Sunday, June 08, 2014

"First" Rides

This Polaroid is a rare shot of my first car, a 1977 Chevy Monte Carlo my  mom bought for me at the end of my senior year 1980 for $3750.
My brother took WAY too long choosing his first car a few years earlier, and mom got fed up. He ended up getting stuck with a Dodge Dart that wasn't bad but also wasn't cool. 
Ever the clever boy, I made up my mind to be quick.
We found the Monte at the 2nd lot on the first day, and I wanted it badly.
It was about $1000 over budget but the prospect of being done car shopping in the first hour instead of the first month was worth the price so I got the car and brownie points, too.

Yes, spoked rims and yellow pinstripes, we thought it was kinda pimp.
Turns out moreso than we thought.
The first time I drove it in downtown Albany NY was interesting. People would see the car, walk closer to the curb and wave. Until they got a look at me.
The body language was easy to read:
"What's that white boy doing drivin' Leroy's car? Sheeit!"

I turned the tires around so it had raised white letters instead of stripes--Goodyear Eagle 70-series by the way. Put it a good stereo. Flipped over the air cleaner lid so it could suck wind from all sides. This car could light up the tires at will, and had a ton of room inside for guitars and amps, friends, roadtrips, and drive-in movie fun. Very reliable, too.

This is right after I moved to Texas--still had the parking sticker from the State University Of New York/ Albany. 
And because this was the early '80s when we all drove around while drinking beer--legally, until you got wasted--I put the bumper sticker on it to seem like a more upstanding citizen. 


I took this picture of Ken in 1987.
Had just taken him to the Harley dealer to pick up his brand new Sportster.
He'd hit too many snags in the restoration of his 1972 Triumph Bonneville and I had suggested just getting the HD so he could ride again and worry about the Triumph later.
He never did finish it.
And the Sportster was never as clean as it is in this photo again.

Just found this pic while going through Ken's mountain of stuff.
It's a bittersweet memory for me because he was riding this bike that I talked him into buying when he died, but he also got over 25 years of pleasure from it and sure does look happy.

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