Saturday, February 13, 2016

I'm a car guy, plain and simple

I just read an article on Hemmings that really struck a chord. It was about a man who had just sold his old Dart. He’d had it for a decade and had never really liked it, never built it the way he wanted, and never even trusted the blamed thing. But he liked it.

He went on to explain that, although he happened to own the Dart and a Chrysler minivan, he wasn’t a Mopar freak. His friends insisted he was, but they were wrong.

Article here: Sold the Dart

I am much the same. Yes, I’m more of a Mopar guy than the author of that wonderfully written blog post, but I do not enjoy the limitations of exclusivity. If I were ever in the market for a new (to me) car, be it old or new, I don’t only want to consider a Pentastar simply because I’m touted a ‘Mopar guy’.

I cut my teeth on VW Beetles and owned quite a few in my younger years, including a VW-powered dune buggy that provided many, many weekends of pure fun. My first car ever was a yellow 1973 Beetle with a 1600. I’ll never forget that car and it rarely let me down. I have also owned a ’66 Baja Beetle, the Chenowth buggy previously mentioned, and worked on my sister’s Bugs when she became old enough to drive.

But we can go back even further. As a kid, I adored two cars: VW Beetles and early ‘70s Novas. I was all about Chevy. My uncle and cousin, both of whom I adored, were tried-and-true Chevy guys. Therefore, that was the only brand for me, thanks. In the end, I went with the Beetle, mostly because I had heard they were so easy to work on.

I have also held title to a wide range of other cars, including a ’76 Impala that was a hell of a cruiser, a ’67 Ford Fairlane 500 with a big block, my father’s old ’76 three-quarter ton four-wheel drive Chevy Camper Special (my first foray into the four-wheel world), a built-to-the-hilt ’88 Jeep Cherokee, a Ford Taurus (my daily driver to this day), an ’86 Crown Vic station wagon (damn, that thing rode nice!), and the car that sold me completely on Mopar, a ’68 Plymouth Sport Fury —— a ride I purchased at 19 years old and still own today. I will always own that car. Always.

I have also had a few bikes in my stable. My introduction into the two-wheeled world was an ’80 Yamaha 400 Special, if you don't count the 50cc scooter that took me to college for a year. It was no speed demon, but it was reliable as all get out. My next bike was ’78 Honda CB 750 Four. That thing was wicked quick and completely falling apart, which made for some really good times. Currently, I own an ’83 Yamaha 750 Bobber project, an ’83 Yamaha parts bike, and a big, bad old Honda Magna 750 project bike. Most things on wheels remain projects for a long, long time in my stable.

Anyhow, the point is that while I’m admittedly a Mopar lover, I’ll give just about anything a chance. At some point, I also plan on owning and driving an old Jeep full-size Wagoneer (pre-1976 to avoid CA smog crud), a late-sixties Plymouth Satellite, and a diesel tow rig pickup —— only Ford or Mopar on that guy. I don't have much interest in newer Chevy trucks. What I’d really like is a first-gen Dodge, but would take a big, bad older Ford in a heartbeat.

I’m a car guy. I’m a bike guy. I’m an off-road lover and a cruiser. Now, if I could only strike it rich, I could really get somewhere.

Until next time.

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