Glory days

Why do I feel so nostalgic this morning? Possibly because I saw one of these while reading the news. I’ve always loved the look of a ’65 Mustang. And now that they’re bringing that classic look back, well, here I am, wanting one. Please send it to me. Rat Fink, Finkleman Street, Finkville. And please fill up the back seat with these. And these.

Seriously, fiends. I don’t ask you for much.

Dad’s toy

I remember, as a kid, seeing Mustangs and thinking they were the coolest, sleekest things — almost as fantastic as the powder blue ’63 Pontiac Tempest convertible Dad drove. I have a distinct memory of this car: Mavis and I lying down in the back seat (circa 1965, before the days of seat belt laws), watching the stars go by on a warm Sunday evening drive home from Grandma’s house. Good times.

I don’t know when the Tempest left us, or what happened to it. I’m sad I never asked while our folks were alive. There’s a blank space in my car memories until 1971, when Dad — obviously a Pontiac man — drove home in this beauty – a brand new Pontiac Catalina. And yes, I’m being sarcastic. :-)

Thank the gods, we never owned a station wagon. At least I don’t *think* we did. Everyone at the time was buying the soon-to-be-ubiquitous Town & Country-style “woodies.” Thank you, no. (However, I did run across a rather funky update on the theme. Fun.)

Our parents threw down a hundred bucks for this gem, which was nowhere close to the shape of the one in the picture, I might add. All I remember is rust, and doors that were almost impossible to open, as each one weighed 6,000 lbs. I was embarrassed to ride in it, and it was about as dependable as a screen door on a submarine. I remember getting sick at school one day (I came down with a bad stomach bug, and the nausea was so bad, I asked my teacher for the bathroom pass, but didn’t make it to the door before passing out; I woke up seconds later with a shoe missing and my arm in the garbage can…humiliating), and Mother couldn’t get the dang car started, so my principal had to drive me home. More humiliation.

I’ll bet you have some fun family car memories. Or maybe some of the not-so-fun, don’t make me stop this car variety. :-) We had those experiences, too.

Happy Sunday!

11 thoughts on “Glory days

  1. PKPudlin

    Car memories – Wow, Fink – you’ve hit the mother lode here LOL

    We inherited a Studebaker from my grandmother that was old in 1966, making it probably a late ’50s model. We found out the back doors didn’t always latch well when we went around a corner and my brother almost tumbled out on the way to school. One day I noticed something strange growing in the back seat, and asked my mom what it was – it was mold. Gross.

    When I was a teen, my mom insisted that I learn to drive a manual transmission. Her choice for my training car? A Ford Pinto. That thing had a very tight clutch and kicked my butt all over the church parking lot. Then one day she let me try on our VW bug – what a huge difference! I took my test on that car and passed the first time around.
    That little bug was named ‘Edith’. Edith loved McDonalds and would take us there often – but only when Mom was driving.

    My first car was a VW Bug that I called ‘Mikey’. Mikey hated everything and was so ugly that when I visited friends, they wouldn’t let me park in front of the house next to their pretty Camaros. I had to park down the street.

    When I was 19, I purchased my very first *brand new* car – it had 44 miles on it. A Mustang II California Special Edition – white with a teal-colored vinyl roof and teal interior. It was the prettiest thing I had ever seen, and I was all that and a bag of chips when I drove that car. About 4 years later, my first daughter was born, and since the Mustang was a 2-door, the whole carseat thing was really difficult. My husband traded it in for a 4- door mommy-car without telling me – I just came home one day and it was gone. On one level I understood, but on another level I’d never forgive him.

    Then there was my Dodge Dart that I purchased for $500 in 1988. It was a disgusting green color and the girls named it ‘McBean’. In the one year I had that car, it was behind a wrecker 7 times. The floor was completely rusted through in places, which made it convenient for getting rid of sunflower seed shells. I spent many more times than the purchase price on repairs and finally traded it in for a Ford Escort, but I drove McBean from Elmira to Ithaca NY and back for 8 months (about 35 miles one way) in all kinds of weather. The girls cried when I traded it in. I told the Ford dealer to put a bullet through the block and give it a decent burial.

    Last story: When I was first married, we lived in an apartment complex with assigned parking and the guy next to our slot had a big, black souped-up muscle car that he spend hours polishing and washing etc. One day I noted that he had been hit in the back and his pretty car was damaged. I was in nursing school at the time, so I did what came naturally – I put a bandaid on his car over the ‘wound’. He saw that and laughed right out loud.

    The Long Winded

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Hahaha!! What awesome stories! And I’d never heard of a Mustang II California Special, so I had to look it up.

      Whoa! Cool car — and I also owned a Pinto. 1974, pea green. Loved it, and I even survived without it ever exploding. :-)

      Great memories!

  2. David

    You have such great taste Ms Fink. Who would not want a 65 Stang with or without the Peeps? Cars are such nostalgia inducing things in our lives, causing us to remember the when and who of our lives.
    I learned how to drive in a 1959 Ford station wagon that felt like it was 32 feet long and ugly. It’s only redeeming factor was that it was big enough for six kids to go to the Outdoor Theater and not touch one another.
    My first purchase of my very own car was a 1951 Chevy Coupe…I loved that car! I had held down two jobs since I was thirteen so when I got my drivers license I was not going to be dependent upon getting to use the “boat.” To this day some of my High School mates still reminisce about the Grey Ghost and the copious amount of beer consumed from 1965 through 1967. I was so lucky, in so many ways.
    Thanks for the memories Ms Fink! Peace!

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      “…outdoor theater and not touch one another.” hahahaha

      And a ’51 Chevy Coupe — no way!

      Reminds me of Rat Fink dragsters!

      And I hear ya about being “lucky” — we don’t know how dumb we were!

  3. Mavis

    I absolutely LOVED that Tempest. I remember Mother driving us to a beach in Zion. We had the top down, and she got the worst sunburn of her life. You also forgot to mention that VW Bus Dad bought. Big Green, I think we called it. I hated that thing. I remember wanting to paint flowers and peace signs all over it. :D

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      The BUS!!!!!!!!!! How could I forget the bus!?!?! How cool is that, and yes it was beyond ugly. And I remember that sunburn! Mother told us she would just stand in the shower — under HOT water — and just cry. (No wonder, with hot water on burned skin!)

      Can’t believe I forgot the Ugly Bus…lol

  4. RD

    Every old guy in FL “needs” (wants) a convertible. There’s a black Toyota Solara convertible in a used car lot that I drive by frequently as I travel to and from my house. I haven’t stopped to look at it and ask price, but I am really tempted.

  5. Suzanne

    The first car I remember was one that I could look through the floor and see the road LOL No idea what it was, an old Buick or something and I was a kid. It was like a Flintstone car HA.

    Since there were 4 of us kids we always had station wagons and yes one in particular was a beautiful black Mercury with brown paneling on the side. Then a blue Pontiac. The station wagons served as trailer puller with a canoe on top, and percussion hauler. Then we got a Chevy Suburban and that was what I learned to drive. We also had a VW bug that was light green and yeppers Mom put hippie daisy flowers on it LOL Unfortunately it got in an accident, getting sandwiched between two cars and totaled. Dad was OK. There was also a Chevy Malibu, a Road Runner Chevy Nova, and a red something….hmm can’t remember what that was.

    As for myself my first car was a Chevy Chevelle, manual. I had to learn to drive a stick from my Dad HA. I kinda sorta knew how but his and my patience were tried while I drove and stalled out at almost every corner. Next was a Chevy Monte Carlo, yellow, I called it my banana boat. Two Buick Regals after that, one of which I drove out to California with NO airco in the middle of summer (119F when I arrived). I traded the Buick in for a Chevy Corsica and then a NEW 1994 red Chevy Work truck. That was my baby and it broke my heart when I sold it before I moved to the NL. I sold it to a retired man who was going to take it to Mexico for fishing trips.

    Here in the NL H had a Corsica, made in Canada, and it was a piece of crap LOL We sold it and went 5 years without a car. Now we have our Nissan Primera Station Wagon. Our main mode of transport however are our bikes.

    It’s always nice to read about people’s car adventures. What is your dream car besides a Mustang? Mine is a Buick Regal Grand National. Really practical :P


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