Butter Rum Cartoon

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Sunday, June 1, 2014


It wasn't as shiny as this, but my first car was similar. I bought it for $75 from a couple on my newspaper route. It had a spotlight on the driver's side which could be controlled by a handle on the inside, for reading street signs at night. The car was built like a tank; you couldn't dent it with your fist; and it would lean outward as you took a turn.

Naturally I had all my friends climb into it for a joy ride. We once came to a dead end and in backing up to turn around I inadvertently ran into a huge metal pipe, denting the pipe but not making a mark on the car's hefty bumper.

Coming home, as we wheeled our way through Sultan WA on Highway 2, I noticed the brakes were entirely gone! Fortunately there were no cars going slower in front of us, and when we came to 2nd Street (which could be accessed from the highway back then) I did a fast sharp right turn that would have impressed any bootlegger in "The Untouchables." We rolled down the little hill, ran the stop sign at Main Street and continued up 2nd Street, coasting two blocks, and turned right into our driveway. Thankfully the garage door was open and we coasted halfway into the garage when the car finally came to a stop. My passengers were amazed.

Since fixing the brake line was a bit out of my paperboy budget, and since my Dad was upset that someone had sold me a car with such a dangerous leak, he took my coupe back to the couple on my paper route and got my $75 refunded.

Sigh. If only I had known what I know now, I would have happily saved up to fix the brake line, and would still have my 1940's coupe. Instead I went on to buy a new 80cc Yamaha motorcycle, a lemon of a bike that actually got up only once to the speed it should have, when a sudden vapor-lock froze the rear wheel and could have killed me.

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  1. That’s really cool that you bought your first car for only $75. If only we could find a deal like that today! My first car was a Cadillac and cost me $300. Comparing modern cars to the ones way back then, you’re right when you say they are build like a tank. I bet you loved the feel of driving that 40s coupe!

    Douglass @ Viva Kia

  2. Only 75 bucks on a car! That is insane to comprehend how far our money has come. Your first car is magnificent, I would love to start a project like that with my wife to revamp an old classic. My first car was a red mustang convertible that I inherited from my father in-law, great car but needs some attention.

    Domingo @ Viva Ford