Friday, June 30, 2006

An opportunity missed many years ago. 

I grew up with muscle cars around the neighborhood -- I turned 16 in that time when OPEC just raised the price of a barrel of oil from $3 to $22, so everyone wanted a Beetle like my mom had, but which I hated. We also had a '63 black Buick LeSabre that Dad had just put a stick shift into for reasons I never learned. Maybe a midlife crisis. And there was the Ford Maverick, which was either Lime Gold (officially) or baby poop yellow (my term, though with a different slang for the object -- I try to avoid those words on this blog.)

Every kid my age had a car they yearned for, burned for. A Goat, or a Mustang -- particularly one of those Shelbys. For me? It was the Charger.

I grew up in Manchester NH, and north of town was a back road out to Candia and on towards my family's ancetral home in Dover (Dad) and Rollinsford (Mom, one town over). The road was seldom patroled so many of us knew you could open up the engine on that road. So one day I'm driving the road and on the left side, and there it is. A yellow (canary, not the color of baby offal) Charger. 1969, R/T 440. And it's for sale by owner. And it was near the end of summer and I was getting ready for college and had money in my pocket. I had more than half the price.

So I get Dad to come look with me. He takes one look and says "King, forget it. You can't afford the gas." "Who cares, Dad? I'd only drive it sometimes. It would be coolcoolcool to look at in the driveway." "We're not a car museum, King. Forget it. Let's go home." Crushed, I left.

Well, I'm sending this link to Dad tonight. What's number 2 on this list, Pops? Huh? Huh?

And a few years later, damned if Dad didn't buy a 74 Pontiac Grand Am SJ, which my brother drove. That really pissed me off. Oops.

(h/t: Newmark's Door)