When I was growing up, I couldn’t wait to drive. To me driving meant that I was a grown up and would be taken seriously. I grew up in the country where you could drive a tractor or an old truck in the fields to bale hay and you didn’t have to wait until you had a driver’s license to drive in the field. So that is where most of my generation began.
I remember hearing stories from my mom and dad and their driving adventures. They were much more interesting than mine and my sister’s were!
We had an old Chevy truck on our place which we used for baling hay and my parents drove it on the road. It was a standard shift, 3-speed on the column. It was fascinating to my sister and me. It also had a hand choke and a starter button on the floor board. You had to push in the clutch, give the gas pedal a push while pushing in the starter button with your the heal of your foot at the same time. You also had to operate the hand choke at the. All of this, just to get it started. They also did not have power steering or power brakes. I loved that old truck. I have often wished that I could find one and completely restore it to brand new for my dad.
I remember my parents talking about the times when they went to a junk yard to purchase a vehicle. I think the car that they brought me home from the hospital in cost them $25 and they drove it for quite some time.
My parents first new vehicle was a 1965 Mustang. I was about 4 when they bought that car and I got to go with them to special order it. It was black with red vinyl interior. Very sharp. It was totaled in an accident shortly after they bought it and they purchased a 1966, red Mustang with black interior.
Each of these vehicles cost slightly over $2,000 new. The Black 1965 cost the most as it was special ordered. My parents always detailed their vehicles and they traded them in, they looked like new. Everyone wanted to buy their used cars and it is still that way.
Very few vehicles came equipped with air conditioning, an automatic transmission or power steering. Those were considered luxury items. Today you would never think of purchasing a new vehicle with air conditioning. If you purchased one with a standard shift transmission you would be doing it to feel sporty?
My first car was a 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass. It was gold and only 6 years old. It had a V-8, 350 engine and used Premium gas. It was a great running car. I had that car for quite a while before it was passed on to my younger sister who drove the car for several more years. She had it painted dark brown and drove it until it had over 100,000 miles which was a lot of miles in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
Today kids want to start off with a new car. They don’t want something with a blemish or a feature that doesn’t work. Getting one from a junk yard would be the end of the world!
Another thing that I have noticed is that kids aren’t as anxious to drive as we were. Neither of my daughters drove before they were 17 0r 18 years old. Times, kids, and vehicle sure have changed in the last few years.
Family Fun Day is on Saturday at Harter Park. We hope to see you there. The event will start at 4 p.m. Fireworks at Harter Park July 5 at dusk
11th Annual Photography Show is July 22 to Aug 14 at the Arts Depot. It will be on display during regular business hours. Entry deadline for submission and drop-off of photography for the show. All work must have wire hangers to be accepted July 18.
Victoria Horsley is a volunteer citizen columnist who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her community column Union City News Reel. She can be contacted with local events, news, birthdays or anniversaries at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 937-467-3945. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.