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My Dad's Favorite Vehicle

Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020
With Father's Day approaching, I thought this would be an interesting topic for the dads here and/or the sons and daughters to post a tribute to their dad and his favorite ride.

My father loved to camp. We vacationed in the Rocky Mountains, Ozarks, Smoky Mountains, Wisconsin Dells and always stayed in a state park campground. One of our vehicles was a Ford Fairlane. Sorry, I don't recall the year, but I am the baby of the family. :blush: There were others, but all were sedans, IIRC.

I have no idea how my Dad managed to pack a family of seven plus all the camping gear into one car. I do vaguely remember watching my Dad roll up the tent, which was the old canvas type, into the tiniest roll it could get.

Before he passed, his pride and joy was a 1985 Dodge Caravan that he had stripped out and made into a mini-camper. He and my mom toured Alaska, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone. He loved that van.

Happy Father's Day, Dad! We miss you.

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  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,173
    75' (I think) Duster with a 340 which they had when I was just a baby, and his pride and joy after the Navy, a 69' Boss 302.

    I would do pretty much anything to have that Mustang in my driveway :cry:
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,016
    My dad had a blue one (I'm pretty sure it was a Special - I've been searching family photos for a snap of it for a few years now without success).

    He enjoyed pulling away from Caddy's at the red lights in that thing (it was a V-8). I remember watching the chip seal go by underneath my feet riding shotgun where the floorboards had rotted away. The family used to cruise the dirt backroads just to see if we could avoid getting stuck (often we'd manage to get it stuck up to the axles).

    One of my fondest memories is going to his store front on a Sunday afternoon expecting him to be behind me, and turning around to see him chasing the Buick down the parking lot - he managed to get it stopped before it crossed the highway and landed in the fields beyond. A few months later he thought the Buick had been stolen but it had rolled off into the fields from the same parking lot and sat there quietly overnight.

    Dad sold the Buick in the early 60's to some teenager who promptly wrecked it, and made Dad regret selling it in the first place.

    Oh, and he always bragged about how slow it would go without stalling - he would say the best way to test drive a new car would be to see how slow it could go since any car could go fast. Only the good ones could creep along.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,515
    Of all the vehicles my dad has owned, probably a couple dozen over the years, the one most mentioned is still the the 1960 Ford Country Sedan he bought back in the early 90s. It was a neglected low original mile car, bought for almost nothing. We actually pushed it home as it was a few blocks from our house...he tinkered with it and I rubbed out the paint and polished it up. A few weeks later, it was all shined up and tuned up, and was running fine. He had a modern car, but loved to drive this huge red and white tailfinned wagon. He actually commuted in it for a couple years, but then as moving came into play and other issues, he decided to think about selling it as he had 4 other cars. He parked it in a high traffic parking lot, and it sold the first day he parked it, for full asking price. He kicked himself for selling it for many years.

    When my dad was young, he had a couple of Ford Crown Victorias back around 1956-59. Those earned his affection too.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    A late 1950s black Jaguar XK 140 coupe, with the racing suspension.

    He bought it in the early 1970s in Southern California, when he and my mom were just starting their family. They were out for a ride one weekend, and came across it, up on a lift in a service station. He went in to inquire about it, and walked out as its owner.

    I'm told when I was being a cranky infant, a ride in the Jag on those great SoCal freeways would always calm me down...

    For all the mechanical headaches that car gave him (he was very good friends with his mechanic by the time he sold it), he never thought it wasted money, and he still talks fondly of it. He notes that it always seemed to run better when the weather was foggy, damp and chilly... :)
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    ...if Dad had a favorite vehicle, but there were vehicles of his that were my favorites. I really liked his 1961 Chevrolet Biscayne and 1965 Pontiac GTO. My Uncle Daniel, however, had some REALLY nice rides - a 1973 Cadillac Sedan DeVille and a 1975 Lincoln Continental.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,852
    was a '63 Impala SS409 hardtop he had as a teenager. It had a 4-speed, and had the optional 425 hp setup. And then he got drafted, and sold it! :sick:

    When he got out he got a '65 Impala SS396 hardtop, also with a 4-speed, and this one also had the optional 425 hp setup. It was pretty ratted out though by the time he got it, and he didn't exactly go gentle on it. I think he threw a rod and abandoned it on a lonely country road.

    He also had a '62 Corvette and a '64 GTO 2-door sedan, but they were pretty ratty by the time he got them. I remember him saying the best car he ever had was a '64 Ford Galaxie 500 hardtop, with a 390-4bbl. It was in great shape, but my Dad hated Fords, so he hated this car by default!
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    I can't much account for dad's cars until I showed up though I know he bought a brand new Chevy as soon as they let him out of the Army Air Corps at the end of WWII. He and a friend drove to New Orleans in it and when they got back from whatever they were up to they got in the wrong car. An identical black Chevy but there was just enough off for dad to say this is the wrong car. Now keep in mind his key not only unlocked the other car but started it! The dealer said it was impossible.....

    First one I remember was a 51 Chevy. Then a brand new 57 Plymouth Custom Suburban that he bought for my mom.

    Once that Chevy started to die was when my dad became the king of the $150 car. "For $150 how can you go wrong?" Let me count the ways.... What I remember of those - 3 different 55 Plymouths - two wagons and a sedan, a 51 Plymouth, a 57 Chevy wagon, a 57 Ford Fairlane, a 58 Pontiac wagon...there are more but I think my brain did me a favor and I forget the rest. A few years into this he finally sprung for a $600 car - a 56 Buick Special which worked great. Took us to the day my mom finally bought a new 66 Chevy Biscayne and we were back in the real car world.

    He really liked the 83 Chrysler Fifth Avenue and we put almost 200K on it. By then he had started to rent DeVilles which I think were his favorites that he actually drove much.

    His absolute favorite that to this day is one he bought so that I wouldn't try to mooch his car. It was a 1954 Mercedes 300 sedan that he traded a dishwasher for. The dishwasher was worth about $200 at the time. The thing was magnificent. Four speed on the column! Full wood dash and window trim. Solid wood - not veneer. We had to work like mad to fix up the interior (the varnish on the dash was all alligatored and some tears in the leather) and it had to get a ton of bondo work on it and paint it and the dashboard didn't work - no speedometer, odometer or gauges.

    We loved that thing. It wasn't the greatest in dependability and I always had to put gas in because my brother never did and there was no gauge.

    On e day the mechanic said the engine had seen its time and he and I went up to the Hudson Valley in NY to look at an engine (he looked; I made believe I knew what I was hearing). He put that in and at the same time we got a new dash cluster which was great except that it was metric!

    Later on he built the best possible engine out of parts from the original and the junkyard. Then finally said it's time to either get serious bout restoring it or punt. He got like $600 for it and to this day (he's 89) he may lose memory on lots of things but every time I see him it's good for one "I never should have sold that Mercedes.".....
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,320
    He arranged for factory drive away and we all flew to Detroit to pick up the Series 61, 4 Door, 331 OHV V8, 4 speed Hydramatic, Ivy Green metallic with light Green top.

    The car was a cross between a Cadillac, Buick, & Chevrolet.

    From the dashboard forward it was Cadillac, the interior was Chevrolet Mohair, but the body was the same as the then Buick Special, but it was a Cadillac. He babied that car for over 10 years until the Dr. said that due to his heart he had to have power steering. Though he drove two Pontiacs and a Buick after that, he always had the fondest memories of his only Cad. His generous nature let us use the Cad for our Honeymoon which then included two sweethearts. ;)
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,078
    My dad had 3 before he passed away in 1998 at 62 yrs old (I was 24).
    #1 - Was his 1995 Customized F-150 (was customized by local Ford Dealer for him). This vehicle still lives on as the Fire Chief's personal vehicle at the fire department that he was a volunteer with for 41 years. He was Chief there for 10 years, so after he passed away, we sold the F-150 (at a huge discount) to the department for them to use as the Active Chief's truck (and they signed a contract that they are not allowed to sell / trade with-out contacting myself or my mother first). Oh, and the local dealer that my father bought (and had customized) the truck at performs all service on the truck at no charge.
    #2 - Was his Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler off-road rescue truck that he practically rebuilt. He needed a little roll-out cargo net / ladder to get into the seat (he was only 5'6"). The truck was lifted and modified for moutain off-road trail driving. The funniest thing I remember about the CJ-8 was his license plate on the front read "Have You Driven OVER a Ford Lately." Being he was an avid Ford man, this was very funny to him.
    #3 - His oldest, was his 1974 F-100 custom that still resides at my uncles house in Clearfield, Pa.

    Odie's Carspace
  • My dad had quite a few cars in his lifetime:
    1) 1964 Fiat (a box car, don't know model, pre-me)
    2) 1967 VW Bug
    3) 1970 Ford LTD
    4) 1973 Mercury Capri- my grandfather (dad's father-in-law) had one too.
    5) 1975 Mustang II
    6) 1977 Honda Accord
    7) 1978 Olds Cutlass
    8) 1979 Buick Riviera
    9) 1984 Audi 5000- Remember the aerodynamic design?
    10) 1985 Olds 98- back to America
    11) 1988 Mercedes 300E- trying the germans again
    12) 1992 Mercedes 400SE- the letters used to come after the numbers
    13) 1995 Infinity Q45- trying the japanese luxos
    14) 1997 Mercedes E320- the germans made the best performance and luxury cars according to him.
    He passed away in 2001 and we scattered his ashes at sea. Maybe we should've scattered them at the auto mall.
    Miss you dad!
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    1950 Ford Tudor V-8
    1955 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Starfire convertible
    1962 Volkswagen Bug
    1961 Chevrolet Biscayne two-door sedan
    1965 Pontiac GTO convertible
    1968 AMC Javelin
    1970 Ford Torino two-door hardtop
    1972 Ford LTD Country Squire
    1978 Ford Granada coupe
    1981 Ford Thunderbird Town Landau
    1989 Chrysler LeBaron coupe
    1989 Ford Aerostar
    1997 Mercury Mystique
    2003 Subaru Outback
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,120
    1941 Chevrolet Master Deluxe
    1947 Hudson Commodore
    1953 Plymouth Cambridge
    1958 Chevrolet Bel Air
    1961 Plymouth Valiant
    1964 Chevrolet Biscayne 4-door sedan
    1967 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan
    1974 Chevrolet Impala sedan
    1980 Chevrolet Impala sedan
    1989 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Brougham
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Well, we connect on two anyway. Dad had a 78 Granada and my Pop (mom's dad) had a 61 Valiant.
  • driver56driver56 Posts: 408
    Two vehicles stand out. His 1957 Chevy Belair, and his last,
    a 1993 Nissan Access.
    I'll never forget that day when Dad drove up the drive in the 57 Chev. We were so happy to have a new vehicle, and one that was considered "cool". Unfortunately, he piled it in to a tree one dark, rainy night and totalled it. Mom and Dad walked away though, so that was good.
    My Dad's last vehicle was the Nissan. He drove it til he was 86, then decided to give up driving altogether. Passed it on to my little brother, and still gets to ride in it occasionally.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,108
    I have a lot of pictures in my carspace under the album "Our Family's Cars"

    His first was the Opel he was supposed to bring over from Poland. He rolled it so that didn't happen. My dad is the one on the left.
    img src="
    See more Car Pictures at">

    So instead he brought over the Austin 1300 that he liked to work on a lot. Well maybe from the looks of the picture he didn't enjoy working on it a lot.

    img src="
    See more Car Pictures at">

    A few cars later (they're all mostly on my boomchek's carspace

    I think his favourite was the 300D that lasted only about 6 months before the motor seized up doe to an oil leak.

    img src="
    See more Car Pictures at">

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    I guess that my dad's favorite vehicle is his current vehicle .. a 1970 Chevrolet C-10 pickup. Puce (orange) with a white roof, 350 and a 3 speed automatic transmission.

    I don't specifically remembering him buy it (he bought it new), but I do remember him driving a '53 Ford pickup before that. Legend has it that when he bought it, Mom told him that it would be the last truck he would buy. Little did she know how right she was ... 37 years later, it's still his daily driver.

    My dad worked two jobs most of my childhood .. he was a full time firefighter, plus on his days off he did carpentry work and later became a certified CPR instructor and did some work for Shell Oil and the Navy.

    The Chevy took him pretty much everywhere. He added some type of custom mufflers to the truck and you could hear him coming down the block. The truck hauled tools and lumber and kids (this was in the day where riding in the back of a pickup truck was not only OK, but cool).

    On his (rare) days off, he would go bass fishing at the local lakes and that truck pulled his boat up to them without complaint. I remember going with him a few times, getting up before dawn to get to the good fishing spots, then stopping at a country store on the way home for some home-cured beef jerky.

    As I got older, my dad transitioned into a new job of fire cause investigator (think of the Robert De Niro character in the movie "Backdraft") and had a city car to get him back and forth to work. The Chevy still did weekend duty, though by this time he had sold the boat and was playing more golf.

    Everybody in town knows him by his truck. He had the top end of the engine rebuilt just after it turned 100K (about 15-20 years ago) and a couple of years ago spent about $5K to have all the exterior bits and pieces redone - new chrome, rubber gaskets for the windows, paint job, spray in bedliner - the works. Looks like a new truck now.

    I don't know how many miles it's got on it at this time - he probably averages about 5K a year in it and it probably hasn't ever been more than a few hundred miles from home in the time that he's owned it.

    My dad has refused many, many offers to buy the truck ... it's not that he doesn't trust the modern technology (my Mom drives an '03 Sonata), but I think it's become such a part of who he is that I don't believe he can see himself without it.

    If all goes well, I'll get to see him on Father's Day this year and we'll go for a spin in the truck.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,173
    LOL, we had a Grenade in the family as well, a 78' with the cloth roof, yellow with a 302. That was traded later on for a yellow Torino wagon a few years later.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    We had a Torino wagon at one point as well.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,173
    My grandparents had one at the same time, a brown one with the faux wood panels (I think they were stickers). I think the two of them parked next to each other took up the entire block.

    I remember my parents had a celebration when they rolled the odometer over on theirs. It was pretty durable as I recall.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Yeah, the "wood" panels were stickers all right. I remember when they started to peel.

    I ended up having to drive that sucker for a couple of months. I was going off to grad school and my brothers conveniently borrowed my car right when it was time to pack and go... I'd have gotten it back but they were heading to Kansas while I was heading to Florida and they are in very different directions when your starting point is New Jersey.

    Actually I got to bring a lot more junk down for that year than I would have since you could cram a lot into one of those and my car was a Volvo 142.
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