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About Your Parents' Cars



  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    I don't know every car my folks have had, but I can recall many of them:

    I know than when my folks were dating (or perhaps just newly married), they had a '57 Chevy convertible. I believe it was yellow and white two tone. The only other thing I know about this car was that it was totalled on Highway 101 in Montecito, California by a cement truck.

    When I was born, the folks were driving a '63 Beetle. I suspect it was bought used and my mom used it for running around town, by and large; there is a picture, however, of the Beetle up at Lake Tahoe with my parents and grandparents. Since we lived in Southern California, that must have been an interesting trip!

    Somewhere along that time (early to mid 60's), my dad bought a '53 Ford pickup to use as a work vehicle. Black is the only thing I rememnber about it.

    The Beetle got traded in on a new '67 VW Square back. Beige with beige interior and a stick shift. That car took my family from CA to NY and back in the summer of 1971 on vacation.

    In 1970, my dad convinced my mom that the Ford was in need of replacement. She agreed, but told him that if he bought a new truck, it would be the last one he would own. He promptly bought a new 1970 Chevy C-10 .. in orange.

    He still has this truck ... 37 years and 137K later. Here is a picture I took on a recent visit:


    So, now that dad had bought his "forever" vehicle, we can concentrate on the cars that mom drove.

    The Squareback gave up the ghost in 1973 .. sonething to do with the engine. It was sold and the folks bought a '73 Toyota Corona. Poop brown inside and out with a column mounted automatic transmission. This was the car I learned to drive in. Unfortunately, it was also the car that I got into my first accident in, as well. On my way to school one morning, someone pulled out in front of me and I t-boned her. The Corona was totalled ...

    ... and was replaced by a used Mercedes. A '72 220 Diesel, to be precise. As this was 1980 or '81, I suspect the recent fuel crises may have had something to do with this purchase. Unfortunately, the car required a full engine rebuild not long after we bought it. After that, the MB was pretty reliable. My mom, however, hated driving it. She hated waiting for the glow plugs to warm up before the car could be started. She hated the leisurely acceleration. I hated the stiff throttle spring.

    (to be continued ...)
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    After a number of years suffering with the MB, my mom got fed up with it and basically forced my dad to get her a new (used) car.

    The MB was traded in on an '84 Toyota Celica hatchback. Light blue with blue interior and an automatic. As both my sister and I were driving by this time, they didn't feel that they needed a 'family' car. Even with the slushbox, the car was so much more fun to drive than the Mercedes. Ironically, I had gotten my folks the vanity plate "REAL SLO" for the Benz, and they transferred these over to the Toyota. When I was stopped for speeding coming back from the airport (with my aunt on board!), the CHP officer commented on that fact. Oh well.

    The Toyota was fairly reliable, except for the time when the timing belt snapped and my folks learned about the distinction between interference and non-interference engines. The Celica had the former --- oops! Mom was about 30 miles from home when this happened. Don't remember how much this cost to fix.

    The Celica was traded in on another used Toyota around '94 or '95. The low-slung Celica was starting to become a bit problematic to get into and out of for my aging parents, and their first grandchild was getting of an age where the cramped back seat was simply not working out.

    The new Toyota was a '91 Camry - same interior and exterior color as the Celica. Automatic, too. This was a much better car for my folks, even though they were driving less and less.

    The Camry was kept until just a few years ago, when my mom again demanded that she get one last "new" car .. the last new car they had bought, remember, was in 1973.

    I was almost certain that they would get another Camry, and they almost did, until my dad started to research the Hyundai Sonata. They could get a V6 version for the same price as a 4-cyl Camry. So, in 2003, they bought what I suspect will be their last car .. a Sonata GLS V6. Dark red with beige cloth interior. They love it - dad calls it his "Jaguar", and, given the styling of that model, I can understand why.

    Four years later, the Sonata has about 15,000 miles on it. The 10 years on the warranty will expire way before the 100K threshold will be reached, I'm sure of that.
  • urnewsurnews Posts: 668
    Mr Shifright,

    Terrific story about your Dad and his cars. A great read. Left me wanting to read more about this man and his machines. You, obviously come from good stock and have a knack for writing.
  • My parents had a Fiat Bianchina for their first car. When my father was sent stateside, my mother was pregnant with my sister. The decision was made to purchase a car more suitable for a family, a 1963 Fiat 600. When my father left the Air Force in 1967, we drove from Sumter, South Carolina to Brooklyn, New York in the 600. My father said that mule carts were passing our loaded down 600. he later purchased a 1969 Chevy Belair, a 1975 Dodge Coronet, and a series of Lincolns afterwards.
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