Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Car Stories 2 – My First Car

I bought my first car when I was 16 – that would’ve been 1981. It was so cool. It was a 1971 Chevelle Malibu Convertible and it only cost $500.00. I had grand dreams for that car. It only had the little V8 – a 307 – and a bench seat up front (best for dates, anyway). All I saw was possibilities.

Of course, it was a little rough. I was taking automotives in high school, so I could fix it up. No problem. I took it to school and brought my shop teacher over to inspect it, my buttons bursting with pride. He gave it a quick once over and said, “It’s pretty rusty. I figure the body panels alone will set you back about $3000.00 – let alone the labour and paint work.” What a downer.

I took the car back home, parked it in the storage compound (my parents lived in a big trailer park in Ft. McMurray, AB), and started getting the wording together for a classified ad.

Right after my classified came out, four big guys came to look at the car. I was a little nervous, but I grabbed the keys and we walked out to the compound. They all hopped in right away without even looking the car over, fired it up, floored it and did about three, wild, sideways laps around the gravel compound – dirt-track style. The driver came to a sliding start in front of me and hopped out. He said, “What do you want for this?” I said, “$500.00.” He said, “We’ll take it,” pulled out a wad of cash and handed it to me. I had a bill of sale ready. He put in the minimum information, they piled in and off they roared – spitting gravel all the way. The car didn’t have plates or – obviously – insurance.

I never saw that car again. Thankfully, I never saw those guys again, either.

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