First Car


As my octogenarianism grows into its fifth year, my mind continues to wonder as I wander.
blog post
My first car was going to be the coolest in town. Many of the coolest old cars of today are the ones we rejected when we were in our teens.
To be seen in a pre-WWII Plymouth sedan or other ‘granny car’ wasn’t cool. Now one like that can get over $10,000 on the open market. Even some of the other transports of that time are worth far more than then.

There were two cars in town that nearly every one of my peers and I wanted. The owner of a café frequented by teens had a four-door 1939 or 1940 Ford phaeton convertible. The other was a seldom driven 1941 Ford coupe owned by the spinster head librarian at the city library.

My first car never ran, but it didn’t cost much either.
Like many boys with a new license and visions of having something cool to drive, I got a free hulk from a neighbor. A few bucks at a wrecking yard got me a windshield from a 1935 Auburn Phaeton. How cool to have a rumble seated roadster with a custom windshield.

Our neighbor landlord had been a Ford mechanic and taught me how to pour babbitt bearings. I started to re-assemble the engine so I could sell it and get a V8 for what would be the coolest roadster in town.

Mother convinced me I was pounding sand into a sink hole, so I sold the hulk and partly assembled engine to the junk dealer. But I kept the Auburn windshield for several years.

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