Car History Part 1: The Crapsmobile


One of my favorite stories to tell is my car history. My truck is very dear to me, and how I came to get him is quite an entertaining story. So, I’ve decided to relate the story in 3 parts, one for each car that I’ve owned. So I hope you have some popcorn and possibly a tissue box (ok, you probably won’t need one, but I did at the time.) Here’s part one; Come back the next two days for the rest of the story.

Like every teenager, I couldn’t wait to get my driver’s license and a car. Getting a car meant freedom. It also meant I had to get a job. But before I could even start to worry about that, I had to learn to drive. Since I wanted my license before I was 17, I had to take driver’s ed. Mom was too busy to drive me all the time, so I had to walk to my driving sessions on Saturdays, which I found to be some cruel trick by the universe. There’s something humorous about walking to driver’s ed (and to your driving test), but I’m sure that’s how it is for a lot of kids. Mom would drive me to my morning classes during the week, and from there I would walk to school. I had an open hour that year, so I was never rushed. Usually once I got to school I hung out with some guys who were in the afternoon driver’s ed class and we did homework together. This way we were always ahead. By the end of my sophomore year, and despite many adventures involving me being the only teenager ever not to have practiced driving, I passed my drivers tests (both written and driving) on the first try.

My mom had agreed to give me her car so she could get a new one as long as I paid for gas and insurance. I’d been applying at places, but I needed a car to get to most places where I was trying to get work. I needed to have job to have a car and a car to have a job. Luckily for me, I did find a job at the beginning of the summer after my sophomore year of high school, right after I’d gotten my license. I was hired at a Subway/Baskin Robbins. I was looking forward to free ice cream, but I definitely wasn’t willing to walk the 3 miles to and from work all the time. Since I now had an income, my mom followed through and went to a dealership and got a new (to her) car. I had a car of my own.

My new treasure was the perfect first car. This is not because it was my dream car. It was the exact opposite. It was the ultimate grandma car. A bluish-green Oldsmobile Cutlass Sierra that had definitely seen better days. But it was mine, and I loved it. I could finally drive to school instead of riding the bus, and I loved giving my friends rides. I was on top of the world.

Until November.

I’d had my car for about six months, and I had started calling it the Crapsmobile. There was a huge crack in the windshield, the seat belt buckles didn’t like to do their jobs, and the blinkers were ridiculous. My left blinker required me to manually blink it, and the right one would not stop blinking after a turn.  I still loved the freedom though, and I took every opportunity to drive. My mom loved this, cause it meant she could send me to the store and I’d gladly go every time. It was on one of these trips, with my brother in the car with me, that my first accident happened. We were on our way to the store, on a very busy road, and we were pulling up to a stoplight. The guy driving behind me wasn’t paying attention. He didn’t even have his brakes on until he hit me.

The back of my car was pushed down so that the rear rubbed against the tires when I drove. The guy had not had his driver’s license on him and had asked me not to call the police. He had us follow him to get his driver’s license and insurance information.  I went since my brother was with me and in driver’s ed, they tell you the police only need to be called if the damage is over a certain amount. It turns out that this is not true. The car scraped and made awful noises the whole way home  The guy’s insurance information wasn’t even valid, so we never got our deductible back. My car was declared totaled, so we got some money, but not enough for a new car. I spent the next six months walking to work. My brother’s arm had hit the passenger door in the accident, and both of our backs were mildly injured, so we had to go to the chiropractor three times a week for a few months.

It was nearing the end of my junior year of high school. I was so tired of riding the bus, and not being able to hang out, and having to ask for rides everywhere. I missed my car, as crappy as it had become.

Tune in tomorrow for part 2: Thelma

Posted on January 29, 2013, in cars, Life, memoir, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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