Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Car Shopping

The only new car I ever purchased was in 1973.  I had just taken a teaching job 40 miles from home and suddenly I found myself in desperate need of a car.  Dad drove me to Roy Robinson Chevrolet, where I perused the car lot.  The apple green Vega caught my eye, but it had a standard transmission.  I kept looking.   Here's how I became the proud owner of a brand new car:

A salesman approaches.  "See anything you like?"

"Well, the Vega's pretty cute, but I can't drive a stick shift."

"Let's give it a look.  You know it's just $2000!"

"Yes, that's a great price, but I don't want to buy it."

"It's a good looking car.  Do you want to sit in it?"

"Well, I can sit in it, but I'm not going to buy it."

I sit down.  It's quite comfortable, even with my long legs.

"What do you think?"

"It feels good, but I'm not going to buy it."

"Would you like to take it for a spin?"

"Well, I do like it, but I can't drive a stick shift."

"Why don't you have your dad drive and just see what you think?"

So Dad and I climb into the car and head to a country road between Marysville and Snohomish, Dad driving.  When there are no other cars in sight he stops in the middle road and comes around to my side.  "Now you try it."

I don't move.  "I'm not driving this car."

"You're thinking about buying this car!  You need to drive it and see if you like it!"

I don't budge.  "Well, I'm not driving it now!"

Eventually Dad gives up and slides back under the steering wheel.  We drive home in silence.  When we pull into the driveway my 17-year-ol brother Ted comes bounding out of the house.  "Cool car!  May I drive it?"

Ted and Mom climb in.  Ted drives to the high school parking lot; he's having a great time!  Finally he stops the car and it's my turn.  I make a few circles in the empty lot, shifting gears several times as I accelerate and slow down, killing the engine in my attempts.  Dad drops Mom off at home and drives Ted and me to the car lot.

"I'll take it!" Stunned, Ted and Dad look at me, mouths open.

I sign the papers, put down my money, get behind the wheel of my very own car and jerk my way back home!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience with a beautiful burgundy 1967 Corvair. I had to replace the clutch within 2 months. It was a long learning curve but can now drive any stick shift.