I am in denial about cars. My parents must have raised me wrong. Who else can I blame?
When I was young, we had a Rambler Station wagon. I don’t have much to tell about it, that being so long ago. Family Cars are just that, boring. I feel good remembering about that car, that is from photographs. I couldn’t tell you anything else about it.
When I got older we got a new Family Car. This one was a Pontiac Tempest. It had a V-8 Engine. Someone told me that. That was an important piece of information, if you were into cars, which I was not.
Then a funny thing happened in the United States. It was called the Energy Crisis. Our Family Car with the V-important sounding-8 Engine got a new name. Now we called it Gas Guzzler. It sounded interesting and important, but alas it was not.
Our V-Gas Guzzler, formerly important sounding – 8 Pontiac Tempest was dark green in color and had 4-doors. For a Family Car it was good with 4-doors, but it was not Groovy, or some other important teenager sounding name, maybe Boss, which it also was not.
My Parents got divorced. My Mother got the Tempest. She promised me the V-not sexy, 4-door, dent in the side where the ladder from the garage fell onto the car and dented it, still Gas Guzzling, Family Car with no redeeming features for a teenager – 8 would soon be mine.
My friend made me a drawing of my soon to be mine car. It showed fancy rims and a flag with the name, Estes, which was a model rocket company from Penrose Colorado, which was important to me at that time, flying from the antenna.
My friends, who were not my friends at that time knew all about cars. They spoke of carburetors with hemi-something-or-other with 250 cc’s, which was still not interesting to me. They spoke about exhaust pipes like they were the bees knees, or whatever we said back then with our bell-bottom jeans, which I thought were in, but my Mother didn’t buy for me until they weren’t in anymore, then I was embarrassed and pimples and everything teenagers had, but didn’t want anyways.
I finally got the V-8 Pontiac Tempest, with the dent in the side and a pain in my heart from my girlfriend. She had a Ford Mustang, that was yellow and she named it Trenton, or Trent for short, who was to be the name of our first child, and then we would have a girl named Diane. She was smiling and I was in Love and all that stuff, but I now owned the Family Car which could have impressed my friends, who had other even more fancy cars like Camaro, and others which still didn’t mean a whole lot to me.
My Father was not a car person as well. He had many cars, but didn’t take care of them, not even changing the oil on them which didn’t make them last very long, but he had money and bought a new car rather often. He never bragged about his cars until he bought a Toyota Land Cruiser with locking hubs and 4-wheel drive. He drove it to Death Valley and to Colorado and all over the Western United States. I even was allowed to drive it, even though it did not have a V-8 Engine or was made in the United States. I had less and less friends which was a good thing, at least in the way of knowing about cars, which I didn’t.
I wanted my own car and not the Family Car with the imaginary flag with the name of the Rocket Company located in Penrose Colorado. I had my own money and decided to buy a Pickup Truck called Datsun. Now they are called Nissan, which could have made my Datsun all the more important, if I was into things like that, which I still am not. I traded in the former Family Car the Pontiac Tempest with the V-8 Engine, which in the whole time that I owned the car, that fact alone seemed to impress people, which I did not understand or even want to. I knew it was a V-8 from 1968 with a dent in the side, but no longer having a pain in my heart as we had broken up long before that.
I needed to take a test drive in that Datsun, but the man at the Car Dealer only had his own car, with rims and flags, and the worry that I would crash his fancy pickup, but worried if he said No, then I would take my money, which was burning a hole in my pocket, just like my old girlfriend burned a hole in my heart. He finally said Yes and my Father and I drove off into the night. It had a stick shift with 4-5 gears, and that alone would have sounded important to all other guys at that time, but it was just a car after all. The most impressive thing about my Datsun Pickup with the Puke-green color, which my now brother in-law called it. He was a real guy who knew about cars with the hemi-business and the cc-business, anyways I thought so. Once before I called him my Brother In-Law, because he and my sister were not married yet. I was allowed to wash his fancy car, when He was visiting my Sister at our home before my Parents got divorced, when my Father gambled too much, and couldn’t buy more and more cars which didn’t mean anything to him, just like they didn’t mean anything to me. My before Brother In-Law said that he could have gotten a better wash job from a Mexican, which made me sad and I wanted to be as good as a Mexican Car Washer, but I didn’t know how.
My Puke-Green Datsun was giving me troubles as it was In The Shop, which to any guy who knew about cars, would have given his right arm to know about. Real Guys would love to get their arms and faces dirty with grease, and throwing around wrenches and the like and telling their Girlfriends how much they loved them and that their eyes reminded them of a hemi-something or other with 250 cc’s which was just small talk for getting into their pants. Guys talked like that, and still do today – I think. I didn’t talk like that because I never dared to talk like that. I didn’t know about cars and sports and those other Guy-things, which left me alone and sad for many years.
Luckily my Mother entered the picture again with the offer of new, used Mom Car, which was a Dodge Dart Sport. My imaginary friends would have laughed at me owning a New Old Mom Car with no discernible characteristics. It was yellow and it was not bad on gas mileage, but it did not have a V-8 Engine which by the way I memorized in case I needed to throw around some Guy Talk with Real Guys, which of course I never did.
Now I met my future wife from Denmark. She ended up driving my Mom Car which suited her just fine. She said that in Denmark you either owned a Car and had no money, or didn’t have a car with money, or you had neither with a girl-boyfriend, which meant that you didn’t have money anyway. My Mom Car had My Wife, which meant that I needede a New Old Car, which by the way came from my Father, who had 2 Old, Old Cars. I then became the dubious proud owner of a Dodge once again. It was kind of blue-colored but the Gas Tank Needle didn’t work. My Father told me how to add and subtract and multiply and divide every time I filled up the tank. I thought it easier to have the gauge fixed, which I did, but he didn’t understand why I didn’t use his system. My Old Old Dad Car lasted me until I left the United States driving in my Old Mom Car.
Now I’m living in Denmark. I have had a Used Volkswagen Jette, then an Used Volkswagen Golf which were quite impressive Guy Cars, but by that time I was too old to care about Guy Things. When the Front Part of the Golf cracked or something and the Vehicle Inspection placed a rather largish Sticker on the windshield forbidding me from driving it anymore, I decided it was time for a new concept. A New Family Car. So I bought a Suzuki WagonR with a 4-something cylinder Engine. My Danish Brother In-Law who was a Danish Real Guy knew all about cars with their 250 cc hemi driven something or the other, which by the way wasn’t in my car. He knew how to buy and sell cars and owned many different Guy+Family+Type Cars, Danish style. You might want to call them Foreign Cars, but then all cars in Denmark are Foreign.
I’d like to end this story by impressing all of you Real Guys out there, Danish or not, but in all that time that I have owned Mom and Dad and Pickup Cars, and Cars with DoNotDrive stickers on them and 4-cylinder V-8 250 cc hemi something or other hopped up exhaust fans, with strawberry flavored spark plugs, I still haven’t the foggiest idea about what Cars are all about.
I did, however, when I owned my Pontiac Tempest with the V-8 Engine, learn how to make it last a long, long time. Here is the final proof that I did know some Guy Stuff back then, when my hair was brown and I was in love and all that stuff and didn’t know anything about life, but then as a teenager, I thought I did.
I knew how to change the oil, and here is photographic proof of my very first and perhaps very last Real Guy Car V-8 Time….
Note the dent, made by the ladder, that fell down in the garage located in the picture, under the yellow oil filter in my hand. And you thought I was making all that GuyCarV-8Stuff up, didn’t you?