This is my first car, a 1937 Willys, ancestor of the Jeep...|
Well it was my Dad's but he quit driving and I sort of inherited it after I graduated High School in 1948 at age 16 and went to work at Sears...
It really didn't look as bad as that first photo, but these two were the only ones I could find of it|
And that rooster was Pinky, an Easter chick that finally died of old age...
|This one isn't mine, but it looks like mine after I painted it and had sealed beams fitted into the fenders like this one...|
The Willys wasn't in great shape when I got it, later I put in a new clutch and re-babbited the connection rods after I 'threw a rod'|
But then I saw a 1937 Ford Hot Rod coupe in a lot sometime about 1949 and talked my Dad into signing for it...
Again, this is not the one I had but exactly like it except mine was a dark blue...
But as you may know, the mechanical brakes in those old Fords were terrible... and after hitting some guy in the rear I made
a trade for this 1948 Jeep Station Wagon|
Nope, not in the Air Force here, the friend in this photo talked me into joining the Civil Air Patrol...
|But not much later I did join the U.S. Air Force in October of 1950, and here after Camera Tech School and a promotion to Corporal, stopping in Kansas City to pick up my Jeep and head to the new base in Illinois...|
|Now at Scott AFB the Jeep came in handy for runs into Belleville where my Uncle Lou, who worked for Fox Theaters, had arranged for an unlimited movie pass for two at the two Theaters there... I took great advantage of that...|
And then the re-assigment to Luke AFB in Arizona and many miles through the mountains sightseeing and
taking pictures, got an album full of 8 X 10 black&white prints of them|
Maybe there's another web page sometime... Lot of work scanning them off though...
Then I saw this bright yellow 1949 Jeepster on a lot in Phoenix, got to have that...|
And Dad signed up again, I was making the payments myself though...
And here, on the rim of the Grand Canyon...
My kid brother and me on the Apache Trail...|
He came out for a weeks visit in 1951 and I put him up in my barracks and gave him some fatigues to wear...
The guys were all in on it, including the NCOIC of the lab where I worked... We got him a chow pass and a Class A pass to leave the base when we went to town and he had a real blast for that week...
So, sometime in 1951 or 52 I was looking for a car with a top on it... Not sure what I saw in this Aunt Tillie's car. a 1950 two
door Plymouth coupe... but it was a roomy, smooth riding and dependable old car...|
And it served to haul me to a transfer back to San Antonio but this time to Randolph AFB...
Sometime in my last year in the Air Force on the way back to the base, some drunk crossed two lanes of traffic and about took
off my left rear fender, just happened he was in the Army... So I took it to the Plymouth dealer to put it back together|
And when I picked it up, I was browsing in the showroom and ended up trading the 50 for a 1954 Plymouth like this one...
My first brand new car, and I was old enough to sign for this one... Mine was some yucky two tone green though...
So, discharged from the Air Force in 1954, back to work for Sears... The went to work for IBM in 1956... Using the money they
refunded from my profit sharing from Sears, I bought this 1956 Chevrolet...|
Now this was one cool car, should have kept it a bit longer
This one was not mine, but exacty like it, plum and ivory and all..
|Then in 1958, what possessed me to buy this 1958 Chevrolet? Ended up I didn't like the color, kind of a tan and coral, and didn't like the looks and didn't like the screwy new engine they put in it, a real dawg compared to my 56... (again, this photo not of my car)|
But then in 1960, I got this really cool new Chevy and now back with the good engine, the forerunner of the later 350..|
Mine was exactly like this one, white with red interior...
Then, a friend of mine bought a 1960 MGA, and let me drive it... Wow what fun this is! So... what did I do, go and trade that nice
60 Chevy for this 1960 MGA roller skate...|
Pulled in the driveway, my Mom came out, with a horrified look, she says "You traded your beautiful car for that?"
Well they got used to it after a bit...
And then, the same guy that got me hooked on that MGA couldn't make the payments on his, so to keep it from going back
I took over the payments...|
Now had one for each foot!
|But I went to the MG dealer, he had this little MG sedan and I traded one of the MGAs for that to use as a work car, couldn't hardly get my work stuff in that MGA...|
So then I was tooling through the drive-ins where the sports cars hung out... I see this one and say what's that? That's a
190SL and high dollar... Well not all that high, I traded in both MGs and bought me a 1961 Mercedes 190SL... |
And exactly like that, red with tan interior, a sweet little car you bet!
|Can't leave well enough alone? Whenever could I? Later back to the dealer and traded the red one for a 1962 Mercedes 190SL, dark blue, white leather interior and dark blue soft top AND a white hard top... Oh Yeah!|
But... in 1962 IBM transferred me to St. Joseph, Missouri...New apartment, more expense, got to economize...|
So, the Mercedes dealer bought back the 190SL and I bought a 1962 Volvo B-19, which was a far more economical transport for me then...
|But do I ever let well enough alone? Nope, Got tired of the 4-speed in the Volvo and bought a nice little 1963 Buick Skylark...|
Still moving on... About that time I bought a brand new house in St Joseph and this 1964 Buick Skylark|
Well, not this one, I couldn't find a photo of mine... It was Gray...
So, that Buick lasted three whole years, almost, here I bought a 1967 Buick Special|
But I never liked that one much, only have a couple photos of that one...
So, I went a couple blocks up the street to the Pontiac place and bought a 1968 GTO|
Now this was one HOT car! A 400 cubic inch engine with an automatic, but with a Hurst shifter, could eat up a 4-speed...
I liked the GTO and kept it almost 4 years? A record?|
A hot little car but I don't think it could beat the GTO in a quarter mile...|
This one may have been my most favorote of all...
And then I was nosing though the back lot of the Pontiac dealer and saw this banana... A close-out 73 and look at that price... $3,995
Well then I took home that 1973 Pontiac as a spare...|
Then a fellow IBM worker fell in love with it, so I sold it to him after a few trips to Texas... that was a smooth runnin car...
Then Pontiac brought out the GTO in the Nova (Phoenix) body style... Now I GOT to have that!|
So I ordered a 1974 Pontiac GTO... Got the red I wanted but the only interior available was 'sand' and I didn't like that so much...
And this one had a better Hurst shifter than the 74 Nova, could shift faster and it could beat the Nova...
Also had that operational hood scoop which probably helped, had the same engine as the Nova|
I had sold the Nova to a friend and the first order of business was a drag race, of course... (and I won in the GTO)
And 1975 ushered in the Van era for me... I saw a customized van at the Chevy dealer and thought that was a cool idea|
So I odered out a G-20 Chevrolet panel van and set out customizing it, then joined the local van club...
Drove it to work, taking IBM sevice calls. To Texas and Arizona for vacation trips...|
Probably the most entertaining and useful vehicle I've had... I gave it to a friend after driving it over 180,000 miles with no major problems...
I'm not sure just why now, but I bought a second van, a 1976 G-30 panel van|
This was a HOT van too... a 400 cubic inch engine with a low ratio rear end, would lay an amazing streak of rubber
Just had started on customizing when I sold it to a friend, same guy that bought the 72 Nova...
Then in 1977 I bought a 1977 Honda Accord, nice looking little car I thought, and I wanted something smaller for driving on
But this turned out to be about the worst car I ever had... Would just bog down and stall on the highway, and they never did find what caused that
Then they rebuilt the engine twice on warranty during the first 60,000 miles, I gave up and traded it in...
|Remember the X cars, not a big GM success... But I bought a 1980 Pontiac Phoenix to replace that Honda, and one of the most reliable cars I ever had... Mine was red...|
|This was about 2000 I think, this was a used car I bought for a spare from a friend who was practically giving it away... A 1980 Mercedes 450 SE and about 20 years old... But a smooth riding and powerful road car, I would like to have a new one like that but they don't make them like that anymore...|
|But back to the new ones... Then in 1983 I got the hots for a Blazer, Bought this 1983 Chevy... And I really liked that little truck... A bit underpowered with that little 2.6 V-6 but not all that bad... I drove that one until I retired in 1987...|
|Another diversion. this was about 2002, I had given the spare Mercedes away and my mechanic friend had this 1985 Toyota Tercel he wanted to dump... So I used that one as a spare until I sold it to a friend... Then he hit a deer with it and that was the end of that one...|
OK, I retired in 1987 and one of the first things I did was lease a 1988 Chevy Astro van, and a useful vehicle that was,
went everywhere and did everything and kept it longer than any other vehicle|
When the lease expired I financed and bought it, actually paid it off entirely, one of the few I ever did... I drove it until around 2002... when I sold it to the apartment maintenance man here...
|My mechanic friend with all the used cars told me about a nice GMC Safari van for sale where he worked so I went up there and bought this 1993 GMC Safari, and a pretty nice van it was, nicer than the Astro with 150,000 miles on it... that I had sold to the maintenance man anyway...|
|But I always wanted to get back into a Blazer and in 2003 I bought a 2001 Chevy Blazer... and loaded! A really neat little truck and was pretty peppy with that 4.3 V-6... I really liked this set of wheels...|
But I hadn't made such a good deal and was paying excessive interest, I could afford it but it's the idea ya know? Then I got this
letter from Dodge, come and check out our new interest lowering program...|
Well the deal wasn't on MY car, it was on the one they wanted to sell me... I wasn't interested but... They showed me a brand new 2005 Dodge Caravan, 70,000 mile warranty, the payment about the same, the interest much lower... Much better deal for me overall... And after all that, I kinda liked the little jitney after I got used to it...
So... the final chapter? With a bit less than two years on it, and 16,000 miles, I took the 2005 in for an oil change...
Wandering around the showroom, a salesman asked if he could do anything for me... I says not unless you want to buy a van that I owe more
on than it's worth...|
Well, you can't thwart a hungy salesman and I drove home in a brand new loaded 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan...
|So, I can't afford it? So what?... Might just be the last car I need so why not have the one I want... I was getting to like the cheepie model I had but this one has all those goodies that are so much fun... I keep finding new things that I missed first time around... Just a couple weeks ago I found these buttons on the back of the steering wheel, comtrol all the functions of the radio, disc player and cassete player without taking you hands off the wheel (well I didn't know you could do that)|
Well at my age I thought that last one would be the last car I would need... But no, the payments were just too high to justify keeping it... So I checked with my mechanic friend Bob, where can I get a decent car at a decent payment?... He just happens to do the Warranty work for a car dealership which is also a finance company... Bob says he doesn't have any junk cars on the lot... So Bob called him, the guy says send him over, we can do it...|
Spotted this Blazer when I pulled in, that would sure do it.. Yeah.. Took it for a test spin and I bought it within 15 minutes of getting there.. And.. the payment is less that HALF of the Dodge.. And will paid off at the same time the Dodge would have been... And I am BACK IN A BLAZER AGAIN!