In my opinion, a teenager should never hate the car they drive. Doesn't it, in most cases, represent FREEDOM? Doesn't matter wether you bought it or your parents bought it, it was yours to drive.
My first car I was given at the age of 12. It was a 1965 Chevelle Malibu. It did have four doors, but I didn't care. I found out much later that when my dad was looking, next to this car was a '65 Chevelle SS convertible. My brother warned my dad that the convertible was too far gone and would require A LOT of money to fix up. I loved it, SS or not. I love that old car smell.
I will say that 283's are a STOUT engine. It took so much abuse. I was so excited that I ran the car up to 120 mph and told my dad. Now, he was angry, but not about the speed. He said, "Those tires are not speed rated, keep it down."
My dad did all the body work. It really should've been garaged, but it wasn't. It was a daily driver.
My two favorite memories:
In shop class, my brother made a 4" X 12" cast aluminum cursive Chevelle moniker. I ended up putting it in the deck part of back window between the two custom speakers. It was laid down, faced up and could only be read appropriately from the rear. Driving down a street one night, I saw something shimmer in my back window with the street light. I turned around and it was gone. It happened again. I turned around and it was gone. This time I stared into the rearview mirror and it flashed up, "CHEVELLE". This will sound strange, but whenever it appeared, I could hear, in my head, a woman's voice whisper, "...chevelle..." It was readable from my mirror. It was also transparent, you could still see the "CHEVELLE" showing up, but you could also see through the name. I loved that, I loved driving under street lights.
Second memory was when I was first married. We went to Kansas City for our honeymoon in the Chevelle. Fellas, its no treat to your new wife to have a car with no AC. So we drove at night. She does not like it when I speed, so when she fell asleep on the Turnpike, I kicked it on up to 80 mph, then fluctuated between 80 mph and 100 mph. Got to The Plaza and had 1/4 tank left. After filling up, I did the math, this car still got 19.43 miles to the gallon with all that ruckus! I'm sorry I didn't specify. It had a 2bbl, 283, powerglide, all rebuilt. I still miss those GREEN GUAGES!!
Well, I just couldn't afford the upkeep. I wanted to give the car back to my dad, but not only did he not have room, but was too advanced in years to upkeep it. It needed a garage. With the coaxing of my wife, I reluctantly sold it. I really did cry. I know I'm gonna miss it more when my dad is gone. But, maybe someday, Gladys will come back with a venegence! (She was named after the old lady who had it since 1965) If I ever do it again, she'll be a sleeper!
To this day, the tape to U2's Joshua Tree always takes me back to those warm summer nights with the vents, as well as the road, open.
Thanks for the trip back in time.
Keep 'em comin' I love these stories!