Car Memories

My First Car

57 austin healy bugeye sprite

I picked up one of these when I was fifteen. Got it for $50,00. Me and my friend Steve went in partners for it. Since it had no brakes to speak of and several other problems...the parents made us sell it.

Only got to drive it once actually. Technically this was my first car although not the actual car since I appropriated all these pictures.

57 Rambler Rebel

The First Car I Could Keep

I paid $25 bucks for a car like this. It was parked in an alley and wasn't running. It didn't have a hood either.  I drove it a way after getting it running. Pissed the lady off. I was only 16 then but actually had a licence.

It used to backfire through the carburetor once in a while and my girlfriend named it the "Blue Dragoon" since it was also blue. Being an awesome artist, She painted a picture of a cool dragon on the dash.

Eventually I got a hood but couldn't find any hinges so I drove around with it for a while just sitting in place. Every once in a while the wind would catch it and it would go sailing over the top and land on the road behind me.

Since this was rather dangerous, I bolted on some door brass door hinges I got at the hardware store. About a year and a half later, I sold it for $125 bucks and made a cool profit.

55 Metropolitan

When I was 17, I moved out of the house. I had 2 Honda Trail 50's I used for transportation. I later souped one of them up to a Honda 60 equivalent. I could pop wheelies with it when I was done. It had a centrifucal clutch so was not an easy task.

Anyway around that time I also picked up 2 1955 Metropolitans. Only one ran and looked decent. I remember trying to do a valve job on the running one and getting an excessive smoking ticket on it by the Capitola Police on the way to my moms' house. The valve job was too good. It had so much compression that it was now blowing oil past the rings and smoked like a siv!

57 Pontiac Chieftan

Remove The bumper off this car and you would have my car that I bought from my uncle Sandy when I was 18 for $100 bucks. It was a wrecking yard special he had picked up. I had helped him install the motor in it also.

I think he was afraid of it is why he eventually sold it.

This baby was punched out to a 402 and had 3 dueces, A posi 4:11 rear end and a 3 speed tranny. The linkage was modified and had a reverse shift pattern than normal.

I could grab scratch in all gears laying rubber for several blocks. It would top out at around 140mph. I was constantly replacing the clutch in this thing.

It became the transport vehicle for me and my cronies for our trips to concerts at Filmore West in San Francisco. I recall blowing the clutch on one of the hills in the city and having to drive all the way back to Santa Cruz without a clutch...what a nightmare that was.

In one of our return trips, We were taking a friend back to Salinas and got pulled over on the Bayshore. We got pulled out of the car one by one and searched. Apparently there was a report of another car with a bunch of guys in it that were waving a gun around that looked alot like us although we never saw them.

I still had the car when I was 19 and drove it to Canada for a vacation. On the way, the starter went out in Oakland and instead of fixing it then I just parked on hills and popped the clutch to get it going. Turned out to be just a loose nut on the solenoid. I stayed at a campground in Hope BC on the Frasier River for a couple days and fixed it.

Went on and stayed a week in Pentictan which is at the bottom of Lake Okanogan. I jammed with a band for a few nights there and they invited me to follow them to Vancouver. They were opening for Fleetwood Mac and Jetro Tull. I didn't get to play with them but did meet everybody. Several years later i ran in Fleetwood's manager in Santa Cruz and fixed his computer. When I arrived, he was on the phone with Mick making arrangements for thier comeback tour after they had disolved the group.

After Vancouver, I took the ferry over to Vancouver Island. I decided to go north which was a 40 mile gravel road. Not sure how far I had gone before the rear end stabilizer had broke. It was located on top of the pumkin in a place you couldn't get a wrench into. The bolt had come out but the nut was still there. Unfortunatley, the weld on the nut was broke and would just spin when you try to tighten the bolt.

I ended up removing the bracket and soldered the nut to the bracket. Not an easy task. Talk about McGyver skills...I used about 3 tanks of fuel in my coleman stove tank blasting the thing on top of a rock before it finally took. It didn't need to be strong, just hold well enough not to spin when I tightened it.

It was a beautiful day otherwise and was rather warm. I decided to take a skinny dip in the lake below. It was so clear you could see the bottom. I dove in and discovered it was a glacier lake. It was all I could do to catch my breath when I got back to the surface. I dove in a few more times before giving up on it.

About 10 more miles down the road the car started heating up. Couldn't keep water in it. By that time I was so frustrated I sold it to a wrecking yard for the cost of the ferry back to the mainland.

I had my dog with me. He was a Rodesian Ridgeback-lab mix. We hitchhiked back to Santa Cruz and made it in 3 days. We were helped along by riding in a boxcar all the way from Blaine Washington to Portland Oregon which took 24hrs.  His name was Beau...later called my little HoBeau.

We finally made it back to Santa Cruz and got let off at the 41st street exit. Seeing 2 guys sitting at the signal at Grace street on a motorcycle, he broke the leash and ran over and tried to climg on the guys tank. I trained him to ride on the tank of that Honda 50 I mentioned earlier as a pup...The dog was tired of walking.

The next day I took the bus to Oakland to take my physical for the draft. I was #1 on the lottery.

5 responses
I really enjoyed reading this. There was some funny imagery in there. I especially like the image of your hood blowing over the top of the car!
I was a young stupid kid. Had that hood hit a car behind me it would have been messed up. It could just as easily have gone through my windshield too.
Ah boys and their cars. My favorite boyfriend car was a 68 Chevy Impala with no center bar. Black exterior and red interior. Was huge. Loved it. I always wanted one of the Metropolitans. Cute little car.
The Metros were fun to drive. They got great gas mileage. Litterally you could drive all day on a buck back then in one of those.
And cute so cute. lol