17 January 2011

'69...'71... Well, I do know that it was a Chevy Nova!!!

My first car was a Chevy Nova, gold, 4 door.  I bought it in College... I think my parents actually paid for it, though.  I never worked in high school, and really didn't that much at first in College, either.

So, I do know that we spent $500 on it.  And that it was a 'company car' before I had it.  I think it probably had a lot of miles on it, due to that designation.  And it was a bench seat in the front and had 4 doors.  The gold was probably the ugliest gold out there, even when clean! 

But, hey, it was transportation and I could fit all my friends in it, pretty easy.  It did have seat belts.  Whether we used them or not, I don't recall.  I'm pretty sure I used mine.  I'm very good that way. Of course, back then, you weren't pulled over for NOT wearing them, either.

I had it through at least 2 apartments... the roommates and I were always finding someplace cheaper to live, in order to stretch our dollars out as far as possible.  It went through many parties and trips to the beach as I lived in Southern California at the time.  Beach time was very important.  And you still could find a parking space on the street by the beach!  Now, those spaces are at a premium, I understand.

I remember driving it, a friend, and a six-pack up to Big Sur for one of the infamous camping trips planned by the frat.  I think that was the first time I really cranked it up and drove faster than the speed limit.  What a hoot!   I wasn't drinking, my friend was!!  I was still a little nervous and kept checking the rear view mirror for flashing lights!!  We arrived well after dark and had to turn off the lights to find the camp site.  That was fun.

It also carried a bunch of us up to Big Bear for the annual Snow Trips in December.  Living in Southern California meant that you had to drive somewhere to play in the snow.  The frat had planned these parties forever in December after the semester was over. It was a great way to blow off steam after finals and get ready for the holidays.  Snow Trip punch and the Pajama party.  Don't need to say much else about that!

In fact, that car got me home many a time after a party. I think it had a homing device, I swear.  I've told my girls this, too.  I have no idea, how in those days, any of us ever got home without an accident.  We all left parties after having had too much to drink.  And yet, none of the group that I hung out with, and it was a large group, ever had anything go wrong... We must have had guardian angels, every one of us.  I shudder at the thought now.

The demise of the Chevy came when I lent it to my then-current boyfriend, who didn't really care about other people's possessions, and he rear-ended someone.  The insurance company declared it totaled and that was that.  I was so mad at him.  Going through all of that taught me a big lesson on loaning things out, financial responsibility and made me grow up a little more.  I also realized that having insurance on your car was the most valuable thing ever.  The people he hit ended up suing me (as the owner) for some huge amount, and the insurance company handled the whole thing.  I never went to court.  Whew!

Fortunately, I did have a job at that time that paid well and after a month or two, was able to purchase my favorite car of all time.  It was a bright red, one-owner, '74 VW superBeetle.  And I just loved that car!