First Car Wreck


As my octogenarianism grows into its fifth year, my mind continues to wonder as I wander.
blog post
Most people remember their first car wreck – I certainly do.

Remember my writing about the man who taught me how to pour babbitt bearings. The 1935 or 1936 Ford 1I don’t remember which wasn’t in tremendous shape body-wise, but he kept it well tuned. I tried several times to get him to sell it to me. In retrospect, I don’t know how I would have paid for it. And perhaps my widowed mother didn’t think it would be practical for me to get a truck when there were eight in the family.

It certainly would have been a coup d’état for me. In my pre-action imagination, the eighty-five horsepower V8 would be replaced with a Ford 90 or even a 110 hp Mercury engine. It was a cool vehicle for the mid-1950s and is still today.

I used it several times, if I remember the first time was when I towed the Model A hulk to the wrecking yard. And I used it to haul the lumber for the ice boat2I may blog that story sometime.. With his permission and my plot to own it, I started taking it to a friend’s place where his dad had an auto body shop. There were several not too serious dents in the truck, and I told my neighbor I could repair them. And I did learn how to fill or pop dents and spray paint using his vehicle as the object.

I’ll admit to going a little too fast on my way to the body shop one day. I started to slide in loose gravel but couldn’t regain control. Headed for the ditch and a driveway over a culvert, I pulled myself tight to the steering wheel. I broke my nose, but it was straightened from a previous football injury.

I walked to the shop, then my friend and I towed the truck to Neighbor’s place and parked it where the hulk had been. It was extremely hard to tell him what I had done. I offered to buy the truck again and at the price he could get if it weren’t damaged. He still wouldn’t sell it and said, I could repair it as compensation. I scrounged and bought parts, including a front axle and did the body work at the body shop.

I’m not sure what ever happened to the truck. I got a more practical car and my having a crowd-drawing vehicle fantasy faded for a while. 3Even in those days I had a drifting mind.

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