"" Writer's Wanderings: In My Lifetime--Automobiles

Monday, January 14, 2008

In My Lifetime--Automobiles

I can hear the giggles now. No, I did not arrive during the horse and buggy stage and no, I wasn't around for Ford's launch of the Model T. I do remember my grandfather having an old truck that he had to crank with a bar inserted in a hole in the front of the grill in order to start it.

My memories consist mostly of design changes. Mom and Dad fluctuated between Chevys and Chryslers and they each had their own stage of "wing" designs for the rear fenders. One particular model that Dad bought for Mom had huge fenders in the back. I'm pretty sure it was a Chrysler. It was similar to the one at the right but I remember hers being light blue.

Before we were married, Bob owned a Corvair convertible much like the one in the picture. We traded it in on a Ford before moving to Maryland and planning the start of our family.

The one car I truly loved was the Mustang. I had always been a fan of the Thunderbird, which was a popular sports car in the late 60s. The later versions of it were not nearly as appealing. When the Mustang came out it replaced the Thunderbird for "sportiness. " Again over the years, the "sporty" was made a bit more family friendly and I got my opportunity to purchase a used one--an early 1980s model. I enjoyed that car and cried when we had to sell it and replace it with a van so that our five kids would fit comfortably in one vehicle.

Probably the most fun we had with a car though was the Thunderbird that talked. The kids loved it! "The door is ajar," the female voice would complain. When Bob was done with it, he passed it on to our teenage drivers and they drove it until it began falling apart. The voice never faltered even when Bob and our son, Ron, took the dashboard out to try to repair something. They never did get to the part and had to reassemble everything to take the car--and all the leftover parts in a jar to the garage for a professional to work on it.

Now we not only have cars that talk but cars that can tell us how to get there, change our music stations, keep track of all sorts of data, show movies, and generally distract us from our primary purpose--safe driving from one point to another.

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