DY: In Just a Few Words (#70)
Man, I miss that car.
In 1959 I purchased my very first car. It was a 1949 full-size, four-door, black Pontiac. I was so proud of that car even if it was 10 years old. It looked like something driven by a senior-level Mafioso. It should have been in a movie.
Short-term pride aside, I’ve never been a car guy. Jay Leno and a bunch of my neighbors are what I consider car guys. On weekends, they’re out washing their cars, shining the wheel rims and telling others and themselves how cool their cars are.
I view a car as a means to an end – I have one so it can get me places. Simple as that. That's true, but if I was ever going to fall in love with a car, my ’49 masterpiece would have been it.
Just for the record, I paid $190 for that Pontiac. It cost me $205 to insure the first year. That’s one way to be upside-down on an investment in a hurry.
It had a radio that worked. And a heater. Plus roll-down manual windows. And whitewalls. Who would want a 1949 car without an ashtray to flick the ashes before flipping your used butt out a side vent window? Yes, it also had an ashtray.
No power steering, but this car did come with chains for snow.
Gas was 25 cents per gallon and, at least in New Jersey, you didn’t have to pump your own. Twenty-five cents. You read that right. There was always an attendant who filled you right up and he would squeegee off the windows while you went inside to visit a clean gas station restroom. A quarter a gallon and a clean restroom. Where can I sign up for that?
Today, a ‘49 Pontiac would be a top contender for an historic car museum. Imagine that… people paying money to see my car.
Alas, when I finally sold it in 1961, it was damaged goods. It seems my college roommate borrowed it one Saturday night for a date and somehow managed to dislodge the back seat. For the life of me, I cannot imagine how that might have happened. He couldn’t have been trying to drive it from the back seat, could he?
I only discovered the damage some time after when my about-to-be in-laws got in the back and the seat slid out from under them.
So, I sold the car for $25. It was one of the saddest days of my life.
I still miss my Pontiac. I really do.
DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.
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