Jumping straight from the cavernous back seat of my old manÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s car to when I held a driverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s license in my anxious hands would only bypass some rather wild and hilarious times. My Mother and Father went through a number of interesting cars after the suicide doors. Several Anglia, a Ford Sedan Delivery, a beautiful black Buick Century convertible and a Chevy Biscayne. How he ever slipped from the Buick to the Chevy IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll never know, but he did.Ã‚Â The Buick is the first Ã¢â‚¬Ëœreal carÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ I ever got my hands on and my old man let me drive it while he sat in the passenger seat!Ã‚Â While vacationing in Florida when I wasÃ‚Â 12 years old my Dad let me drive the Buick with itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s beautiful red leather interior.Ã‚Â It was only in and around the parking lot of the tourist lodge we were renting in Tampa, but it could have been Daytona! Ã‚Â The top was down, the wind was in my hair and that did it! Driving was the only thing on my mind – well, not always. Ã‚Â My Mother still had one of the Anglia which was left at home when my parents took a holiday in Washington the following year.Ã‚Â They left me in the hands of my totally deaf Grandmother who loved me dearly, but had no idea I was heading out the bedroom window as soon as I said I was going to bed.Ã‚Â She must have wondered why I went to bed at 7:30 some nights. The object of my attention was the Anglia! I drove it all over North Bay and the surrounding district every night for almost a week.Ã‚Â Getting gas was a problem at times, but I learned to use an old gas can, a bit of garden hose and a little suction to satisfy the needs of my thirsty steed.Ã‚Â I miscalculated on one occasion and ended up quite sick from the liquid that slid down my throat!Ã‚Â The last night I drove the car it started to make strange noises that came from the engine compartment.Ã‚Â I gently drove the car home and parked it where it stayed until my Mother started it up the day after they came home.Ã‚Â Do you have any idea what a new motor cost in those days!Ã‚Â Today you couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t buy a very cheap lawn mower at Home Depot for the same amount, but I was able to somehow bluff my way out of that one.Ã‚Â They began to watch me and the cars a little closer.Ã‚Â The following summer my Dad dealt the Buick for a Chevrolet Biscayne.Ã‚Â What a shit box!Ã‚Â It was fun to drive up at the cottage when my old man was out fishing.Ã‚Â Lots of power slides on dirt roads and in a sand pit nearby.Ã‚Â That car I drove all over and got the scare of my life one day when the cops came down the road in the opposite direction.Ã‚Â I took off up a side road that got narrower and narrower until it just ended.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â I found myself in someoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s backyard!Ã‚Â Ã‚Â The only exit was across their front lawn.Ã‚Â It looked newly seeded. Ã‚Â I took off up the side of the house and across the lawn.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â I could see a man standing at the front window waving his arms as I floored the pig up the street!Ã‚Â My parents soon spent little time keeping an eye on me so I used the car a fair bit.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Before they finally got rid of it the driverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s door had rusted right through along with several other body panels, but the damn thingÃ‚Â just kept on running and I just kept on driving it.
The thought of having my Ã¢â‚¬Ëœown wheelsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ had crossed my mind a few times, but I still didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a driverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s license as I was now only fourteen.Ã‚Â On one of my tours with a couple of friends, I spied a vision I had to have. It sat next to an old barn just outside the town of Trout Creek. It was painted with red primer and one of the tires was flat, but to me it was beautiful. It wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sleek and low slung. It was bulky and had a high clearance for anything that might represent cool. It was a 1928 Ford Three-window Coupe. There was no engine cover.Ã‚Â One look told me that what was in there wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a Ford.Ã‚Â It was a Chrysler Firepower!Ã‚Â It had been sitting there for some time uncovered.Ã‚Â There was no interior. The body had been plunked down on a truck frame that had been shortened about two feet.Ã‚Â It was beautiful!Ã‚Â My quickly developing artistic brain could imagine it roaring down the road near our lake painted dark blue with flamesÃ‚Â on the sides.Ã‚Â I naturally had my arm out the driverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s window and my hair again flowed in the wind.Ã‚Â I paid a whopping thirty-five bucks for her and I hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even tried to start the thing.Ã‚Â Over the next several months I spent another chunk of cash getting the odd bit of chroming done and the engine running.Ã‚Â I found an old pair of seats in a wreckersÃ‚Â and set about to see if she would cruise like I dreamed she would. Ã‚Â I never though of her as a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœchick magnetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, but I knew she would attract attention.Ã‚Â I was still borrowing the old manÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s car and soon found other interests that kept me from the old coupe.Ã‚Â AtÃ‚Â the time I was a serious competitive water-skier and I loved high school football and the attention the girls gave the players. One afternoon a knock came at the door and a greasy kid was standing there on the porch.Ã‚Â He said he wanted the coupe and would trade me a 1948 Mercury split-window coupe for it.Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬ËœThrow in thirty-five bucks and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s yours,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ was all I said and it was done.Ã‚Â I was becoming a horse trader as well!Ã‚Â I l heard the kid got arrested for speeding down some back road at over a hundred while sitting on a milk box!Ã‚Â Years later Sylvester Stallone would drive a MercÃ‚Â identical to mine in theÃ‚Â movie ‘Cobra’.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Mine was black and the back seat was even bigger than the Chevy my Dad had!Ã‚Â I still did not have a driverÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s license, but was now fifteen. My Dad was working on getting me a ‘cheaters permit’ by getting the local police chief to sign off on me.Ã‚Â I didn’t know how that worked, but it had something to do with rural kids driving on the farm when they were underage.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â My friends and I often went to various small towns to go to dances at their local arena.Ã‚Â The object naturally was to check out the ‘trim’.Ã‚Â We called girls ‘trim’ at the time.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â I often let Steve, one of my friends drive as he was legal and I could concentrate on ‘the trim’. Ã‚Â I expect you are starting to think I was only interested in ‘the trim’, but there were other things, but over the years whatever it wasÃ‚Â has faded from memory.Ã‚Â One Saturday night Steve and I headed up to a barn dance in a little village by the name of Rutherglen.Ã‚Â There I met Rosalie, a stunning beauty that would later do well in the modeling business.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â She lived in another small town just up the road. I said I would drive her home and after much dancing she agreed that I could.Ã‚Â I excitedly called over Steve and told him to get the car.Ã‚Â He had brought along a mickey of some foul smelling liquor and was well into it.Ã‚Â In short, he was loaded, but in those days it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a big deal.Ã‚Â I waited with Rosalie at the front door like some big shot for Steve to bring around the car.Ã‚Â He staggered in with his hand all scrapped to hell and said he had trouble steering the car.Ã‚Â I, along with Rosalie, went around the side of the building to find the top of the car crumpled down to the dash!Ã‚Â Somehow between the back parking lot and the front of the building he had rolled the car completely over!Ã‚Â He hadÃ‚Â popped out the windshield and collapsed the roof onto the steering wheel!Ã‚Â Needless to say Rosalie was gone and we were stuck trying to get the car home.Ã‚Â Sometimes I found Steve to be a bit of a dolt, but on this occasion he just got out the jack and used it to free the steering wheel from the roof. We drove it home like this and parked it in his backyard.Ã‚Â He eventually raised the roof enough to put in a couple of panes of glass, not safety glass, and drove the car for several years.Ã‚Â Vehicle safety at the time was not a particular concern of the police establishment.Ã‚Â IÃ‚Â of course made sure I got my thirty-five bucks from him.
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