I heard my a-mom cuss once. Just once. She asked me if I wanted to see my father’s piece of shit. I had already heard all about my father’s piece of shit, he was very proud of it. I figured since both felt so strongly about it, I better go see it.
Mom and I got in the car, went to town and she pulled into the driveway behind the store where dad was keeping his piece of shit. Mom wouldn’t let him keep it at the house. She turned off the car, sat there for a moment, and then said, “Isn’t that the biggest piece of shit you’ve ever seen?”.
I had to admit it was a pretty big piece of shit. I was looking at a four door 1958 Plymouth Fury convertible, or what was left of a four door1958 Plymouth Fury convertible. The car had spent the last 20 years or so in a ditch and didn’t appear to have been in great shape at the time of it’s burial.
Dad had wanted me to come along when he recovered it. I had declined. He had already told me about the skunk and civet cat living under it. Dad seemed to think this added to the value of the car somehow. It was clear to me now that the car did have some value as a home for varmints, but probably not so much as an automobile.
About a year before this dad had decided that he wanted a car like the one he had just after he got out of the navy. This wasn’t anything like that car. Dad had owned a 1959 Plymouth Sport Fury Hardtop with the Golden Commando package. He had wrapped that one around a telephone pole. He did managed to find that very car in the junkyard they had hauled it to in 1960, still in a V shape, and considerably rougher than even the his latest acquisition. This was early on in his car hording, and he decided not to buy his original car back. I had always thought this was a wise decision, if only for karmic reasons. Dad always had lousy car karma.
He did manage to find a 1959 Sport Fury in decent condition and have it redone to his satisfaction. He had won a couple of small car shows with it and decided he was a car guy. This is the man I had to show where the oil went in on my sister’s Camaro, as in, “It would be the little stopper on the valve cover that says oil, dad.”
His response, “Where’s the valve cover?”.
You don’t have to be able to work on them to love them. Dad went about a mission of gathering every single Chrysler product produced between 1950 and 1960. Plymouths, Dodges, Golden Commandos, Golden Lions, and my favorite, the DeSoto Firedome. He wanted all the cars.
Dad’s passion for the car collecting didn’t sit well my mother. It bothered her a lot. I think dad kept buying cars just to piss her off for a while, then he couldn’t stop. He once asked me to tell mom that I had bought a 1965 Fury the he had just acquired so mom wouldn’t kick him out of the house. I played along but I don’t think mom ever bought it. She knew I was smart enough to never buy a product made by Chrysler Corporation. That and the fact that dad was ‘storing’ a perfectly well running car for me when I had plenty of room in my own driveway, was a real tip-off.
Dad still has a lot of those cars. None of them are finished. He half ass tries to sell them from time to time, but is convinced they are worth what they would be in good shape. I heard him quote someone $10,000 on that 1965 Fury the other day. It hasn’t been started or moved for at least ten years. Heck it would take a tow truck to get it out of the dirt. Dreams have a price, but that doesn’t apply to cars.
I’ve never had those kinds of illusions. I’ve picked up my share of pieces of shit but I always knew exactly what they were. I never had any illusions about Dodges, Chrysler, or Plymouths either. Never owned one, probably never will. Other than a serious look at a Hemi Charger, that I just couldn’t follow through on, I’ve always owned Pontiacs. I gave the title to the last Pontiac I bought to a very nice man from Kansas City today. I’ll probably never buy another. No more GTOs, Firebirds, or Grand Prixs. It’s Ok. I haven’t had time for the damn things for years anyway.
My husband asked me if I’d like to look at his new piece of shit yesterday.
It’s a 1963 Chevrolet pick-up.
He said if I hate it now, just wait until I drive it.
Guess we will be picking it up this afternoon.
Anybody want to buy a slightly rough Porsche? I’m going to need some room in the driveway.