These are the memories of my first vehicle, given to me by my dad, my junior year of high school.
My first car was a 1973, 2 door white Chevy Nova that could hold up to five people, and had a 3 on the floor with a 289 V-8 engine. Well the rear end was that of a 1973 Chevy Nova and the front end was from a 1972 Chevy Nova. It was rear real drive, had an old 8 track player, it even came with the old eight tracks, mostly truck driving music. Their was rust on the doors, and the rear quarter panel, and a large hole on the passenger side floor, that was covered up with sheet metal. I didn’t mind the missing floor it was on the passenger side, but it could get pretty breezy in the winter. This car was quick and could burn rubber.
I had on their the old shiny spoke hub caps, cool back then, but in all reality pretty cheesy. The car always smelled like gasoline and oil. Their was no air or heat, but ran like a champ. It sure wasn’t the kind of car to take out on a date. My father was a diesel mechanic, and this was his old work car. By the time I was given the vehicle it didn’t look like much, but none the less it was an awesome car, and a lot of fun.
Years earlier my father, and his best friend rebuilt the car from scratch. I remember going with my father to his friends house on the weekends as a kid, and watching, helping or getting in the way as they were rebuilding the car. I remember thinking how cool it was when they finished.
Well, it was my first week of having my car, and I was out cruising around with a friend down at Southgate shopping center, about a mile from our home, with the music blasting thinking how cool we were, and I burned out the clutch. I thought oh boy, I am in trouble now, my father is going to be mad. I was in high school, I didn’t have the money for the tow, so I knew this wouldn’t go good. I had to make the call, I couldn’t leave the car at the shopping center.
I told my friend he should walk home or find a ride, he agreed everyone knew my father, he was big and angry, you didn’t mess with Mr. C. So I dug around for some change, and walked over to Kmart to use the pay phone. When I called home my mother answered the phone, I knew she would, my father wouldn’t talk on a phone, let alone answer one. Well I told her I was broken down at Southgate, and she had to send down dad to help. Her response was the same as mine, Oh boy, your in for it.
Well, about 15 minutes goes by and my father shows up, and you could hear him yelling a mile away. I thought for sure the cops would show up but they didn’t (hell the cops were afraid of him to). He tinkered around with the car, all the time yelling and screaming but he got the car running, and I drove his car home. After he calmed down the next day, Sunday, we went up to forest city auto parts, and picked up a clutch, and repaired the car.
I was back on the road again. I didn’t want that to happen again, so I tried to be more careful. It didn’t take long for another mishap, a group of us decided to go downtown one Saturday night, and cruise through the flats, and downtown. The flats is were all the bars were in Cleveland, and we thought we would check it out. So were out cruising the flats, and downtown Cleveland.
We headed on down to the east ninth peer, there was a place called Captain Frank’s a restaurant, now the Rock Hall of Fame is there. We were going to hang out on the benches and throw rocks, watch the ships, talk etc.
As we were approaching the peer, I apparently was traveling to fast, and I didn’t know that their were pot holes the size of Volkswagens, and I bottomed out the car. I ripped the entire exhaust system off. (The week prior my Father and I put an entire new exhaust on the car, the new exhaust was less then a week old. Oh boy was I in for it).
A policemen was in the parking lot, and he walked over, and told me slow down. I just shook my head yes sir, with the car turned off, I didn’t want a ticket for loud exhaust. Well, after he left, I picked up my exhaust put it in the trunk, and took everyone home as quietly as possible. Downtown Cleveland was only about fifteen miles from our home, but that is a long way with no exhaust on a V-8 engine. I made it home without a ticket.
I thought oh my God, how am I going to explain this one, after all my Father paid for the new exhaust, and put it on. What is one to do? The house next to us was empty, and I would always park my car in their driveway, not to block are driveway so my parents could come and go without moving the cars around.
Well, I wasn’t going to let him know that I ripped the exhaust off, so I stopped driving the car for awhile, until I could get the money to get the exhaust fixed. My father worked second shift at the post office, so after school I would place the car in different positions in the empty driveway to make it look like I was driving the car. This worked for about 2 weeks.
The second weekend we were all home, and my father said how come your not driving the car, my response was, I didn’t have any gas money. Well, wouldn’t you know he gave me a twenty dollar bill to go get gas. Now, what am I suppose to do, I had to think quick, oh thanks, but guys are picking me up later. So, I quickly called some friends and got out of their.
The following week, I came home from school, and my car was not in the neighbors driveway, so I peaked around into the backyard, (at that time we didn’t have a garage) and their it was up on jacks in the backyard. Oh my gosh am I in trouble.
I wasn’t about to go home, so I went to the neighbors house across the street. His name was big Dave, he looked at me and said what in the world did you do? My answer, what do you mean? He said the entire neighborhood could here your father yelling and screaming. Then big Dave asked, was he in the war or special forces? I responded, he nuts, I don’t know. Well, I got some advice from big Dave, and headed home to face the music. After being yelled at for about two hours we had the new exhaust back on the car.
I was off running again, this time exercising extreme caution when driving. I was always the one to drive, no one else had a any wheels then. I always liked to drive so it was no big deal, everyone chipped in for gas and we always had fun.
It was a Friday night, my buddies and I were off to a party, and we stopped to get gas, and wouldn’t you know when I was filling up, I put diesel fuel in the tank not paying attention. (hello) The gas station clerk came running out, hey (stupid) that’s diesel fuel, to late I had already put about 5 gallons in the tank. Now I thought, can I get break, what is this going to do the engine. The service station clerk said it would be ok, but it will blow a lot of smoke and run rough. I thought well just have to cruise around until all the gas is out. I couldn’t take the car home blowing smoke like that, I think my father had enough of me, I didn’t want to have my vehicle taken away.
Well, we cruised around town blowing smoke, it was like a train, but out of Chevy Nova. We would pull up to other kids, and rev up the engine, and smoke them out. It was kind of fun. We left a trail of smoke everywhere we went that night. We went down to Garfield park, where the Garfield kids hung out, and smoked them out, and they didn’t even no who it was us. One of the other kids idea. That evening I ran the gas out and filled up with regular gas, and had no problems with the car. Thank goodness.
It was New Years Eve, and their was a big party. I picked everyone up, and we were off to the party, and were having a great time, but it was a almost midnight, and we all decided to go to another party. We didn’t want to miss out on the ball dropping, we were off and running, and this particular night their was a blizzard.
We had crammed 10 people into the car, and began are journey to the next party. I was turning at the intersection of Rockside road and Northfield road, and a policemen was on the opposite side. As I began to turn the corner we did a complete 360 in the middle of the intersection, right in front of the cop. I slid into the curb and lucky enough there was no damage, I just backed up and kept going.
I kept thinking to myself, how much will this ticket cost, ten people in the car some of them drunk and all of us were underage. Well, to my surprise the cop must have been in a good mood, he didn’t even stop us. Wow did I get lucky that night. I couldn’t imagine explaining this one to my father. I would have had my car taken away for sure.
I was at a red light one evening on a slight hill and I let the clutch out, and I rolled backwards into another vehicle, slightly bumping the front of that car. Here we go again, luckily enough their was no damage, and I got out of the car, and walked up to the people, smiled and said there is no damage it was just a bump. They smiled back, and said it ok’s, and I was out of there.
These are just a few of my memories of my first car, and they will be with me for a forever. I had made quite a few mistakes, but I learned a lot from these experiences, they will always be cherished. I hope you have enjoy some of my memories of my first car.
Good day to all