Car #1: Sept. 1987 - March 1988
1962 Dodge Lancer


I didn't get my license until I was 17.3 years old. April 1987. I kept forgetting to take Drivers' Ed in school, plus I was already a year younger than everyone (having skipped kindergarten), so I was a senior mere weeks from graduating before I even got my license. And this car? Purchased from my neighbor's Dad for all of $300, another six months afterwards. That's right... it wasn't until college that I was driving, but with this big brown behemoth under my control, I was Big Man on Campus.

For six months anyway. This thing kept overheating, the yellow foam in the seat cushions was becoming a rotten tapioca pudding, and the brakes felt like they were made out of wet badgers. And in 1962, their idea of "power steering" was a colossal steering wheel which was geared to take about eight revolutions to turn the car ten degrees. The wheel was housed on a really long, sharp column, and without the benefit of seatbelts in 1962 (that's right, there were NONE), that column would penetrate your chest cavity like a javelin if you ever hit anything.

But I loved the automatic pushbutton transmission system it had... little 1/2" rectangular buttons for P, D, R, 1, and 2. It was like a driving video game, without the video. Or scoring. I never once scored in this car.


Copyright 2006 David C. Lovelace