Wednesday, June 1, 2011



A chronology of my life in automobiles

When you are seventy plus years old your mind becomes a repository of ancient knowledge: a walking, talking historic archive. You don’t really realize how antiquated you are until you start reminiscing.

The other day a friend and I were talking about some of the cars we could remember that are no longer around. I mentioned the Packard, Hudson Hornet, DeSoto, Studebaker, Kaiser, Henry J, Nash Rambler and Rambler American. Then I started talking about some of the cars I have actually owned – the list got long, so when I got home I decided to to write out a list in order – from my first to present.

I have owned – in order:

1. 1952 Pontiac

I was 18

2. 1949 Ford

3. 1951 Ford

4. 1957 Ford

5. 1956 Pontiac

6. 1949 Packard

7. 1964 Rambler American

8. 1965 Rambler Station Wagon

9. 1968 Pontiac Station Wagon

10. 1971 Mercury Station Wagon

11. 1949 Ford Pick-up

12. 1957 Ford Pick-up

13. 1976 Chevrolet 4X4 (piece of crap) Mine was red.

14. 1977 Chevrolet diesel pick-up (real piece of crap.)

This was such a piece of crap you can't even find a picture of it on the internet.

15. 1978 Chevrolet six calendar van (I loved it but it was a piece of crap.)

16. Unknown vintage Datsun farm truck (the biggest piece of crap I ever owned.)

17. 1976 Ford sedan

18. 1985 Toyota small Toyota Pick-up (a good vehicle)

Me, 30 years ago

19. 1988 Ford F-350 4X4 (crap, crap, crap.)

20. 1998 Saturn (good car)

21. 2002 GMC ¾ ton heavy duty (Still have it – love it.)

That's right: twenty-one vehicles - and hopefully not my last.  

My GMC is not a green vehicle, it gets eleven miles to the gallon; but on a fixed retirement income I have choices to make - the GMC is paid for, it is a high-end vehicle, with all the bells and whistles, in excellent shape and only has 72,000 miles on it - for the amount of money I would spend on monthly payments for a green vehicle I can buy a lot of gas and it is still cheaper. 

This is the hypocracy we all face; we would like to do right by the environment, and we rail against those who don't - but when push comes to shove we all do what is best in the short term for ourselves. 


  1. I love this post!Holy crap, have I owned a whole helluofa lot of cars. I might just steal this idea, or at least sit down and write out a list.

    Unlike me, with the exception of three or four, you have owned some damned fine vehicles. I would have killed for that '49 Ford for example.

    My grandfather went with me to buy my first car, mainly because he was going to put out the initial cash and I was going to pay him back. Anyway, there was a '49 Ford coupe on the lot. It had duel glasspacks. God I wanted that car. My G'father decided I would kill myself in the thing. He sprung for a 52 Dodge hump back dog for the same price. I still dream about the Ford. The Dodge was piece of doo doo, the stuff nightmares are made of.

    Also I had an '81 Toyota P/U that I put 300,000 miles on, and it was still going strong when I got rid of.

    Good point about the green, btw.

  2. You certainly chose some of the best of the old ones. I understand the conundrum you face now. We purchased a '94 Tracker in 1996 that gets good mileage and mostly lives in the basement garage since we live in a city where we can walk to most of the places we need to go. The guys at the Canadian border laughed when we checked her through as an import car and gave her a value of $1k. She's long been paid for, wears her 60k miles well, and we couldn't afford to replace her either.

  3. Jadedj - would like to see the cars you owned - go for it. The 49 ford I owned when I was twenty and stationed in Newfoundland - it was humble looking and had a hole in the floor on the drivers side that i kept covered with a piece of plywood - and the they wouldn't allow it on the base - but it burned up the road between Argencia Naval Base and StJohns.

    Susan: old automobiles have a life of their own - the spirits of the people who owned them and rode in them and the places they've been and the life draumas they have been a part of - they are like old houses

  4. Susan: i need to take time to read over what i post in comments - draumas is spelled dramas - but what the hell - i'm old ( i can now always use that as an excuse.) or "it wasn't really me - my cat was on my keyboard."

  5. I have owned around 37-38 or more cars and trucks and leased one. The cost for most was in double digits or triple digits. $50 was a popular price for a lot of the cars. Started with a '51 Chevy and then a '35 Ford, now have a '95 F-150 and The Old Lady's car is a 2009 Focus. Still have a handful of the cars and trucks here on the "Ranch" including a pair of early Barracudas(one runs, the other doesn't anymore), a Jeepster Commando and a couple of 4x4s, '73 Dodge and a '79 Jeep plow truck.
    As I have been typing this I keep remembering more vehicles, so may be up to or past 40.

  6. Damn Kulkuri - I thought I had owned a lot - you've got me beat.

  7. Loved the post and the fact that you can remember each car and the year is astounding
    I only owned about 10 vehicles and couldn't tell you the year of half of them. Best vehicles were 1956 Buick Special (first real car)but 7 mpg and 1996 Plymouth minivan which had 420,000 km on her when I "sold" her to the insurance company. Worst was the 1972? Ford F150 supercab with a 350 4 brl. Always in the repair shop.

  8. Blog Fodder: For a boy raised in the south car ownership was the transition to manhood. Southern boys never forget their cars.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  9. What is green? You own a car that is paid for and you make it last as long as you can, that is as green as it gets. The industry probably doesn't like it but no one needs a new vehicle every 3 to 4 years. That is more wasteful than anything but no one likes to talk about it. Your gas guzzling vehicle that you take care of and make last for as many years as you can is more green than a green car that saves you a few bucks a year but you have to replace in a few.


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