It was a great looking car. I loved it. My friends loved it. My best friend Gary, who worked in his father’s automobile repair garage thought it was a “piece-of shit”.
There were a few defects. Most notable was the two-speed Powerglide® transmission. It was slow and getting slower with time and mileage. I brought it back to the shop and the seller tuned up the six-cylinder engine. It did go better until my five-thousand mile warranty was up. The car began to deteriorate badly. Rainy days were a disaster. There were several leaks in the canvas top–one right over my head. Driving over a puddle splashed water from the street, through the floorboard, and up my pant legs or my date’s clothes. The tires were now completely smooth and made a loud whining noise at 30 mph. Above 30 mph the front wheels began bouncing like I was driving over tree trunks.
“Bad king-pins,” my friend Gary said. It was too costly to fix. I still don’t know what a king-pin is.
The car now had such a slow pick-up that I had to floor the gas pedal when I was first at a red light and often barely made the green light before it turned red again. I had to get rid of the car.
“This time listen to me when we get the next one.” My father asserted.
I found a ’53 Ford at a used car dealership that looked good. I test drove it with my dad who agreed. It was a V-8, standard shift, and drove great. The tires were new and it didn’t have leaks when it rained. The dealer wanted $150 plus my Chevy, sight unseen.
“But I want to look at your car before we close the deal.” He told my dad.
“He’s going to see my Chevy isn’t worth much. What are we going to do?” I asked my parents.
“We’re going to close the deal at night and fix up your Chevy. We’ll have it done by Thursday night–the night before the 4th of July.”
What happened next was an example of true American family togetherness.
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