Riden Along In My Automobile

Well..........It's sort of hard to know where to begin so perhaps

it's better to just get started and see where it goes..........ENJOY
I'll try and get it into chronological order the best I can Sometimes
it's an "age thing" you know when you forget things in your life.

Most of the images are not the actual cars I owned. However, they
pictures that look just as the actual cars I owned. As I look around

in old family photos I may find some of the actual car pictures
to replace these.

My first car experience was not with a car I could drive or even owned.
I was 14 years old and needed to make a little cash. I also wanted to
learn how to work on cars. So Dad bought us a 1950 Cadillac Series 62
that we paid $35.00 for. The guy we bought it from had it's motor parts 
scattered on his pouch. It was my job to clean all the parts, scrape
off all the old gaskets and get things ready for new parts. The day
finally came one weekend when we were to put the thing back together.
I remember that Dad would put the ring compressor on the pistons
and it was my job to lean over the fender and punch the pistons in with
a hammer handle while Dad was under the car guiding the rods and
installing the new bearings and rod caps. MAN-O-LIVE I was putting
a motor together. It must have thrilled me because even today the
memory of the smoke from the wood stove and the smell of oil and
gas is still vivid in my ole' memory banks. At any rate here is what
she looked like.

After it was all together and running we sold it for $250.00. Wow I was in
"HOG HEAVEN". After the $50.00 for the parts we needed, Dad and I
split the remaining $200.00. Talk about something that could make the
pockets of a 14 year old burn.....that was it.

My next car love was Dad's 1956 Ford Fairlane. This was my first experence
with what was then, sort of a "muscle car". Dad ordered it new with the big
312 cubic inch T-Bird engine with the four barrel carb. Dad being young at the
time, couldn't wait to get dual pipes with glass packs on her. I remember my
ride after the exhaust install. Dad and I went out to the 5-mile area and let
her rip. Man....what a sound. I remember all I wanted him to do was go fast
and make the pipes "ROAR". In case you do not know it, the Y-Block Ford
engines had one of the most distinct "Barks" of almost any motor of that day.

This auto was very important in my life. It was the first rig I ever got
to drive by myself. It was Dad's 1946 Ford Pick Up. I was only 15 years old
at the time. Dad and I would haul building supplies up to the lake with it.
While we were there Dad would let me drive it over to the next bay to see
my friend Dave when he was out at the lake also.

Now, Dad's didn't have fancy chrome wheels, but looked pretty mush like
this one shown here. As I said before, I was 15 and a driving "green horn".
On one of those famous trips to see Dave I put her in the ditch and mowed
down about 20 feet of some farmr's fence. I offered to the farmer to come
back and fix his fence but he said as he was grinning from ear to ear.....
"Na, that's alright...I've been meanin' to take that section out for a long time".
I was scared because there were some new scratches on the fender. When
I got it back and told Dad he just grinned as big as the farmer and said....
"Goin' a little fast were ya?......did ya learn anything?  All there was to say
was "YES SIR"

You will see a little farther down on the page that this was where I learned

to use the reply "yes sir" when related to cars. I would need to use it again.

The next car in here was not one of mine. It belonged to my Father. But the real importance of this one is that it was his "BABY"....His "PRIDE AND JOY" No one should even lean on it. However, there was a great moment in my life and a sudden chink in Dad's armor. I actually got to drive it to a prom.  I don't even remember who I took with me to the prom. All I remember was driving Dad's 1956 Cadillac Coupe DeVille and scared to death something might happen to it.

My very first car was a 1950 Plymouth 2 door sedan. I was 16 and I just had
to have some "wheels". So......Dad helped me find something dependable. Dad tried  his best to convince me that "if I waited till I graduated from High School he would buy me a nice used 64 Chev Impala. No........I couldn't wait so I spent $85.00 on my very first set of wheels. Boy was I a happy camper.

Well, I had this one for a while until I wrecked it. I don't remember the details
but it couldn't have been my fault. So I sold it off whecked to a friend because
he wanted the engine out of it.

So...OK...I was without wheels again. Off on the hunt with some cash from
the first car and a little more I had saved up. Found another 50 Plymouth
sitting in the front of a wrecking yard out in Airway Hights. It looked good
and ran pretty well. It was the fastback model. Known as a P-19 body in
Plymouth launguage. The first one was the P-20 body style. However the
one I found wasn't quite "THIS BAD".  It did look almost identical to the
photo of the gray one shown in the picture........and yes mine was gray.

This P-19 body style was quite rare and everyone that wanted a 50's Plymouth was out looking for them. As you can see "HERE" They were pretty fine looking. In fact everyone liked them. Have a look at at this fine "HIPPIE COUPLE" with their 1950 Plymouth P-19. I had this car for a few years and it became the focus of a joint project with my friend Jeff Johnson. Jeff had a 1949 Plymouth. We both decided we needed to put Chrysler 'Hemi's" into them. Well, after many trips out to Whitie's Wrecking Yard we had what we needed. We secured some hemi engines and trannys out of a couple 1956 DeSoto station wagons. Then the work started. We would work at my house for a while, then at Jeff's house for a while. When we figured out a problem at one place then we would go effect the "fix" at the other place. Took us all summer long in 1966 to rebuild the motors and make the swaps. In my hemi I put in the latest Isky racing cam and a four barrel carb. Take a look at my HEMI BEING INSTALLED in Dad's garage. This puppy now was hot and fast. It had all that motor, 12" racing  slicks and 4' traction bars 12" racing clutch and a custom built floor shift that was 10 times as fast as the old "three on the tree".

My good friend name Dave (the one I drove to visit at the lake) used to trade
me cars on some nights so he could use my Plymouth to drag race down on
the old Spangle highway. I didn't drag race to much ya know.............YA RIGHT.
It beat a lot of the local cars including a whole bunch of Chevys their owners were so proud of. That helped ad to the fact that my Plymouth was on the
watch list of the police. Anyhow I used to take Dave's "1961 Impala" and
cruise Riverside in Spokane while he was out winning drag races.

All this led to a little trouble with Spokane's finest and the Washingtion State Patrol. I had a special interview with the WSP one day. I was 17 years old and had a rap sheet that filled a legal size paper. Lots of speeding, neg driving and a few accidents. The seargent sat me down and said "Ok son.....tell ya what.. I'll give you one last chance.... However if you get one more violation in the next two years I'll have your license till you turn 21......DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?" Well, I guess there was only one answer I could give at that time.....YES SIR !
Remember I told you I would need to use that phrase again.

So the 50 Plymouth got sold. I was on the hunt. The next one was no less of an "animal" than the "50" with the Hemi. It was however, dressed in sheep's clothing which went over a little better with Dad and Mom. This one was the rarest of all the cars I have ever owned and one of the rarest any one had ever seen even at that time. It was a 1958 Plymouth    "Fury Golden Commando".

Although that is not my original car in the picture, mine was just as nice. I found her through a lead from my Mopar friend Jeff Johnson. His uncle had the thing. It had been stored in a barn for almost 10 years. Yup........one of those "barn cars" you always hear about and I had one. She had only a little over 9000 miles on her. Jeff's uncle said he was going to try and get it started someday but never got to it. So............I whipped out my $600.00 as fast as you can "skim scum off a swamp". 

Jeff and I brought some gas and a fresh battery over to at least try and start it. Put the battery in, some gas in the tank, and primed the carbs.....Yes, CARBS. It had "Dual Fours".  Now for the big moment.......Put in the key and started cranking.........Nothing.......A..........little..........more...........prime...........and another cranking...............Suddenly it CAME ALIVE after a long 9 year hibernation. Man were we all suprised. From there I drove it out and on to home for a good clean up. After sitting so long it need some tinkering like a new exhaust system and some fresh brakes but she was a "Thing Of Beauty" for sure.  As I mentioned.....this puppy was rare. For all the specs on the 1958 Furry Golden Commando take a look at:

Car of the Week: 1958 Plymouth Fury
September 02, 2009

Courtesy of Old Cars Weekly Online

I have located one picture of my original Fury. It was taken out the kitchen window of me taking off to go somewhere. See it "HERE"

Patty and I were commuting to collage at this time and even with gas at about
$.35 per gallon, I just could not afford to drive my Fury any longer. It got just about 8 MPG. Just a little tough even with cheap gas. So I bought the family VW with the money from the sale of the Fury.

Owned this for a few years and used it to commute back and forth to college. We would fill the ash tray with all our change and that would buy us gas for the week. I took about $2.00 to fill the tank back then.

Well our next car wasn't really a car. It was "78" CL 350 Honda Scrambler. It came along about the same time as the VW. We later sold the VW and ended up with just the Honda for a while.

Great gas mileage and a lot of fun.........except in the rain. Patty and I took one famous trip on it up to my folk's lake place in the driving rain. We were going like mad when the heat shield fell off the exhaust system. We picked it up off the road and Patty held it while we continued our trip. Well, she soon burned her leg where the missing shield fell off. We finally made it to the lake. We were tired, soaking wet and cold to the bones. We decided maybe we did need some sort of car to drive when the weather was bad. Didn't have a lot of money you remember but we did find something in our price range.

So what was within our price range you might ask? Morris Minor.........what the heck was that? Here Ya go.....I think it was about a 1959 or so.

It was old and took constant work to keep it going but it was dry in the rain as long as you could keep the wipers and the heater running.


Buy this time it was late summer of about 1970. Patty and I were married and I was looking at going off to boot camp for the Army Reserves. So we sold the Morris and the Honda and found something a little more dependable. I went off to boot and Patty moved back home while I was gone. Patty came to Texas while I was in advanced Army training as an X-Ray tech. Our first born ( a girl we named Jammie) was born while in Texas. After the 9 month training we came home but our "wheels" were waiting for us.

Aint she a beauty?  Plain as plain could ever be. Had a 6 cylinder engine with a three speed manual transmission. It was at least clean. It was one of those "grandma cars" that everyone looks for. Served us well, even after we moved to Milwaukie,OR.

Next up was our 1972 Toyota Corona Mark ll. We purchased it brand new and owned it along with the 63 Chevy.

This is a stock picture of a 69. However the Mark II's did not change body style till about 74. So ours looked just like this one.

After the move to our new house in Aloha, OR we needed more car. (more kids by then). So our next family rig was a 1972 Caprice Estate Wagon that replaced the Toyota.

Ours was actually blue. However I have yet to find a picture of a blue one. Actually, this off-tan colored would have looked better towing our Apache Pop-Up camper much better than our blue one.

The Apache Pop-Up Camper       
"Image 1"       "Image 2"

Along with the Estate Wagon we acquired the SUV of all SUV's. A real thing of beauty in it's own right.  A 1968 Chevy Suburban.

Now ours didn't have fancy chrome wheels and tinted windows. However it did have hand built wood benches in the back. These were used to haul many a load of Campfire kids back and forth to camp in Oregon. Who knew you needed child safety seats. Just let them all bounce around. I think they had more fun that way even though it would be somewhat illegal today.

With the family growing we decided to try one of these things. Perhaps a little left over affections from the hippie days. It is a 1979 VW Transport Bus.

We bought this one brand new. However we did not own it too long. Our first trip from Oregon heading for Spokane we were in the gourge allong the Columbia river. The wind was blowing like mad and I could barely keep it on the road. The salesman never told us about that little problem.

There was one other problem with the VW Bus. The payments were almost $200.00 (outrageous). We sold it back to the dealer for almost what we had paid for it. There wes a shortage of those things at the time. That's how we ended up with the "Pickle Bus" as the kids called it. So we needed something affordable once again.  Enter our 1977 Ford LTD II Wagon.

Served us well, even after moving back to Coeur d Alene in 1979.

Sort of losing track here as we did a lot of car swaping during this time. We still had the 68 Suburban and I think we bought a 1979 Subaru. But the important part here is what we did next. We traded the little Subaru Wagon straight across for the next rig. This is one all the kids can remember well. They all helped us drive the poor thing to death. Drove a lot of miles in this thing and owned it a lot of years. It was a 1978 Jeep Cherokee Chief "S".

Ours did not have the chrome wheels. We had the stock white spokes. See another image of one of these rare beasts "HERE".

Well....That about does it for all the.......what you might call our
"AUTOMOTIVE FORMATIVE YEARS".  There were a couple in between here and there but none so important to work around.  As of late all we own are some of the later model "crap" with computers in them of all things.

Here I am wishing I could have back some of the great
old cars I used to own.

Many of the images were found on John Evans' wonderful site  http://oldcarandtruckpictures.com

If you are a car buff I would suggest you pay John's site a visit.
You can also get there by clicking on this beautiful graphic that he created.
with 1000's of automotive pictures.

 You will be glad you did.

I hope you enjoyed the history of my old "rides"