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Friday, September 11, 2009

Show and Shine.

Before I knew how to drive, I had an image of the car I would purchase. It was going to be a sleek black sports car, a fast and cute companion to reflect my personality and my love of adventure. The cute car above would fit the bill.

I never owned a car like this. My husband did, before I knew him, before our lives were ever in one space together. By the time I was able to purchase a car, my meager finances and this VW were in sync. This car lasted me/us many years. This particular car in the Rotary's Annual Show and Shine looks exactly like mine.

I wonder how they managed to keep it so shiny and new.




Before we bought the VW, I might add, as newlyweds we bought this Camaro. The old Oldsmobile died on us on Ventura Blv. in Encino. What we did was push it to the curb, and walk right across the street to a Chevrolet dealer. When they asked us what we had to trade, we pointed to our clunker across the street. The salesman felt sorry for us, he said. He was willing to pay us for the brand new tires on the Olds.
We had one car for many years. ( The Camaro had a glamorous engine death after only 69 thousand miles.) When we finally bit the bullet__it was an ultimatum bullet, our marriage was in peril, __we bought two Mitsubishi cars, tiny things to replace the VW that had not survived its fifth new engine.
I've always admired old cars, old houses, old silver. Unfortunately, admiration is not enough here. Old machines need care and upkeep, more so than new machines. Neither my husband or I are good at up keeping.
We are back to driving just one car, a big SUV. Without this beast we could not live in this far out, isolated place. Without it, we could not make runs to Coos Bay for weekly loads of groceries distributed to needy families.

Like clocks, cars have kept track of the times in our lives, the dreams, the disappointments.

42 comments:

Kim Kasch said...

Never had an "old" car - unless you count driving my Escort for 20 years a "classic" ;-)

But I do have an "old" house. It was built in 1890 so it's well over 100 years old. (119 to be exact - I can do some math, like addition/subtraction). So, I guess it could be classified an antique :)

Monkey Man said...

Great pics of the cars and what a fun walk down auto-memory lane. I wish I still had my first car - a 1964 Chev Impala SS. Loved that stupid car. Too bad no one ever told me I had to change the oil in it. It didn't die. I killed it.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Great post. I always wanted a VW bug, my next car might just be one. I'm still driving the SUV I had when the kids were still home, the last one moved out this year so I don't need such a big car anymore, but we own it free and clear, which is nice.

Cormac Brown said...

You absolutely need an SUV from Ukiah on northward. With the rain washing down the mud into the roads and most roads off the highway being just dirt and rocks.

Dang, I loved the old Camaros and the VW Bugs.

Brian Miller said...

we bought a brand new xterra when the first came out. our only nw car. and the only time we got the one we wanted, down to the color. it died in a rear end collision last year. now we have a van. it works...

Lori E said...

What a coincidence. My niece was in Coos Bay yesterday with my sister, and their husbands. Traveling in a motorhome from Duncan, B.C. She posted photos and boy is it beautiful there.
I just wanted to thank you for your comment on my salmon recipe on Lola's site. It really is a good one.

marc aurel said...

Toyota Corolla, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Honda Civic, Chevy Cavalier, Chrysler Caravan, Chrysler Neon, Chrysler Intrepid

Renee said...

Have a good weekend my dear friend.

Love Renee xoxo

Pyzahn said...

When I was in high school my family had a '57 Chevy with baby moon hubcaps and an ooga horn. That's the closest I've ever been to cool.

These days if it's clean and runs without coughing up terrible pollution, I'm happy.

Polar Bear said...

Old cars catch our attention almost as much as a pretty lady.We always remember our first car and I am no exception. Mine was a 1953 Morris Oxfort. A wonderful Grey car with Leather. It weighed 2350 lbs. It cost $2350. Buck a pound Not bad...Polar Bear

willow said...

Back in the late 70's I had a red VW bug convertible that I absolutely adored. Oh, what I would give to have that cute baby today!!

potsoc said...

My firdt new car, in 1954, was a Standard 10 British, then I had a Vanguard Mark IV (British) and in 1962 I bought an Austin 850, next a Chevrolet Epic followed by the dearest of all, a Chevrolet Malibu Hard Top convertible, all white with red leather seats. Then prices began going way up and we downgraded to a Chevy Nova. Since then, one Hudson Hornet (an absolute disaster), 3 Fords and since 1974 straight Chryslers: 3Ks, 2 Shadows and I'm currently driving my 3rd Neon. Used to drive over 200000 miles a year, this one will be five come December and it has 80000 kilometers under the hood, 50000 miles. Well that is retirement.

Cinnamon said...

Never had a new car! I love old bangers for their character. It's a bit sobering to realise that some of the cars/motorbikes i owned in the seventies are now considered 'classic' (ie old!)

Amy said...

Nice. And, yes...I do remember times in my life by what car I had. "Oh...I was driving that horrible mini-van, so it must have been 1999..." I also find it interesting to match people with their cars. Sometimes, just like with someone's spouse, you look at their car and think, "Why...they just don't GO together!" I'm looking forward to a time in my life when I get to pick a car that's just for me and that reflects a bit of who I am. I'm hoping for a custom painted,tie-dyed,convertible VW bug! Right on!

Maggie May said...

I am not that worried about cars old or new. I view them as convenient vehicles that transport you from A-Z and if it is a roomy one so much the better.

Ribbon said...

I've never owned a new car.

I plan on winning one soon as I just bought a couple of raffle tickets from a bloke who himself won a car from the very same raffle a previous year.

I'm currently driving an 18yr old rover that used to be my mothers and it drives like a dream.

great post.

best wishes
Ribbon :)

PS... when I win the new car I'll possibly sell it to buy an old car and have a holiday for two :)

Rob-bear said...

Cars do, indeed, mark the adventures in our lives.

We currently drive a 1991 Volvo "Estate Wagon." Gas mileage isn't great, but we don't travel very much. It does what we need. I don't know whether we will be able to afford another when this one goes.

Sorry you never got your Corvette, Rosaria. Would have looked grand in the teachers parking lot! Wow! Cool!

Wander to the Wayside said...

A 60something Chevy Malibu, my first car, used but like a piece of heaven to me.

By the way, I have an award for you at my place if you're so inclined. The Honest Scrap award for bloggers who write from the heart. I think that fits you to a tee. Come on by if you want and pick it up.

Lori ann said...

We have a car show in town once a year, many people wander up and down the street admiring them.
It's nice to see the care that goes into them.

Shadow said...

i love vintage/classic cars too. my first car was a uno, small and easy to park... but my current car? love it still!

NitWit1 said...

My first car was a used by sleek Studebaker 8 cylinder road speedster. It would fly. Given me by Dad when I graduated from the university, I loved it.

It was high maintenance with typical used car problems. Finally I traded it for a economical model Mercury, without any add-ons, no AC (1961) which I came to regret. An add-on AC was too much for the small engine and I soon had to trade it in.

I can't regale all the cars I've or we owned,but as we aged we changed less grequently and even passed the proverbial 100,000 miles of several. Today we still have two Toyotas, a truck and SUV (hybrid) neither of which pile up mileage very fast. our so called warranty checkups invariably reach the "months" before the miles.

Sophia said...

Sweet cars! I LOVE going to car shows and have not been to one in awhile. Hmm...I should get back to that. :)

Hope you have a lovely weekend.

Reya Mellicker said...

Very cool! I never had a cool car, several VW bugs, of course, and even a VW bus once. My last car was a 1991 Honda Accord. I loved that car, but got rid of it a few years ago when I realized I didn't need it here in urban DC.

Love the pics!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Thank you for your lovely words of welcome!!!! I'm so glad to be back!!! My first car was a white 1967 VW bug...Loved it!!! Lasted a very, very long time ...until my husband pushed it too hard in a move across the U.S. Burned up the engine...sigh...he owes me a VW...LOL...someday, again...Thank you so much for your friendship...and for this fun post!!! You are a delight to read...always! ~Janine XO

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

When I was 18 years old I had a yellow with blue strips MGB...talk about thinking I was the stuff...hahah thanks for coming by and saying ahhhhhh

Renee said...

Rosaria I was just picturing your Mom singing you lullabies and rocking you on her hip.

I know that she must be very proud of you.

love Renee xoxo

Lola said...

Rosaria,
you never cease to astound me. Your taste in automobiles matches mine almost eerily. I have always dreamed of driving a sleek black toy AND owning a VW bug! Not that the fire engine red Camaro is not worth mentioning!

SUVs in Italy are a bit of a joke, given the narrow alleys and crazy driving, but the small mention of what you do with yours at Coos Bay and the closing remark "Like clocks, cars have kept track of the times in our lives, the dreams, the disappointments," deeply touched my heart once more.

Ti voglio bene,
Lola xx

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I am getting to the point where I am going to need a new car soon. Trouble is, I don't really like anything I see in this country. Whenever we rent a car in the UK, they are always these snappy little things that look like somthing Emma Peel would drive. That's what I want, but they are never available in the US.

Did you ever watch Inspector Morse on PBS? I want his car.

Woman in a Window said...

I am not a car girl by any means but Rosaria, this was a wonderful post, especially your ending which socked me right in the heart. It 'urts. Ow. I hate to say this when it ended so bitterly sweet, but I loved this post!

If I strove to have a car of any sort it'd not be a car at all, it would be an old and beat down truck that lopped around on uneven wheels. I'd hopefully have uneven fields to match.
xo
erin

Dave King said...

I used to long for an old car, but not now, I'm afraid. Now I want reliability, comfort and loads of useless gadgets for the grnadchildren to ogle and think cool. Incidentally, your identification word almost says Lagonda.

Mark Cowell said...

Yep. A classic black vette -- ever since I fell in love with the old tv show "Route 66" I've wanted one.

the walking man said...

Hmmmm and not a MoPar in the bunch. Sad very sad.

Change the oil hey? Every 3000 miles.

God of Another World said...

Fun cars, including the slugbug. We have a billionaire who lives in our city...he does a car show every summer. He has at least one of every important car Chevy ever made. Pretty impressive.

The Things We Carried said...

Like you, I can mark our years in cars!

Hit 40 said...

My parents own a classic car. They drive 3 cars?? They could definitely get by with just one.

Summer car shows are wonderful!!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Funny how we can link cars to the times of our lives. Our first one only took us 100 miles on a 6000 miles planed honeymoon. The ones we've had since, we drive into the dirt - and just donated our van to NPR after 160,000 miles. Think they make fine guages of our lives together - trips taken, conversations pondered, decisions and fights engaged. Hpsts of posts on this topic

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Yes it's true our changes in car type reflect our change of priorities. Good that you had the fun stuff to remember.

Nancy said...

I had several old VWs in my day. Like you, we are down to one F-150. Not my favorite, and I miss the Yukon I gave to my son-in-law, but it is what we need living in the mountains. Sometimes enough is just that - enough.

Margo said...

I love this post. This summer I started taking a lot of pictures of our current cars... it was after seeing a history of personal and family cars in some old photos and finding them even more fascinating and telling of the times than the hairdos. And I used to work so hard to keep my 10 yr old minivan out of a shot :)

sallymandy said...

Loved these photos and your post!

Some day before I die, I want to own an old VW bug like the one you have pictured here. I learned to drive in one, and I miss the utter simplicity and fun of driving those things!

Polar Bear said...

Some of your pics are a reflection of your thoughts and help us appreciate your body of writing Polar Bear

A Woman Of No Importance said...

And there is such beauty in old, used, pre-loved things, non, Rosaria?

Very lovely, thank you...