My Youthful Addiction to Cars

Okay. I admit it. I’m a car nut…full blown, but somewhat restrained (my wife might think otherwise). My addiction to cars started at the tender young age 14. While my friends and classmates were thinking about sports and girls, my vocabulary consisted of forged cranks, quadrajet carburetors, hydraulic camshafts and the like. My days consisted of getting up, going to school, coming home around 4:00, and turning a wrench on my car until 9:00. Don’t have pity on me. It kept me out of trouble. 😉

I bought my first car at 15. It was a real gem that I discovered on a bike trip over to my aunt’s house via the shortcut across the golf course. I still remember the red paint, and the white vinyl top. I also recall the rust, the scratches across the entire car and the 4 dents seemingly placed with uncanny precision on each quarter panel and fender. I walked up to the front door of the house and spoke with the owner. I believe I asked something like, “I want to buy your car. How much?”. His reply, “$200”. What I did next would make Dave Ramsey proud. Negotiate.

“Hmmm. How’d it get all those dents and scratches?” I asked.
He replied, “I was out drinking one night when it was raining and hydroplaned it into a barbed wire fence.
I responded with “I was hoping to get it for less. It’s been sitting there for months. Would you take $120?
“No I need $200.”
“Okay. Well, here’s my name and number. If you decide you want to sell it. Call me and I’ll buy it for $120.” Then I walked away.

I recall receiving a call within 7 days and that beautiful 1972 Pontiac Lemans was mine.

Over the next several years, I got the car back together, disassembled the engine and put it back together with faster parts. New cylinder heads, new camshaft, tinkered carburetor, and I modified the transmission. I loved that car. Luckily, I never got any speeding tickets or had any wrecks. 😉

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