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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Old Clunkers

In a previous post I mentioned I learned to drive in a '58 Olds, actually I learned in three cars, that was just one of them.
The second car was a 1963 Pontiac LeMans. I can't find a picture of the car in question. Pontiac upsized the LeMans and that's all I can find. Pontiac also had a Tempest that was their version of the Chevy Corvair, and it's not the same car either. This car looked a lot like the '66 Dodge Dart.
The Olds had a huge powerful engine, the Pontiac was a gutless wonder. It had a slant 4 cylinder engine (looked like a V8 cut in half) and though the car looked fast it took forever to build up speed. The transmission never worked properly and it had a stupid little knob on the dash to put it into gear instead of a column shift or floor shift.
This was the car Mom preferred I drive, it was the last car I'd try to drag race in. The real reason I took the driving test in the Olds was that when I got home from school that day the Pontiac had a flat tire. The dome light only worked for one night.
It was the first night I wore my letter jacket (lettered first semester in high school in cross-country). After a basketball game I drove to the A & W Rootbeer stand where I'd worked over the summer (I still prefer A & W Rootbeer to all others). I was starting to get out of the car to go inside and say hi to everyone I still knew that worked there when a car of about five guys pulled up from the rival high school and ran at me. I barely had time to lock my door when they started banging on the hood and roof. I started it up, backed up and drove away. The dome light came on that one time as a result of their banging on the roof.
Bruce tried driving it with four friends in it up a steep hill and threw a rod. The one car we were not sorry to get rid of. I think the reason Pontiac doesn't have picture of this car anywhere on the WWW is because they are ashamed to have ever produced it.


Unknown said...

P M: My oldest brother had a newer model Pontiac Tempest. I recall that it looked like a stripped down GTO. It had a 215 cubic inch 6. I share your love of A & W Rootbeer and lettering in Cross Country. I can still hear the yell of "Bonz-ai!" from running splints. Of course, we started out robust and cascade to a hoarse whisper as we were worn to a frazzle.

P M Prescott said...

A & W is still the best. It took a bit to acquire a taste for diet, but it's way better than any other diet root beer.
Cross-country is a very under-appreciated sport.