Cars I Miss

Like many of you I’ve had quite a few cars since I got my driver’s license way back in 1988. Some are remembered more fondly than others. I’d have to say my current ride, a 2004 Ford Focus, is somewhere around the middle of that list. What do I like most about it? It’s paid off.

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And it hasn’t had full coverage since.

However, there are a couple vehicles from my past I’d love to have back.

Foremost among these is a car I never got to drive because I was too young. It was my parents’ 1969 Lincoln Continental Mark III. Truly, that vehicle was a paragon of class in the cultural wasteland of the 2T of the early 80s.

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Taken by yours truly over 30 years ago, this is the only known photograph.

Then one day when I was in fourth grade I came home from school to find it had been sold. A 1979 Dodge conversion van had been bought in its place. Ostensibly the reason was my parents wanted a bigger vehicle so my sister and I wouldn’t fight on long trips. It was a bigger vehicle, all right. We still fought all the same. The van stayed in the family until immediately after I scored my license. I drove it a grand total of once.

Years later when I was in Chicago, I bought a 1976 Mercedes 450 SEL for $1,200. It had clearly seen better days as the steering column rattled whenever it hit anything resembling a bump in the road. It also had the distinctive rust damage all older cars in Chicago seem to have. When I moved back to Idaho not long after, the mechanic told me it wouldn’t make it.

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This ain’t the actual car, but it might as well be.
Image credit: Hemmings Daily

Well, it did make it. It also made it through several months of 45-minute commutes to Jackpot, Nevada. When I moved away again several months later, it made it all the way to Princeton, New Jersey, and lasted several months after that. Finally fearing the steering column would go at a most inopportune time I had it scrapped. That may very well be the only thing in my life I truly regret. I’d love to have one of those cars again.

Of course, there are cars I don’t miss as well. At the top of that list is a certain red 1986 Dodge Colt, which plagued me with breakdowns and general ugliness throughout much of my college career. My sister finally put it out of its misery by totaling it shortly before her high school graduation.

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I don’t think I ever properly thanked her for that ….
Image credit: Productioncars.com

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