Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My First Car

I got this great idea from Mark over at The Screenplay. He was reminiscing about his first car ... er truck, in his case. It got me to thinking about my first putt putt. Ahhh the memories. My first car was a Renault Fuego.

Yup! That's my girl ... well a pretty reasonable facsimile thereof. My step dad had a thing for Renaults. Not really sure why. He owned several transmission shops and would often be seen driving Beemers and Jags and such ... in fact he owned two XJ12's ... but for some crazy reason, these Renaults captivated him somehow. They were insanely expensive to fix. Oy!! I remember the motor went in my wiper blades and the part it needed to fix the problem (not a new motor ... just a part for it) was over $1500.00 ... namely because it had to come straight from France and keep in mind, this was a lifetime away from the likes of ebay. We had a surplus of these crazy cars ... in all forms in our back driveway. Like I said ... he had a strange obsession. He collected them ... like model cars ... only bigger. I'd say they were parts cars, but he was so attached to them .. it was like he was committing an offense dismembering one.

I had worked for my mom & step dad for a summer ... minding their brats. This was my payment. My.Very.Own.Car. This was tantamount to growing wings out my arse and learning to fly ... sing it with me brothers and sisters FREEDOM!!! I was sweet sixteen and the world was my oyster. I can recall trips to Cape Breton to visit my cuz' and day trips with my beau ... and parking ... humph ... not on MY car seats, dude. I loved this car. Even when she finally failed me...

This thing was a tank! It would plow through snow like it was nobody's business. I wasn't afraid to drive in anything. Low to the ground, heavy as lead. Not really great on gas, but that was before you needed a mortgage to fill your tank and there was still time before we started caring about our carbon foot print... eesh ... I am starting to sound like ...duh duh dummm ... a growed-up. Yikes.

It was just before my birthday ... early November, I think. It would have been maybe 92 ... yeah - I'm pretty sure I turned 19 that year. I had been toying with the idea of buying a car. I was having trouble with the concept of a monthly payment ... but my girl was showing her age at this point. I had been driving for some time without signal lights, windshield wipers, high beams or heat. Recently (about 3 weeks prior) the breaks had gone. I was fairly adept at driving by using only the emergency hand break, but it was the break plus the hand signal combo that seemed to cause me some strife... and God help us if it is raining too ... my wipers were rigged up with a wire ... operated by my left hand. So, effectively I was short two full hands if it was raining, and I had to stop and steer. Plus, it was November ... and I had no heat either. And - I mean NO HEAT. It was frrrrigid in that puppy ... oh yeah, and my driver side window handle was also broken - therefore, I was obliged to keep it open - so that I could signal ... and operate my wipers. Wow! I can't believe my parents allowed me to drive such a death trap ... then again, I had a way of omitting details frequently as a young pup. It was the day that my radio stopped working that I had about had enough. Yup! No heat, no lights, no turn signals, no breaks ... no problem. No radio ... fughett-aboud-id.

 Instead of going home after work that night, I bought a car. A stunning 2 door, 2 tone blue (the colour of my eyes as the sales lizard said) Pontiac Grand Am. She was a beaut too, but I never forgot about my girl ... my red and black Fuego ... my freedom cry.


Spot said...

Aw. This was sweetly sentimental. And somewhat scary. Okay...the thought of you driving a car with all those problems is alot scary. I'm glad you were in Canada!

My first car was a Datsun wagon. I hated it. But it lasted forever and got amazing gas mileage. I was so excited when I bought a new one. Until like three years ago, though we still saw that Datsun wagon running around town. Those things are like energizer bunnies.


Mark Price said...

How the heck did I miss this post! I am so glad you wrote it. Ok we all hate to get rid of our old cars but seriously, that thing was a death trap! Taking it to the car crusher would have been a mercy killing! SHEESH! I have to agree with Spot, it's comforting to know you were in Canada and not in my neighborhood. Great post!