Thursday, April 15, 2010

New and Old Wheels

We have a new vehicle now, but Dad is talking about his old vehicles. He tends to get attached to them. If it wasn't for the cheese treats we would be falling asleep while he was talking.

Dad learned to drive and passed his driving test in a Ford Galaxy 500 with a three on the tree stick shift on the steering column. He bought a used Pinto Station Wagon with a four on the floor manual transmission in 1977, his junior year in college. When his graduation day he went over some railroad tracks and the muffler fell off. He drove another two hours home and thought for sure he would go deaf. That car lasted until early 1982 when Dad was in grad school. Early that year there was a sub-zero cold spell. Well, he started the car up and the engine was racing he tried pressing the pedal quick but the cold had frozen the throttle. He threw a rod in the engine.

Dad and his Brudder, Pinto Wagon 1977-1982

Needing a new vehicle quick, he bought a used Pinto Hatchback with an automatic transmission in 1982. After graduating with a Masters, he went off to to Oklahoma and his first real job out in the Oil Patch. He went through the Company training school but the oil patch was starting to see troubled times. He went from the corporate office to oil field and became a roustabout. The Pinto had a hole the floor and Dad could see the ground when he drove. He used to say his car had 3-by-60 air conditioning (two windows, the hole in the floor while the car was going 60 mph).

Pinto Hatchback - 1982-1983
In 1983 Dad bought his first new car a Mustang with a T-Top with a five speed manual transmission. He was working in the oil patch in a small rural Oklahoma town. That car went on several Ohio-Oklahoma road trips. There were numerous softball games too. Despite the fact he lived there just under two years, he made a number of very close friends that he still talks with. Oklahoma is the one place he felt that he fit in with the people. A lot of his friends called him Yankee because he grew up in the northern states. The corporate offices called him back to be a geophysicist and it was back to the big city. The oil field went bust and Dad joined the Air Force. The Mustang took him to Texas, North Dakota to California and back to North Dakota. He had a block heater installed and saw temperatures as low as -36 Fahrenheit in the frozen North. In 1988 he overheated the engine while spinning his tires as he tried to get across an icy bridge to take a friend to the airport. It never occurred to him that you could overheat an engine in sub-zero temperature.
1983-1988, first new car, a Mustang T-Top
Then came a new Ford Bronco II with a five speed manual transmission and four-wheel drive in 1988. The four wheel drive helped him move on the snow-packed North Dakota roads. He talked of snow snakes crossing the Dakota roads; and being able to see the stars above but not more than three feet in front of the car when the winds started howling during a white out. That SUV went to California, Arkansas, Texas, Virginia and stayed a year in Ohio with Grand-Paw and Grand-Maw while Dad was sent to South Korea. Dad then went to Florida. In 1999 he bought a new vehicle and sold his old one to a friend he worked with.
1988-1999, Bronco II, Dad last stick shift
In 1999 Dog Dad bought a Ford Explorer. Dad doesn't have any pictures of it new, so here is the a picture of it just before he sold it. That car was the first to be blessed with a dog in it. It saw Essex go on monthly Key West to Miami and a whole lot of pack trips to Ohio. It was the vehicle we first saw Dad in when he came to Holmhaven. We can see a slight misting in his eyes as he talks of his first moments with Essex and then Deacon. Dad says being adopted by Collies is about the best thing ever happened to him. When he sold his car it had over 111,000 miles on it.

1999-2010, the Explorer, first dog-mobile

Now we have a new 2010 Explorer. It will surely go on trips to Ohio to visit family and friends. It will have many new memories and stories. We will miss our old vehicle, but welcome the new.

New Wheels, a 2010 Explorer

Dog Speed,

Essex & Deacon


Jans Funny Farm said...

Humans do get attached to cars, don't they!

Jake of Florida said...

We'll show your blog to our dogdad, since he loves cars -- but our mom was more interested in reading about your dad's own story.

Very interesting! Roustabout huh??

Wirey woofs,

Jake and Just Harry

Mack said...

We LOVE your new set of wheels!!
Just imagine all the fun rides your gonna have in that thing!!

We loved reading about Dad's cars.

Dawn said...

Great cars! So much fun to remember. My college roommate was driving a pinto back in 1978 too...she named it Penelope!

Islay said...

That's quite a legacy. Reminds me fondly of my little Ford Pony - but I've now, after a brief tryst with a Peugeot, got a VW Passat and absolutely love it. I'm kicking myself because yet again I've missed the DWB chat - I always remembered the time in Oz, but can't seem to get with it here - hope I find you there next week cause I'm setting an alarm! Many treats and tail wags
-Charlie's Human

Tatum Tot said...

You lost me after "cheese"....

but the Mum says she enjoyed the stories and the pictures and she loves the shorts too!

Sunny,Scooter, (sometimes Jamie) said...

We like your new wheels. Mom said she had a yellow Pinto wagon. She bought it new and said she spent more time walking than with any car she has ever had...she decided never to have a yellow car again because they must be lemons. That was about bazillion years ago when her human pups were little.

deva said...

Nice one! There's still the other way if you'll need it...

Wheels Miami