Motorized Memories

As many of you know, my little red truck was stuck in New Jersey for a couple of week. As a result, I spent the weeks driving my son’s vehicles — his truck, the Pacifica and the van. In fact, the bank teller quipped, “I never know what you’re driving!” during one of drive-through visits.

Last week, I drove up in my little red truck. My smiling teller said, “I thought you got rid of that!”

Knife to the heart!

I relayed the story to a friend, who said, “You’ll probably post something about it.” When I asked what she meant, she said, “You’re always writing about your rides.”

“No way,” I countered … until I went back and read through some of my other posts.


My motorized memories are just that … memories. Many people can relate to a song to place them back at an event. While certain songs do that for me as well, most of my memories are tied to time behind the wheel.

IMAG0360For example, my first car was a 1956 Dodge. I was driving my Studebaker Silver Hawk when I first met Karen. I couldn’t tell you what song was playing. I took her out on our first date in my Corvair. I do remember we watched Dr. Zhivago at the drive in and both fell asleep. The day before we got married we bought a 1968 Plymouth Fury.

ct922I took Karen to the hospital for our first born’s birth in the Plymouth, but I was driving a 1957 Cadillac deVille at the time. On my college graduation day, my son and I were T-boned in my Subaru wagon by another Caddy {both of us were fine, but the Subaru didn’t fare too well}. Daughter No. 1 was born after a trip to the hospital in the Chevy wagon. We moved into our first house during a snowstorm in a VW Khia wagon, which was also used to take Karen to the hospital for Son 2.

2768290576_da7504b452_zWe moved from New Jersey to Illinois in a Dodge wagon that had part of the rear floorboard missing {It was summer, I sold it as air conditioning}. I took Karen to the hospital for Daughter 2’s birth while driving my Buick Riviera and Son 3 in my mom’s hand-me-down Dodge Coronet. We bought a Chevy Metro just before moving to Ohio and a pair of Hyundai Excels before heading to Washington, DC, although only one of them made it to New York. I took Karen on her last ride home from the doctor’s in a Ford Taurus.

ford pick upAnd my little red truck — a 1998 Ford Ranger; no frills; standard transmission; four cylinders; dents and dings all over the place; mismatched tail lights; a fair amount of Swiss cheese effect on the bumper and quarter panels from years of New York winters; and even a drip on the passenger side when it gets caught in a downpour — was the first vehicle I purchased without any input from my wife.

In the almost seven years since I’ve had the truck, I’ve put on  over 135,000 miles.  It has become a trusted friend. It has enough vim and vigor to keep me honest {I do have to check the speedometer occasionally because it will sort of take off on you, especially when my foot gets a little heavy} while still getting in the mid 20s mpg. It has taken me to various destinations in New York as well as to Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and even Illinois without as much of a whimper. Despite being a light two-wheeler, it has weathered snow, wind, rain and bitter cold. The only negative is it is not power nap friendly.

It has been quite a rush driving it around with the windows open and the radio cranked up {have you noticed country sounds a lot better in a pick up truck?}.




vw bus

33051770003_largemyvair2_medSome day — probably sooner rather than later — my little red truck will be “retired” to the great junkyard in the sky. But for now, it’s just another memory maker. It will join the dozens of motorized 6044275983_95d43a1b19_zmemories stored in my mind, like my {actually Karen’s} 1950 Dodge … the 57 Mercury convertible sans most of the roof … the VW bus … the 93 Ford Bronco .. and many, many others.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.


About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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8 Responses to Motorized Memories

  1. Jonathan says:

    Man! I sure wish you would have kept all of those cars!

  2. chrisbroz says:

    It’s amazing (to me) to see cars of my yout’ listed/categorized as ‘antiques’…couple of moths ago the w*fe & I were behind a Ford Galaxy convertible…unfortunately it turned right at the stoplight while we were heading left…never got a chance to get a good look at it…a friend of ours drives a Corvair Rampside which he’s been rebuilding for years…finds parts on the internet or at swapmeets. My dad always bought American Motors vehicles as our home (Rambler station wagon and Ambassador Sedan) car and used cars (he once had a little late 50s/early 60s Austin he used as his work car…also bought a used 60 or 61 Dodge station wagon with the push button transmission and replaced a broken torsion bar in it…mom hears a loud ‘hissing sound’ in the garage one day…went to see what it was and saw the cvar tilted to one side…

  3. chrisbroz says:

    Almost forgot…the first car I remember – (when we moved to Wayne fromn Fort Lee in ’61 we bought the Dodge station wagon of my previous post) – was a faded blue 1951 Dodge Coronet, with maroon cloth seats and the old split windshield…my old man once shut (slammed) the trunk on my noggin after I looked inside the trunk as he was closing it…still have the dent in my skull…prolly explains a lot also…

  4. Those are certainly beautiful cars!!! We all have our things and i just recently retired my first car… Had it for 10 years before I had to buy a bigger car for my growing family and I looked at my car and remembered all the great memories and I cried. :p

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