Baby, you can drive my car . . .

The types of vehicles we drive speaks volumes about who we are as individuals. However, what determines the choice we make in our mode of transportation is directly related to the stage of life we happen to be in at the time. Let me explain.

My first “ride, a 1950 Ford

The car that a young teenaged boy chooses as his first mode of transportation is dictated by a number of factors: who his friends are, where he lives (city, country, suburbs), etc. But the primary consideration is usually money. Purely and simply, he will buy the best car he can, based solely upon his available finances—or lack thereof. In my case, that was the princely sum of fifty dollars. Before you laugh, consider the fact that those same 1962 fifty dollars would be worth four hundred dollars today. Not exactly a fortune, but surely enough to purchase something drivable. What did they buy back then? Why, a 1950 Ford—with four new tires.

’66 Corvair

As I progressed through my twenties and thirties, a succession of reliable, but affordable vehicles occupied a place in my driveway. They included: a 1951 Chevy, two 1956 Chevrolets, a 1966 Corvair (unsafe at any speed), a 1960 VW (a minor setback in status), a 1970 VW Super Beetle (a step up), and a 1976 Dodge Club Cab pickup (a huge mistake). Are you noticing a pattern? All of these vehicles were practical choices. I’m a man.

Chevy Nova

Now, contrast that with some of the cars owned by my spouse: a ’65 VW, a 1970 Chevy Nova (orange with a cabriolet roof), a 1975

1970 AMC Hornet


AMC Hornet (What is a Hornet?), a 1976 Plymouth Volaré (which came first, the car or the song?), a 1981 Volvo, a 1996 Audi 4000S, and a ’98 Honda Accord. See any pattern there? Of course! Those choices were made strictly based upon a color, the car’s silhouette, the texture of the seat fabric, the grille’s shape—or the day of the week. Explanation? There was none.

’81 Volvo

As we moved into our forties, fifties, and sixties, the choices we made were mostly dictated by necessity. Becky owned sedans, best suited to her occupations, first as a salesperson, and then as a teacher. I had a succession of pickup trucks, more in keeping with my main hobby: fly fishing.

’98 Ranger

For the past sixteen years, my ride has been a 1998 Ford Ranger. I bought it used in 2000, with 25,000 miles. Currently, it has 145,000 miles on it, but still looks and runs great. Becky’s last two cars have been Chevy Equinoxes, each one as comfortable and beautiful as a car can be. We’ve used them primarily for road trips and evening excursions to the movies or for shopping.

‘2013 Equinox

If we’re honest, most of us will admit that each vehicle we have owned has had a “back story” or “history” behind it. For instance, take my 1966 Corvair. I once made a caffeine-fueled, roundtrip dash, coast-to-coast in my ’66 Corvair—in a mere six-and-a-half DAYS.  That feat, back in 1967, catapulted me to superstar status among my peers that many remember till this day. How about sharing a story or two about what makes your “car meter” vibrate, or a particular automotive experience you’ve had in your life? We’d love to hear it.


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About AuthorJoePerroneJr

I am a former professional fly-fishing guide, and I write the Matt Davis Mystery Series, which presently consists of four books: As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day, Twice Bitten, and Broken Promises. The series is set in the real town of Roscoe, NY, in the Catskill Mountains, where I guided for ten years. I love fly fishing, movies, cooking (and eating), and music. To learn more about me and my writing, please visit my website at: http://www.joeperronejr.com.
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11 Responses to Baby, you can drive my car . . .

  1. Yolanda Vella Gernant says:

    My first car was a four-door 1964 Chevy Impala…it had been in an accident and I got it for $2000. Gave the seller $1000 saved from my babysitting, bd’s pt jobs, etc. and paid off the other $1000 with a bank loan. A really reliable car, but not as snazzy (dark blue) as I wanted. Next came my 67 Camaro…robin’s egg blue with a black hardtop. I’ve had my succession of cars, blue 68 Pontiac Tempest, Corolla station wagon, then sedan, then Mitsubishi Eclipse (burgundy…got tired of rolling out the door ’cause it was so low to the ground…then a blue Dodge, a grey Dodge and then my black Corolla (it called my name) and now my royal blue Hyundai Sonata! It seems I’ve run the course of all cars and manufacturers. These over a 55 year timeline…have probably forgotten one or two, but there again the overall color was blue!

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  2. KiM says:

    I didn’t have a car that was ‘me’ until I bought my best friends Toyota Celica. I loved that car. All the rest that followed I picked but hubby had a big say in that they all have gotten larger and a tad higher off the ground. When I read/sang your headline that made me wonder if you’ve seen the new VM commercial about the family changing cars :0

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jane Raffo Nocella says:

    Whoops! 1964 Ford Galaxy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jane Raffo Nocella says:

    My first car was a brand new 1954 Ford Galaxy 2-door hard top. I hated it! I had been saving money from babysitting and birthday and Christmas gifts for years My savings account grew when I started working 2 nights and Saturdays at Bloomingdales in 1963. I worked full-time over every vacation too. I received a scholarship to Newark State (Kean University now) in Union. I needed a care to commute to school. We lived with my grandparents. It didn’t matter that I was paying for the car myself. Grandpa said “that new Ford Mustang just came out. It might be another Edsel. You need something bigger,” Hence, the Galaxy. Harry Green commuted to Newark State too. He got the Mustang, complete with his name on a small metal plate on the dashboard because it was one of the first manufactured. I was SO jealous! I’ve had about 6 new cars since then, including 2 convertibles. I will readily admit they were all purchased based on color and whether i thought I looked good in them! Except for a bright red 1968 Dodge Charger, my husband buys cars based on reliability and style. We have never owned a minivan or a station wagon. They’re neither cute, nor hot! BTW…I’d still like to have a Mustang convertible if I could get in and out of it!

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    • I remember being a freshman in college, and one of my sophomore classmates’ parents drove down to Kentucky from Akron, Ohio, to bring him his first new car: a ’64 mustang. Boy, were we impressed. We all got to ride in it, and we thought we were kings of the road. I still remember his name: Jay Hout. Wonder what he’s driving now? 🙂

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  5. Allie P. says:

    My first car bought with my own money was a Toyota Corolla. Most people would say this is a very respectable car – highly reliable even. But not mine, which was quickly dubbed Santa’s Sleigh by a friend of mine as a commentary on my lack of height. Something had to be wrong with this car. It didn’t matter what as long as it was broken. To this day I am convinced it somehow figured out a way to hack into my savings account information just so it could time yet another major failure right before I could reach a funding level great enough to replace it.

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    • My condolences. My wife and I have each owned a Corolla (which ought to be pronounced CA-ROL-A, not CA-ROLE-A, based upon its spelling). I had an ’81 hatchback, which was an awesome car. She had a ’95 or ’96 sedan, which was NOT awesome, but cost under $10,000 NEW, and sounded like we were riding in a 55 gallon drum. Both were extremely reliable. 🙂 You obviously bought a North Korean knockoff or something . . . LOL. The ’76 Dodge Club Cab pickup truck I owned was the ultimate automotive disaster, whose engine actually blew up with only 26,000 miles on it. But that’s a story for another time.

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  6. Beautiful! I can just see it. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Someday I’ll relate the story of my Vespa motor scooter called Big O…

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  7. allenrizzi says:

    My first car was a ’56 Chevy Wagon. I outfitted it with a mattress and curtains to sleep at the beach as I was a surfer. When I went to pick-up a date, the girl’s father surveyed my rig and said bluntly: “There’s no way son!” and closed the door. I lost the girl but kept the car. Some things in life are more important….

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