, gets decent gas mileage and is comfortable, but it is not cool, it is practical.