Thursday, January 08, 2009

My First Car


No, this is not my first car . . . it's not a car and it's not even mine; but rather belongs to our neighbor and is patiently awaiting my attention to get it running in order to pursue its mission of delivering round-haybales on the wagon behind to his hungry cattle. In an effort to get it running again after a rude stoppage, my neighbor installed new parts including the distributor cap which allocates spark to the necessary spark plug at the necessary time to keep the engine running. Of course he, as most of us would, ripped out all eight wires from the old cap and then tried but failed to re-assemble those 8 wires into the new cap in the proper order; a fools journey! Anyone who knows numbers will tell you, as I will, that there are over 40,000 ways to arrange 8 things ordered in a series of 8.

This does bring me to my first car: a Faded-blue 1956 Ford Fairlaine Coupe V8 (a coupe is defined by the fact that there was no post between the front and rear windows allowing for much airflow in the summer with all windows down, handy with no A/C) which I got for $100. Course, first thing I did was rip out all the wiring, including the 8 plug wires, to allow a thorough cleaning of the engine area. Which became sparkly clean and spiffy. But where do those plug wires go?? I was lax in my planning and haphazard in my approach; unfortunately this is still a basic flaw of mine -- among other things I always underestimate mileage to somewhere and fail to correct for it. I don't recall how my brothers and I did it --I must have had some clues because I doubt we ran through the 40,000 possibilities-- but since the battery was dead we had to push it around the block several times changing the plug wires every 50 feet or so after popping the clutch , in second, key on, see if it would start. The feeling I had when it finally roared into life is comparable only to catching your first fish or getting that first kiss. Off we went zooming about with no insurance which meant not taking the car out of the neighborhood. I never did drive it much after that. But I remember how to do plug wires as my neighbor can attest (I let him bring his truck to roaring life just to watch the smile.)
Car probably still resides at the bottom of a limestone bluff on the Missouri river north of St. Louis where my brother disposed of it after I left home. Since then I have owned 11 cars or trucks and 1 cycle and never regretted getting rid of any of them!

20 comments:

Echo said...

Still waiting for my sons to grow up so they can fix my 1967 Galaxy.
Totally

Azer Mantessa said...

hehehe ... i like Echo's message which is quite similar to mine ... my sons are 20, 16 and 10 but they are more into cooking rather fixing cars ... i did sent one for mechanical training but when he got back, he dun seems to have any interest of fixing my dad's volkswagen beetle. sold that one after years of waiting. my wife was so glad ... lol

Margie said...

I was a late driver so never really had a First Car.....shared one with my husband when we got married...it was a red mustang & I liked it.
I went to school in Boston & never wanted to drive in that city...too scary with the drivers!

Happy New Year & good luck on getting the truck up & running.

Margie

Yoga Gal said...

Thanks for the memories. I loved my first car but lost it when I spun out on the 210 Pasadena ,CA freeway on rainy night!

lettuce said...

comparable to a first kiss?

sorry, i just can't identify with this


(tho my daughter is hooked on "Top Gear" and becoming quite the metal head. which i also just can't identify with)

i'll take your word for it tho...

goatman said...

Lettuce:
You weren't pushing a 3000 pound dead car around the block nine times!!
It was quite the relief as I recall. Both things.

Sacred Suzie said...

Losing our car in our accident last year was hard. I do love our new one though. Cars are funny things, so many memories of adventures in them.

Oh yes, when it comes to collage, the crazier the better. Do something different!

Pauline said...

This is a topic I could go on and on about. Cars! My husband spoke of them morning noon and night.The engine, the traction, the style etc. I have had to let go of his 1977 Plymouth Sport Fury. A delightful clean line model but too large for me to drive within the city. Mechanically in fair shape but this is a hobby I cannot afford.Letting go is difficult but I will always have the smiles remembering legs visible beneath the front end or his shoulders beneath the hood working, playing with the engine. Thanks for the memories, they are precious indeed.

firebird said...

Great car story! I can really relate--spent many intense hours fixing my 1971 Plymouth Duster (got a spare one to use for parts)--and my old motorcycle--both broke down regularly--but I can't even think of working on today's cars!

And yes, I can believe that felt as good as one's first kiss!

(Thanks for visiting my site--it was a nice surprise!)

Middle Ditch said...

Nope, don't drive but I remember my dad's BMW motorbike though. He got fed up with it and bought a messerschmidt (if that's spelled right) a replica German airplane cockpit with a plastic roof that you had to open to get into the contraption. You could drive it with a motor license. Two adults and one child could just about get in there. When my brother appeared my dad went for a heinkel, same principle, more room. Wonderful memories.

Squirrel said...

My first car was a comet! it was extremely old and worn out so it only lasted 1 summer.My friends called it the vomit because it was dented and rusty and had ripped upholstery.

iriz said...

A car, that's what i need right now ;( can you assemble one for me. hehe. kidding.

Nice to know you're into engines. that's a skill and you'll really take advantage of it.

Marion said...

"Anyone who knows numbers will tell you, as I will, that there are over 40,000 ways to arrange 8 things ordered in a series of 8." Lol...not being one of these people who know numbers, I will take your word for it! This will be right up Graham's alley!

My first car was an old, small white Austin, with red leather seats. My friends and I called her Hepsibah. For no known reason.

She gave us plenty of moments akin to a first kiss! I learned all sorts of things about cars which unfortunately are pretty much redundant now, with computerized engines.

red dirt mule said...

oh wow!!!! what year and make is that truck ??? it looks like it has the makin's of a RDM truck: great musclely lines; all squared off - needs a white front and rear bumper - some new hubcaps .... don't need a radio or A/C - that truck is meant for wheelin' down red dirt roads, windows open and hangin' my head out the window with my dog ... yeah, all this while managing the clutch and shift ...

please include personal service mechanic in price ....

goatman said...

Marion, I think it works out to 8! (eight factorial), ask graham.

rdg, It be a Ford 460, mid 60's I think. (didn't matter, all 460s have the same firing order) And don't worry about A/C, radio, or heat for that matter. Is none

Squirrel said...

Happy Sunday Goatman! How the weather in your parts? It snowed a bit here... I'm about to go out for my walk.

Echo said...

Thanks for the Carl Sandburg, I love it!

NAVAL LANGA said...

It's nice photo of the country side.

Naval Langa
SHORT STORIES by NAVAL LANGA

BIG CITIES OF INDIA

Squirrel said...

your comment makes me want to go back up to the cemetery--it's snowing now, but soon. I know there are some really old graves in one area.

MadMike said...

My first car was a 1957 Plymouth and I think we were neighbors:-)

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