Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Waaaay Back When-sday, Episode 5

I don't have a story this's more of a topic. Cars. But not just any cars.

The History of Nej: in Cars.

I learned how to a school bus. Crazy, eh?? My dad was a manager for Laidlaw busing...and he'd bring a bus home every once and a while. And, it was in one of those buses I took my first driving lessons.

I was young, early teens, and really didn't learn much. But boy was it fun driving those buses around empty parking lots and such. :-)

Next up, the car I actually learned how to drive (for real) in. The 2 door 1979 Chevette. I couldn't find a picture of one in the color we had. Pea soup green - cream colored vinyl interior in this waffle pattern...that would be burned into the backs of your legs on a hot day. Ugh!

It had a name....Doodlebug. That car was a mountain could go anywhere. Put a couple sandbags in the back in the winter, and you were golden.

My one (and only) driving lesson with dad in this car went something like this....

We're driving down highway 183....way out in the country, with no one around. We come up on a pickup, and dad tells me to pass it. So, I did. I gunned the engine and went whipping by.

I hadn't gotten the "look in your mirrors and don't cut the guy in the pickup off" lesson yet. Copious amount of honking occurred. Whoops.

At one point that day, we were on the interstate. On an off ramp, my dad started to yell "decelerate, decelerate!!" Seems I was getting the 'you must slow down on the exit ramp, or you will die' lesson. It would have been good...except I misheard what he was saying. I heard "accelerate, accelerate!!" Whoops.

Doodlebug eventually died, or horrific death (oil leak, I didn't know, trashed the engine). Unfortunately, it died while mom was driving it, on the interstate. In the winter. Whoops.

** I found the picture of the Chevette in an article called The Top 10 Most Idiotic Cars of All Times. It got #10. I'm not sure how to take the information...I loved that idiotic little car!! :-)

Let's up? Oh yes.....

1969 Ford F-250, but picture it in U-Haul orange instead of this blue. I was 16, just barely dad bought it for me. There was some rust on the outside, but inside the cab was cherry.

Wow, I just used the word cherry to describe a truck. (shaking her head)

White leather seats, that had spent their entire lives under a seat cover. A/C (that didn't work), and those funky blue disks they put in the red taillights to make them look kinda purple.

I spent one afternoon detailing the cab, 100%. It took me all day. My sister wanted to help, so she tackled hosing out the box. When we were finally done, I took her to McDonalds as a thank you. On the way home, some dude speeding down the highway, t-boned me.

It hit us so hard, I pulled the steering wheel out and onto my lap. It knocked the box 2 foot off of center, and it popped the back tire. Luckily it was raining, so we spun around and around, instead of flipping over. My sister left 8 little slits in the seat, where her fingernails dug in. She was 11.

I was knocked loopy. Like, wandering around the highway, nearly getting hit my a semi loopy. The lady behind us on the highway was a friend of the family, and she rounded me up. My sister was freaking out, thought I was going to die. My head was split open and there was some blood. (when she was younger, she puked all over my bed...we were watching Stephen King's IT on tv in my room...the blood was too much)

She got a teddy bear in the ambulance.

I just got yelled at by a cop...who assumed that since I was only 16, it was my fault. She followed me into the hospital, into my room, through the CAT scans and everything. Yelling at me the whole time because I wouldn't talk to her. I don't remember much of it...I had been knocked silly.

I do remember mom and dad arriving on the scene. And I remember the riot act my dad read that cop. (hehe)

I had that truck for exactly 1 week. Whoops.

You know, the next few cars are a blur.

There was this red car, that looked really cool, but the floor filled up with water when it rained. I could never figure out where the water was coming from...but it would get an inch or so deep.

There was a truly ugly white Pontiac something. I sold it when I got my first job out of college. I sold it and bought one of these....

1995 Geo Prism Lsi, oh yeah. Stylin' ain't she? (I'll wait a second, while you wipe the dripping sarcasm from your screen)

36 miles per gallon, drove it well over 200,000 miles. Her name was Sweetie.

I needed to rent a car, and was too I "test drove" this one. The guy at the car dealership was a friend of a friend. After driving it for the weekend, I bought it.

The only damaging thing ever done to her was a small crunch in the bumper, when a retired fire chief of Forsythe (sp?), Georgia backed into me. He was in town visiting relatives, and decided to go out garage sale-ing that morning. I was out for garage sales as well, as luck would have it.

When we moved to Omaha two years ago...we gave her to a friend of mine. We moved into town, and at the same time, they moved out of town. Mot wanted to keep driving his Explorer, and I had my current car. So we gave the good gas mileage spare car to her to use.

Speaking of my current car....

2002 Ford ZX2. (or is it a 2003? I forget. It's whatever the last year they made it.)

Besides having a car wash try to eat's been damage free as well. It handles like crap in the I don't know how long it will last in the family.

There you go, nothing exciting. I mean, everyone learns how to drive with a school bus, right?


Well..ok then.

Photo 1 Source
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Photo 5 Source


Brook said...

I learned to drive an old ford tractor and moved up to a corn combine before graduating much later to a Sunbird-my mom and I agreed that never(or at least for 20 years)again should I be behind the wheel of any car she happened to be a passenger in. I always always wanted a British Racing Green Subaru Station Wagon ( white ineterior and ubiquitous luggage rack on top)I had 3 or 4 Hot Wheels(one I had to paint the right color) kind of owning vicatously(I was at least 14). Ummm, oh yeah, I have a hilarious van eating car wash story of my own. I soooo love my '06 Forrester-28.7mpg on the trip!

Nej said...

I had a hot wheel Lamborgini....and the Oscar Mayer Weiner-mobile. Well, I had quite a few others, but those were my favorites. Still have the weiner-mobile. :-)

I desperately wanted a Fiero, until that whole exploding into flames thing went public.

Now my dream vehicle is mixed. I want a vroom-vroom. European sportcar. Think of the movie Ronan.

I'd also like something outdoorsy....Subaru Outback, Nissan Extera, etc.

I need to win the lottery, so I can start my fleet. :-)

Didn't live on a farm when I was growing up, but everyone I knew did, so consequently, I was on a farm quite a bit. Never got to drive a tractor. Still want to. It's on my bucket list!!