Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Cars As Stars

This edition of the Carnival of Genealogy focuses on the cars in our families. This got me thinking ( I know, that can be dangerous!). How important were vehicles in your family? What type of car did you learn to drive on? What was the first car you owned? What about your parents or grandparents?

I learned to drive on my dad's 1982 Chevrolet Camaro Z28. That car rocked! Unfortunately by the time I got around to actually getting my driver's licence in 1986, we no longer owned that car. Instead, my dad gave me a 1979 Dodge Omni. It was a white 4-door with no air conditioning and no stereo. It had an AM radio. Nonetheless it was mine and so was the cost of the repairs to keep that old thing on the road. Sometimes I drove my dad's 1966 Chrysler Newport. It was a huge lavender boat of a car. No automatic steering or brakes. But I loved it anyway.

Would my mom have gone out with my dad if he hadn't had a car? The story goes that they met in a coffee shop. Dad asked Mom if she wanted to go for a drive in his car. At that time he owned a blue 1966 Plymouth Fury with a white hard-top. My mom was impressed and of course she said yes. The rest as they say is history. Makes you wonder if things might have gone differently if Dad hadn't owned that car. Hmmm...

We have always been a car family. For most of my childhood my parents each had their own car. Dad was always trying something different - a yellow VW Beetle, a red Austin Mini. My brother and I were quite young when Dad owned those cars. We liked them a lot, especially when Dad would do doughnuts with the Beetle in the wintertime. My brother and I would be tossed about the backseat like peas in a frying pan - this was before seat belt laws, and the Beetle had the engine in the back. We would laugh like crazy; it was so much fun. My mom was not impressed!

When I stop to think about it, a lot of my childhood memories about my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles involve the cars they owned.

What about you? How do the cars your family owned play a part in your childhood memories?