cars my dad drove

I was talking to my dad yesterday, and he expressed how he just loves his current car. He drives a 2005 Pontiac Vibe he purchased used in 2009. The car has served him well, always dependable, never breaking down. It gives us peace of mind for him to have a car as worthy as this one.

some of Dad’s cars weren’t so favourable. (Yes that word is spelled right, if you live in Canada, so WordPress, I am ignoring your little red line).

My dad’s last car was a Hyundai Elantra. The thing spent more time at various garages than it spent in his driveway. The windows wouldn’t roll down, the transmission slipped, and the electrical was constantly a problem. He was lucky to sell that one.

Dad was never one to ask much for his cars. He put the Elantra for sale for $200. This bozo comes up and asks if the car comes with a warranty. It was a 2002 for crying out loud. The guy asks my dad to Guarantee the car will successfully travel from Newfoundland to Toronto; of course my dad gave no such guarantee. Luckily we never heard from the guy again, so I guess the car did make it.

Before the Elantra, my dad drove Toyota Tercel. What a great little car that was! I believe the car was a 1996. The car was the wagon version, and boy was it handy. My dad carried everything from lumber to laundry, and the car always started first click of the key. He would still have it, but our Newfoundland winters and the enormous amount of salt took its toll on the little Japanese car. My dad was sad to sell the car, but the guy who bought it said he transferred the engine to two more cars and the little motor is probably still running.

The Tercel was certainly an upgrade from the 1982 Chevy Citation. This was one of the first front wheel drive vehicles my dad owned, as well as it being one of the first front drivers Chevy built. Although the little v6 engine was powerful, the car was troublesome. Again, being a station wagon (they called it a hatchback), my dad used the thing like a truck.

Before the Citation, dad had an old Chevy Nova. Piece of crap. I should know, I had one as well. A 1976 Nova, the thing was constantly broke down. We later used the car to bring us back and forth to the woods, where we worked together as pulp cutters. The car fell apart on the road one day.

Dad didn’t pay anything for the Nova. Instead, he traded his 1972 Dodge Club cab Pickup for it. The old Dodge. I have fond memories of the truck. When Dad purchased it, it had a green patina paint job. These days the hot rodders would have left it that colour (spelled correctly in Canada), but my dad hated the colour. My uncle volunteered to give it a ‘psychedelic’ paint job.

As you laugh, you must remember, this was the late 1970’s, so driving around in a two tone blue truck with paint highlights around the windows similar to a ‘tie dye’ t-shirt was somewhat cool. Okay, not really, but the paint job was free, and my Uncle Albert got to brag about his outlandish paint scheme. He actually coined the term ‘psychedelic paint job’.

I believe my dad’s second favourite car was the 1972 Ford Cortina. A little British Import, my dad loved this little car. Despite being second hand, the car was in beautiful shape, and ran like a top, as my dad put it. I remember sitting in the car, and pretending to drive around. It was light blue in colour, and I can still remember how proud my dad was to drive such a nice car. Our cold damp Newfoundland winter was quick to destroy the little car. I guess British cars and road salt didn’t make a very good combination.

Before this car, Dad drove a 1967 Ford Falcon. We have pictures of the snow white Ford. I can’t remember whether it was a two or four door, but I do remember a story about the car.

My dad bought the little car used. He and our neighbour agreed to fix it up and give it a new paint job. When they attempted to remove the left front fender, they were surprised to find it difficult to remove, until our neighbour discovered the fender was nailed to a 2×4 that was nailed to the chassis. Some backyard mechanic actually used lumber to hold the car together. Good thing we didn’t have termites on the island, or else my dad’s car would have been eaten before the rust could have did its job.

I know before this car my dad drove a terrible little fiat. The Fiat 500 was so slow, my dad had to back up hills in order to climb them. The exhaust constantly leaked in through the holes in the floor. I don’t remember much about this car other than what dad says now.

I don’t remember much before that, but my dad talks about a few of his other cars, such as a ’55 Pontiac, and a Nash. He says the Nash once had a flat, so he filled the tire with sand and drove it home. He still talks about the rough ride.

He tells another story about the Nash. The four door was a bit rough, and lacked certain body parts, namely rear door handles. He tells a story of a time in which he and a few friends were driving on a slippery winter day. The hill he was climbing was very steep and icy, and when the car began sliding backwards, one of the passengers got scared and said ‘Bail Out!’. My dad opened his door (the only door with a handle on it) and jumped from the car. The passengers all attempted to do the same, but the lack of door handles caused them to endure the ride backwards down the steep hill, and into the ditch at the bottom of the hill. Dad still laughs about that to this day.

In those days, cars didn’t have to pass inspection tests, which was lucky for my dad, not so lucky for his passengers. It sure is nice to see my dad in a safe car, with all the door handles.

 

 

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