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Dad's R/T
There is but one car that I must have before I die: a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T. No, I don't want to paint it Competition Orange and slap a Confederate flag on the roof—but yes, that is the same car from The Dukes of Hazzard.

There is but one and only one reason why I want an R/T before I leave this earth: my father. Although dead for over a decade now, I can't help but thinking about the old man and the car he loved.

Of course Dad did have an R/T. It was positively his pride and joy and he could not wait to get home off the road (dad was a truck driver up until the day he died) and take me, my brother, and my mother out in that car.

Now I couldn't tell any of you what kind of engine dad had in his R/T. To this very day I swear to any and all that the car was a dark blue but my brother will swear on his life that it was green. I don't know which of us is right because there are no pictures of Dad and his car nor any paperwork left in the family records to tell us. I know that I could look it up if I really wanted, but maybe my brother is right and I just don't want to admit it. Either way, it really doesn't matter if it was blue or green—it only matters how it made Dad feel and how he made us feel when driving that car.

I do recall (and my brother agrees) that the interior was black and it reeked of Old Spice. Personally, I always loved getting behind the wheel of the car when dad was out on the road. I would pretend for hours on end that it was my car and I was hauling around my wife and kids. Some days, even my brother would join in and we would make a day of it.

Dad died in an accident while out on a run when I was 10 years old. Mom was forced to sell that R/T of Dad's and our lives were simply never the same again. Maybe I am obsessed with owning an R/T because I want to recapture that happiness I felt when Dad took all of us out when he was home. I have never felt that feeling since. Then again, maybe I just love the cool hidden headlights and the thought of 400 HP under the hood! No matter the reason, the Dodge Charger R/T will always mean much more to me than being the General Lee in that silly show. Cars are an extension of our personalities and my Dad had one helluva personality.

Gary Rightsell
Elizabethtown, KY
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