My First Car
It was the summer of 1970, and I’d been working part-time since I was 15 to earn enough money to buy my first car. One Sunday morning, my eye caught a classified ad in bold print proclaiming “For Sale: 1964½ Ford Mustang” in the automobile section of the newspaper. Hurriedly, I dialed the phone to ask about the car.
My dad insisted on going with me to look at the Stang. We pulled up next to a gleaming red Mustang hardtop two-door coupe. I leaped out of the car and felt its long hood, my hands running along the line of the wing-shaped wraparound bumpers. I loved its low profile – the Mustang was just a few inches over four feet tall. Every detail of the car was fascinating! Even the fuel cap was embossed with the Mustang script and motif. “Oh, yeah,” I thought, “this baby is gonna be mine!”
She was sporty and red, Rangoon Red, I think they called it. The interior was white vinyl with red trim. This pony was sharp! The owner opened the hood and explained that this car was one of the first models ever made. It was powered by a powerful V8 and breathed through a 4-barrel carb.
The time came to fire her up. I opened the door, looking at the 2-plus-2 seating, thinking how good I would look behind the wheel. Turning the key, we listened to the engine purr. I hit the gas pedal a time or two to rev it up. Dad jumped in and said, “Ready to take her for a spin?” Boy, was I ever! Reaching over, I grabbed the shift lever on the floor while Dad explained the 3-speed manual transmission. After adjusting the station on the AM radio, we were ready to go!
For someone who drove around in a stodgy old Mercury station wagon, Dad sure knew a lot about Mustangs! He told me all about the extra-large stabilizer bar in the Mustang’s suspension, and how it produced the flat cornering ability of the car. He was a wealth of information as he explained the origin of the name “Mustang” and the horse motif. The car was named after the P-51 Mustang fighter plane and Ford’s philosophy that it would perform like a horse. The car could max out at 123 mph, so of course I got a small lecture on speed limits.
We made the deal, and I became the proud owner of a ‘64 Mustang. I spent countless hours washing and waxing her. She was, after all, my first love. I was the envy of all my friends! The girls all oohed and aahed over her, too. A little over a year after I bought her, I met another classic beauty. My first date with the woman who later became my wife was spent cruising on a starry, summer night in the car of my dreams with the woman of my dreams! To this day, we still have our Mustang, and once in a while we take her out for a spin, experiencing a little bit of first love again.
Bowling Green, KY