My first car was a 1986 Chevy Caprice Classic. It was my parents’ car, and when I turned 16, they let me have it when they bought a new mini van. Although not exactly a teenager’s dream car, I loved it. It went by several names…The SS Crowder and the Tan Tank come to mind. Man, my friends and I had some good times in that car. I also drove my sister to school for two years in that car. Man we had some fights in that car…
Here is a picture I found that shows what my car looked like…oddly it appears to be in some sort of Italian village, which would not be a very easy place to drive an 86 Caprice.
Sadly, before I went off to college, we sold the Caprice. I have truly missed that car ever since. Well, last week I found myself in need of a new vehicle as the old Ford Focus was on its last legs.
We last had a minivan in 2010, and since we’ve had two vehicles that only seat five apiece. This has been somewhat problematic whenever grandparents visit, or when I need to take groups of kids on field trips at school. Sometimes you just need to seat more than five people.
So, I started looking for vehicles a while back. I looked at SUVs and other minivans (against my personal desires), but I kept coming back to my whimsical desire for a big car…like I had back in high school…
There were a couple of moments this year that really cemented that desire in my heart. First, the family and I went on a HUGE roadtrip this summer throughout the west. We actually rented a car for the trip, and when I went to the the rental counter the day of my pickup, the car we ordered wasn’t there. So the not-so-friendly rental clerk asked me if I’d like to upgrade for $5 a day. I asked what my options were.
“A Town Car or a Prius,” said the unenthusiastic clerk.
I took the Prius.
Now the Prius was awesome for our long trip. As my wife will tell you, I obsessed over the incredible gas milage we were getting…I believe I exclaimed, “LOOK AT THIS MILAGE!” at least four times a day. But something happened in Eunice, New Mexico that planted a seed in my head.
We had stopped to stretch our legs in this little oil town, out in the middle of nowhere. While taking a walk, I noticed a Lincoln Town Car parked along the street. I said to my son, “That’s the other car we could have gotten instead of the Prius.”
His eyes got big as he stared at the gargantuan slab of American metal parked nobly before him and exclaimed, “That car is awesome! We could fit all my friends in it!” He looked at it with wonderment, staring in the windows and describing how he could fit his friends inside. Now, being a small person with a limited social circle, he was telling the truth. He COULD fit ALL his friends inside that massive car. Anyway, from that point on, the boy was on the lookout for Town Cars. For a while, whenever he saw one, he would point it out, and state his desire to get one to fit all his friends in. It was adorable.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving. My lovely wife’s entire family came down to St. Louis for Thanksgiving. Her grandpa is an 80 year old trucker. He drives A LOT. Being of a more experienced age, he drives a Mercury Grand Marquis. One night, the whole family went to the movies. There were ten of us, and we decided that six of us would go in the Mercury, while the other four would go in my in-law’s Prius. I got to drive the Grand Marquis. My daughter sat on the middle front bench seat, along with her great-grandpa, and we had a full three in the back as well. The daughter loved it…I loved it. It was like driving a comfy couch, gliding down the road. It brought back a lot of memories, and I thought that this was the sort of vehicle to make memories in.
So, fast forward to last week. After some searching, I found the car of my rather unusual dreams.
A 2007 Lincoln Town Car.
Amidst my Internet research, I discovered that the average age of a Town Car buyer is 69 years old. The dealer even looked at me funny when I said I wanted a test drive.
But I don’t care. I got a deal, sold the Focus for more than I bought it for 2 years ago, and am now gliding down the road like a senior…in high school again.
The car already has a couple of nicknames. My daughter and I like “The Silver Bullet” while my son likes “The Silver Fire” (Not sure where that came from). We drove up to Michigan with it last week, and the kids enjoyed the ride. I found it very comfortable for a 521 mile trip. It certainly held all our Christmas supplies with ease.
I hope this car lasts a while. I even have dreams that it might be my kids’ first car. But mostly, I hope my family and I make some awesome memories in this car. That Caprice was the car of my youth and we had a lot of good times in there as a kid and a teenager. I am hopeful that the Silver Bullet can be part of my family’s memory making experiences in the days, weeks, and years to come.
I know this doesn’t have anything to do with food, but man, I think the two are similar. People really have strong memories tied to both. So, with that said, and with Christmas approaching, I have two questions.
What car (or food) do you have the fondest memories of?
How do you recapture those memories today?
Have a Merry Christmas everyone!