Anyone who knows me knows my relationship with cars. And that relationship is that I have no relationship with cars.
There was a time when I loved to have a hot rod, a smoking car that would make people “ooh” and “ahh.”
When my dad passed away I inherited his 1971 Ford LTD convertible. Even back then that was a pretty awesome vehicle, convertible and all. Then while partying on Long Beach Island way back when the water pump went.
That was the day I learned to hate cars – to the tune of like around $400. A mechanic – I think he was wearing a black mask and had a gun – told me that was how much it was going to cost to fix it.
Done. I was done, done, done.
I have owned so many cars over the years that I honestly couldn’t tell you how many. It’s less than 50 but not by much. My boys at Kennedy Ford in Pottstown say I am onto a third computer screen when they punch up my name.
I don’t care. I buy them, run them and never fix them. Over the past several years I have had the good luck to purchase trades from a certain order of Catholic nuns. Go figure. Hey, you would hope the cars would be in great shape and they have been. I did wonder about the one car that had this rocking sound system – and it was one of the nun cars. Some progressive nun, huh?
I have owned Saturns, VWs, Chevrolets, Fords, Chryslers, Mercurys. I have owned a truck, five VW bugs from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. I had a Dodge Charger I admit to running to 117 mph on the Pa. Turnpike when some punk thought he could outrace me. Not proud of that one.
And in total honesty I am almost 58 years old and have been driving since I was 16. I have had maybe three accidents ever and three moving violations ever. Of course one of those was a total miscarriage of justice at the hands of the West Chester Police Department and a certain district justice but I digress.
But never in my wildest dreams would I have figured I’d get stopped with the heap I am currently driving in what I can my transition car, that is, needing something to drive while waiting for something better.
In the last 12 days I have been stopped not once, but twice by local police. Now Upper Providence Police probably don’t count because they would cite Santa for driving an overloaded sleigh on Christmas Eve but hell yeh, they stopped me. Why? No clue. Still don’t know. The cop said he ran my plate. Why was that officer? Yeh, um, still waiting for an answer.
And on Route 252 a very polite Tredyffrin Township Police officer stopped me for what he said was a broken brake light.
The offending vehicle you want to know? A white, 1998 Buick LaSabre Custom. For real. Name me the last criminal you saw driving a white, 1998 Buick LaSabre Custom. I’ve become the joke of the house – probably the neighborhood. My kids snicker, my wife shakes her head and asks, “Can’t you find anything better to drive than that?”
I can’t say I disagree. And then I get caught up in the comfort of the plush, blue seats that wrap around me giving my tush something other than cold, slippery Ford Focus plastic to sit on. That Dynaride suspension only rivaled by its nearly-new tires and window stickers reminding me of its ever-present oil changes. Yup, that old man or old lady from Pottstown who owned this piece kept her in good shape.
And the trunk? Yes, the trunk. I actually can fit the ice hockey bags of me AND both of my sons in it. Hell, I could probably fit the both of them in there as well.
And before I forget, there is a retractable cup holder from the middle console that holds two cups of coffee – one for me and one for the missus – although she refuses to get into the car.
My sister said she is considering buying my chrome rims for it and my wife said she would throw in fuzzy dice. A real bunch of comedians.
But the real killer is that this car is the last one I’d ever thought would get me stopped by the police.
So go ahead and laugh Matt, Tom, Michael and John Armstrong of Kennedy Ford. Have your fun. I still counted as a sale for you and another line on the computer screen.
In a few months I will be back with my rod looking for the next in a long line of vehicles and I expect to be given in trade what a white 1998 Buick LaSabre Custom with Dynaride deserves. And a belly chuckle ain’t what I was thinking of.