to put the top down and go away, taking the keys with him. It was harmless. I had nomoney. If I had, it probably would have been an MGB, which Dad would haveprotested because he would not have been able to repair it; it being metric. But it wasmy dream.One day, shortly after graduation, one of the
members of the “
muscle car gang
me he was selling his ‟64 GTO –
red convertible with black interior
for $400. I had$400! I had been babysitting for many years and I had been a carhop at A&W untilrecently. The car was beautiful and fast, and I had to have it. The deal I made with
him was that it had to pass my dad‟s inspection first.
didn‟t raise a dumb blonde;
she just looked like one.
I suppose I suspected it wouldn‟t pass inspection, because it didn‟t. Seeing my
disappointment and yet injected by my enthusiasm
, Dad said, “Don‟t worry. I‟ll find youa good car.” “But I want this car! I want a convertible!” I cried. Two, maybe three,
hours later Dad drove into the driveway with the most beautiful midnight blueconvertible GTO with a black top and black interior. It had a real wood dashboard. I
couldn‟t believe it, and I was sure Dad had lost his mind. I couldn‟t afford this car.That‟s when he started his sales pitch; he‟d lea
rned from the best. Even though it had50,000 miles, it was only two years old and it looked brand new, not beat up like the
‟64. Yes, it was a steal at $2,000, but I could get $300 trade
-in for the Ford and,because I was buying it from the dealership, it could be financed for $67 per month. It
was a very easy sale. I was over the moon, and in love. It didn‟t matter who broughtthe car home, it wasn‟t going back.
However, I was in fir a big surprise. When it came time to turn in the station wagon,f
or real, I couldn‟t do it. As Dad drove away, I cried hysterically. I was baffled by my
own behavior and totally out of control. Even days later, when I saw the station wagonon the car lot, it saddened me to my core. And, when I saw it two weeks later, onanother used car lot, the lot where they dump the cars that only the deadbeats buycars, I burst into tears again. The bond was so surprisingly strong.But, now I had a new ride. It was a knockout. It had wide tires with beautiful rims, afour speed and a 389 engine. My attention, and every waking moment, was devoted tolearning how to achieve scratch in all four gears. I was a natural. It helped that Idrove it 4-5 hours every day. Even though gas, in 1969, was only 39¢ per gallon, Imanaged to spend $102 that first month, filling the tank 2 or 3 times per week.More than once, during that first year, I would set my hair in giant rollers, get in thecar, put down the top and drive to San Francisco and back; to dry my hair, of course. Any ex
cuse would do. Do you need a lift? I‟ll take you anywhere you want to go.
While in San Francisco, I honed my clutch-riding, hill-driving skills. I got very good atit. Better than I could do it today, without a clutch. I got too good, to the point of being bad. Aside from the wind-in-my-hair effect, I gravitated to the gift of speed.