The Cars of my life

The follow are the vehicles I've had the pleasure of driving from age 15 to now.  Unfortunately, I don't have the actual photos of many, but rather images that I've collected from the web.

 

 

1965 Corvette Stringray Fastback

(Not actual photo - sample only)

My father, was fairly conservative finance manager for a loan company and led a fairly simply lifestyle, but those who knew him, knew he had dreams, most of which remained unfilled.  One day however, out of the blue, my dad came home with an amazing sports car.  That car was a 1965 Corvette Stringray powered by the firms first big block engines - a 396 cu. in. monster that produced an amazing 425 hp.  That's more than 1 hp / cu in.  Outfitted with a racing clutch and Goodyear Super Blue Streak tires, the car was fast and agile.  The 1965 Corvettes were equipped with four-wheel disc brakes as a standard feature for the first time.

I never drove this car on the road, but did drive it in the driveway.  I only wished I could have taken it for a real spin.

My father sold this car after getting a few too many speeding tickets.


1960 Plymouth Valiant

(Not actual photo - sample only)

This auto was another auto that my parents owned.  The most powerful memory of this car was when at an age of 15, when my parents would go out for a weekend evening, I used to steal it for a ride around town. 

One night while on a joyride with a carload of guys and the ripe age of 15 and without a license, we drove around town for several hours and the moment we pulled into my driveway, my parents had arrived home early to catch me in the act.  I was grounded for a full week for that stunt - but it was sure fun.


1968 Volkswagen

That's me in my 1968 VW Bug that my father bought new for $1800.  It was originally dark green in color and was a log of fun and good looking looking.  My father had several Volkswagens and was an early adopter to the VW brand.  He ultimately racked up 300,000 miles.  He later told me that he went through several driver seats during its life. 

When he bought it, it came with a cassette tape deck.  The dealer left the tape the original Led Zeppelin I tape in the unit, for which I played until I was totally burnt out on every song. 

After running it pratically into the ground, my father finally sold it.   Some 15 years later, I visited them in Corona, Calif, where I grew up, from Boston, MA.  On this trip, my Mom and Dad were invited to a Sunday brunch.  My father asked me if I wanted to see his restored VW.  "Sure", I said.  Little did I know it was the very car that I learned to drive when I was only 15 1/2 years old.  I only wished he had restored it using its original dark green color.  It would have been perfect other than that pink he used.

It was the first stick that I learned to driive.  I also recall my father taking me out on a training run and him asking me to back up into a person's driveway, only to drive in off-center, and when asked to drive forward, I drove it off of the curb which when the the back wheels came off the curb, the car literally got hung up on the curb itself.  I was so embarrassed. 

This is the car that I drove the most before owning my own car.  I had so much fun in this car zipping all around town. 


1965 Volkswagen

(Not actual photo - sample only)

My very first car that I owned was a brown 1965 VW.  It was great and lots of fun.  It had no fuel gauge, but rather, a lever near the gas pedal.  When the car would begin to sputter being low on gas, you would move your foot and turn the lever to access the reserve tank for another 50 miles of travel.  The car was sold after several years of use.  I sold this car to a friend.  It didn't take him long to roll it.  It had to be totaled after that.

 

 


1949 Divco (Milk Truck)

(Not actual photo - sample only)

No - it didn't look this good or even close to it, but I did own an official milk truck during my senior year in high school.  It was really fun to drive.  With it's small block, four cylinder Continental truck engine, it wasn't fast, but geared with a ton of torque.  This bad boy could climb the steepest hills with a full load.  Pop the clutch and it could pop a nice wheelie.  Believe me, my friends saw it.  I had hopes of it being my camper, but I never realized this dream, as the vehicles was oh so slow - so slow in fact that I wouldn't have taken it on the freeway. 

What made this fun was that you could drive it standing up.  It has a hand level brake for slowing down without taking your foot off of the gas, but the most unusual feature of this truck was its single combo clutch, brake and parking brake.  Press this pedal zero to one quarter of the way down and you have the clutch.  Further and you begin brake and press real hard and its your parking brake.  It had a 4 speed shifter on the steering wheel.  Additionally, you could control the gas from a large knob on the shifter.  All in all, it was a blast.

 


1968 Volkswagen Squareback Station Wagon

(Not actual photo - sample only)

My squareback was my party car.  It was the first car that I really worked on to make it my own.  It was the same color and looked very much like that of the car pictured here.  I had nice spoke wheels and a very nice conversion kit that allowed me to sleep spaciously in the back when camping or surfing.  It was however, not as reliable as previous VWs that I owned or drove. 

 

 


1968 Datsun Pickup (with small camper)

(Not actual photo - sample only)

The VW Squarback was beginning to give me problem.  This being the case, I felt that I needed a second car.  At work, a guy offered me this Datsun pickup.  I used it only as a second car.  After buying the Volvo 144 below, I sold this truck.


1969 Volvo 144

(Not actual photo - sample only)

This was my first Volvo of many that proudly drove.  It didn't look very nice, but was very comfortable and very reliable.  Its most amazing feature was it's turning radius.  It could turn around on a small street without backing up.  It was fast, but it did get there. 

 

 

 

 


1968 Volvo 122S

(Not actual photo - sample only)

This was one of my favorite cars.  I purchased it used with 120,000 miles on it, had it painted pure white and did a little restoration.  I drove it for almost 10 years and had more than 250,000 miles on her.  She was the car I drove across the US and she never ever let me down - not even once.  The only reason that I sold her was that parts became very hard to buy at any parts store or the dealer itself.  This was the car that made Volvo infamous for reliability.  She was so easy to work on as well.

The day that I sold her to a friend of my wife's, I drove first and then pulled over for her to drive it back to my home.  She got into the driver's seat, buckled up and turned around to check for traffic.  That very moment an old man driving a Lincoln wasn't watching where he was driving and drove into the back of the car, thus totally the beloved Volvo. 

I ultimately sold her piece by piece to other Volvo owner for more than the car as a whole. 

Biggest drawbacks of this car was that it was speced to run on 100 octane gas.

 


1968 Volvo P1800

(Not actual photo - sample only)

This car was to be my first collectable auto that I intended to restore.  It was however, very short lived.  I purchased the car for a good price during the summer months of 1976 in the Boston area.  That winter, the engine froze and thus cracked the engine block.  I sold it "AS IS" to another would-be collector.


1971 Volvo 145 Station Wagon

(Not actual photo - sample only)

The original Volvo was an ugly turquoises coloring. 

 


1968 Chevy Chevette

(Not actual photo - sample only)

This Chevette, purchased from our neighbors, was our second car and proved to be very reliable.  There is nothing more that I can really say about it other than it worked.


1971 Volkswagen (Semi-Automatic)

(Not actual photo - sample only)

Needing a car for the growing family, we purchased a very unique VW that was equipped with a semi-automatic transmission.  What's this you say?  Well, it had a stick shift, but no clutch.  You simply let up on the gas and pushed the stick into the needed gear.  When you pushed on the stick shift, the clutch was automatically engaged.  This car provided many years of reliable service.  The major drawback was the poor heating system.


1989 Hyundai Excel GLS

(Not actual photo - sample only)

This car was my biggest mistakes when it comes to a car.  Though it treated me well, its resale value was next to nothing. 

The most memorable story was when the car salesman for my Infinity Q45 asked what was my last car, I noted, "Hyundai".  He immediately responded "Did you say Honda?"  I only laughed, but was still embarrassed.  I put 100,000 miles on this car and only got $450 for it when it was sold.

 


1991 Infinity Q45


This was the nicest car I ever owned.  When I saw her in the used car lot, I fell in love with it now even knowing what kind of car she was.  When I read "Infinity", I thought that I couldn't afford her.  I asked and was shocked at the price though she was 3 years old and off of lease. Her original price was more than $54,000, but had depreciated almost $30,000 in those few years. 

This Q45 was outfitted with a 4.5 liter (274 cu. in.) fuel injected V8 with 32 valves.  This engine would punch out 278 horsepower and a threatening 292 pound-feet of torque.  There was nothing like the sound of her engines growling and approaching redline.  She offered a sporty suspension that hugged the road.  She barely was breaking her stride.

 


1993 Infinity J30

This was my wife's car and though sporty, was far too small inside for my needs being somewhat tall.

 

 

 


1997 Ford F-150 Lauiet w/ 4x4, Towing & Off-Road Packages

This truck was purchased in 2000 for the purpose of pulling my boat, a 26' SeaSwirl Stripper. Though it did pull the boat, the trucks short length and lack of rear disk brakes caused the truck to be a bit undersized for the task at hand.

In the Summer of 2002, the truck was stolen from my yard during the night, taken for a 4x4 Monster truck joy ride, whereby the thieves caused considerable damage to local properties, smashed through a utility fence to go off-road four-wheeling on a gas line area, smashed through a couple of decorative front yard lawn fences and eventually sped through the streets of Lynnfield during the night to ultimately, roll the vehicle. Sadly, the truck was rolled and totaled. The thieves left the scene of the crime and were never caught. Strangely, the truck was found less than 200 feet from where it was stolen on the street behind out home. Boy was I surprised when the police came to my door to ask me why my truck was upside down.


2002 Ford F-150 King Ranch

The 1997 Ford F-150 Lauiet was replaced with a 2002 Ford-F150 King Ranch which was reprocessed. The vehicle had been sitting on the Ford dealer lot for almost 2 months with no serious offers. I picked it up for a great price. There's nothing like depreciation on a new vehicle that has been driven off of the lot.

This is the specially appointed King Ranch edition of the Ford F-150. What sets it apart is it's four door Super-Crew cab and it's luxurious, 4, dark Castaño leather covered bucket seats and a pair of matching console lids.

The King Ranch is equipped with a 5.4 Liter Titon V-8 engine that develops 260 hp and 350 foot-pounds of torque. It has a towing capacity of 7,000 pounds and it's extra length, is for large disk brakes and on-demand, 4-wheel drive makes it ideal for pulling the boat.