“Boys, guess what I drove home.”
My Dad worked for car dealers while I was growing up in Statesboro, Georgia. He began at a Toyota dealership, then transferred to another marquee, Chevrolet. Subsequent moves to the local Ford and Dodge dealers whet my appetite for automobiles. Dad would often leave with the family car in the morning and show up for supper with another ride that was a “steal of a deal” or, in other words, the used car manager knew nobody else would buy it.
AMC Pacer, AMC Gremlin, & two big arse Pontiac Woodies
We ended up with a an AMC Pacer, an AMC Gremlin, and two Pontiac Station Wagons with big V-8 engines that some college professor traded in…Dad couldn’t resist the faux wood glued to the side slabs of the tanks and came home with both of them. Those cars set him back about $150…yes, for…two…automobiles. We parked them end-to-end in the back yard in Edgewood Acres. Subsequently, Mr. Hubert Clark, our next door neighbor built a wooden fence for “privacy”…and to keep me and my brother out of his pool and from chasing his pretty daughter, Rosemary.
Keg Parties next door in Edgewood Acres
Mr. Bob Worthington, our other neighbor, took the eyesores in stride. He just invited Father Lucree and some of the (From The Land of Black Socks and Sandals) Catholic Brigade in Edgewood Acres for a keg party and 27 successive renditions of “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” on Saturday night after Mass. Of course, I think Mr. Bob enjoyed sticking it to Dad knowing that the soft acoustic guitar and those out-of-tune harmonies floating in through the screened-in windows were keeping the owner of Edgewood’s biggest fleet of used automobiles from enjoying a good night’s sleep. After all, my Baptist preacher Dad had to be ready to throw some brimstone in the fire on Sunday morning. And, after a bad night’s sleep, he had no problem throwing more wood on that smoldering pile.
“..take a ride, ride, ride, ride on Heavy Metal…(and fiberglass)”
One of our neighbors, Mr. Kenny Stone, was a newly minted lawyer from the University of Georgia. As a reward for passing the bar, he got married and bought a Corvette…a ’78 or ’79. He’s a friendly guy and babied that black beauty. Like every one of my first kisses with a neighborhood honey, I plainly remember that I only managed to snag a ride in that C3 once…the first time I had ever graced the seat of a ‘Vette. Sweet; it smelled good…had red leather and, man, were we low to the ground! I didn’t mind being bitten by the Mako Shark-inspired design and I’ve wanted a 1980-1982 ever since.
and the Plymouth “Hell Hath No” Fury for style. One time, Dad “accidentally” backed the Fury into my Mama’s car twice…within ten seconds apart. He didn’t drink at all and I can only guess that he was going to test-drive another Chrysler laden with “Rich Corinthian Leather” aka Pitted Vinyl with Vaseline smeared on it. Enjoy the Plymouth Fury commercial with Arthur Godfrey and then relive the olfactory paradise that drove women wild in the Cordoba. Just deliver those sweet nothings to your lady with that smooth Ricardo Montalban’ accent and…steamy windows here we come!
A 1967 Mercury Cougar and a 1967 Ford Mustang…ones that got away
I still have an affinity for vehicles and yeah, we had a bunch of four doors that fit all of us since we were a very close family. The ‘Vette’s were a totally impractical choice for our ride but we did have a pretty burgundy ’67 Ford Mustang and a metallic green ’67 Mercury Cougar whose only blemish was a front seat that had a few small cracks. A little old lady really did have own the Merc and it was gorgeous to be twenty years old. Dad still regrets selling both of these. They were fun to drive and had nice lines and we loved cruising around in them. It’s funny but I can remember how that Cougar seemed almost new inside and out. I think I’m gonna be sick.
Here’s a commercial for the ’67 Cougar…Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. It’s got the big cat (a cougar, I guess) that growls. I always liked those ads.
And for those of you who bothered to read this far, here’s a commercial for a Mercury Cougar with Farrah Fawcett Majors: