Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V.....is for vehicle

....family owned and loved vehicle, that is. I come from a family who are sentimental car owners. We often keep our cars for long periods of time, especially if they were purchased new. My grandmother named her vehicles, which were always thought of as female. Cars, boats and ships are referred to as "she" or "her".....I wonder why that is. Anybody know the answer to that, I'd love to know the reason.

My parents also named their vehicles, but treated them as part of the family in addition to that. I'm surprised that mom didn't take a food tray to the garage for the car to have dinner! She was very sentimental over all their vehicles through the years. She put a horseshoe from my horse under the driver's seat so luck would travel with them and made throw pillows for the back seat to match the upholstery. When they would return from a long journey, mom would pat the car's dash as they exited at home once again and thank "her" for a safe journey.....after offering a little prayer of thanks to God first of course.

Well, when you're raised with this.....you more or less follow suit. I am sentimental with my vehicles too. Most of them, that is. The ones that I bought used and gave me trouble.....I had names for them all right, but none of them could be considered terms of endearment. On the other hand, I did have a couple used ones that I did feel a deep attachment to. My very first one, of course.....simply because it was my first vehicle, a 1957 Ford. Oh how I loved that car!

Another was a Corvair. Probably not too many people remember them....but I loved mine. The engine was in the rear like the VW. It was a smaller car and my barely 5' frame fit nicely inside. The gas mileage was unbelievably terrific. I especially loved the "gas" heater, which was INSTANT heat. We would get out of work in the dead of winter and while everyone else was bitterly scraping ice and snow, I could sit in a toasty warm car and let the defrosters do the work. I would be ready to go and down the road several miles before anyone else could start putting their brushes and scrapers away. I got hit in the rear by an idiot who wasn't paying attention and after that was fixed it never seemed to be the same. Shortly after that, on the way home from my job at the bank after midnight, the engine caught on fire and that was the end of my little car. No cell phones back then as I frantically ran from door to door knocking and pleading with people to call the fire department. Most of my pleas went unanswered, thus wasting a lot of time.

I had another used vehicle that I loved; a 78 Mustang with T-tops. I drove it for years and then sold it because the transmission was starting to go. I hope someone got it that planned on restoring it...it was a beautiful car. By then I was a struggling single mom and my dad felt bad for me. He bought a car for me in 1987, a new little Buick Skyhawk. That car was one I had several names for, none of them complimentary. I think it was a bit of a lemon but didn't want to get rid of it for fear of hurting my dad's feelings. A few years after my dad died and after years of cussing at the car, I ended up giving it to my daughter as it was better than what she had. (she was forewarned of its temperamental attitude) Many years later, she gave it to her boyfriend (now an EX, thank God and all His angels), who managed to get it impounded and never went back to get it. (easy come, easy go)

In 1994 after giving her the Buick, I bought a new Pontiac Grand Am V6. It had 11 miles on it when I drove it off the lot. I still have that car.....it now has 49,000 actual miles on it and still runs like a charm. I love that car and was really dismayed when I found out they were no longer going to make them.

I, too, pat the dash when I arrive home from a journey safely, after first giving thanks to God. Our family vehicles always get the required maintenance when its due and they are garage kept. I've never named her though and that's kind of a shame since she's been a respected member of the family for 17 years.

Needless to say, my daughter has followed suit. She had to leave her vehicle in a business parking lot one evening when the alternator went out. During the night, her beloved car took a beating because a group of teenagers mistook it as belonging to a guy they hated (we found that out years later but they were never caught and/or punished). Windows, headlights and tail lights smashed, 2 tires slashed and the hood and grillwork beaten with what appeared to be a baseball bat. The inside had the radio stolen and then the dash kicked out and everything broken that could be broken. My daughter cried because it was like having a family member beaten up. Her cousin, bless his heart, fixed many things at no charge....just for the parts. We never could get the driver's door fixed and it no longer opened. The car ran for her for another two years after that, the front end all beat up and ugly, and it was still running when she sold it very cheap because it looked so bad. Having only PLPD insurance on it, she couldn't afford to fix it herself. The Durango she bought to replace it has now won their hearts. Its also garage kept and thanked for safe journeys but it has full coverage insurance.

Well, I've revealed a family secret....we are sentimental vehicle owners. Are we just a goofy family or do you do things like this too?


Peruby said...

Oh, I am definitely a sentimental vehicle owner! There are a LOT of us out here!

My beloved Civic was taken out of commission by a fast moving buck or I would still be running him.

He was a him. (Gumby) - gumby green. I had that car for 14 years - one month shy of 15 years. Sigh.

"He was a him?" Really? That can't be right. LOL!

forsythia said...

We are too. The prize has to be a man at work who had half a dozen kids and a tiny Honda with several hundred thousand miles on it. When it came time to donate it, he and his wife had to really prepare the kids to say good-bye to this beloved member of the family. Some of the kids cried anyway as their dear car was carried away.

M Pax said...

I'm sentimental about my cars. I name them. I was so reluctant to give up my first, I'm only on my 2nd car. :)

Hughes ap Williams said...

Thank you! I am still upset about trading in my 1989 Camry...and, boy, does my husband (who talked me into it) know it.

I cried when they drove it away.

I also fondly remember my first car - a 1964 Comet.

And my 1979 Capri - red with a black interior, but, alas, no airconditioning.