The Cars we Drive...say a Lot About Us!
They emit icon warnings on the dash board.
They can sputter and fume...they can purr and rattle.
They can incite the driver to race or to drive a leisurely pace.
They advise when gas or oil is low; when a tire is to be changed.
They can beep and siren (if police or fire engine or ambulance).
They long to be owned and loved ~ as an animal yearns to be adopted.
They sell their body by style and colour as a woman dresses to appeal
They’ll give you directions if you install a GPS.
Bumper stickers, they apply to “make a statement”.
Autobiography of a Mercury
(nicknamed “Black Beauty”)
“I was born in 1939 in the Ford plant in Windsor, Ontario. My VIN is 56906. I'm classified as a Series 99A 4-door Town Sedan with a V8 engine of 239 cubic inches and a curb weight of 3,013 pounds. My first owner paid $957 for me, and I was worth it.
“That first owner was a Polish immigrant to Canada who lived in Kitchener, Ontario. I meant a lot to him and he always kept me housed in a garage and never drove me in the winter. Fortunately, he was able to walk to work at the Electrohome plant in Kitchener. He kept me for 34 years and when he was 59, he found another loving home for me. By that time, my odometer read 18,173 miles.
“There were 3 other employees at the Electrohome plant who were interested in making me a part of their family. When the day came, my first owner selected a man from Listowel, Ontario as my new owner because he was paying my full price by cash. My second owner was a real Ford enthusiast who took excellent care of me during the next 15 years. He had my body repainted and my seats and floor reupholstered. Most of the time he just washed and polished me. He had a very clean building where he kept his other cars and I was always indoors with them.
“In September 1988, Ian Panton from Oakville fell in love with me on his journeys through Listowel and my owner finally agreed to sell me to Mr. Panton. By that time, my odometer read 22,812 miles. My engine was rebuilt and my transmission was overhauled along with the usual washing and polishing. Every winter, I was lifted up onto my frame to take the weight off my springs. Perhaps the greatest highlights of my nearly 10 years with Mr. Panton were being the wedding car for his daughter's marriage and driving in the Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise. In 1998, I went to another good home in Troy, Alabama.”
This autobiography was written by Ian Panton in Kingsville, Ontario and published by Bill Sherk in the Wheels section of the Hamilton Spectator. Bill further adds that the first Mercury was introduced for the 1939 model year to fill the price gap between the Ford Deluxe and the Lincoln Zephyr.
Bill is known as The Old Car Detective
and can be reached at...firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends of mine, newly married, exchanged “personalized licence plates” on Valentine's Day:
Luv U and Luv U 2
Discover Wild Life ~ Raise Twins!
The Earth is Full ~ Go Home!
The Cardiologist and the Honda Mechanic
(Thank You,Tom, for this car story)
Working in his garage, he noticed a well-known cardiologist in his shop entry. The cardiologist was waiting for the Service Manager to come and take a look at his car when the mechanic shouted across the garage, “Hey Doc, want to take a look at this? The cardiologist, a bit surprised, walked over to where the mechanic was working on the Honda. The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, “So Doc, look at this engine. I opened its heart...took the valves out...repaired or replaced anything damaged...and then put everything back in...and when I finished, it worked just like new. So how is it that I make $24,000 a year and you make $1.7M when you and I are doing basically the same work?” The cardiologist paused, leaned over and then whispered to the mechanic,
“Try doing it with the engine running!”
(thanks to Dilu and Meg who both knew this would amuse me)
If my body were a car, this is the time I would be thinking about trading it in for a newer model. I’ve got bumps and dents and scratches in my finish and my paint job is getting a little dull…but that’s not the worst of it.
My headlights are out of focus...and it’s especially hard to see things up close.
My traction is not as graceful as it once was. I slip and slide and skid and bump into things even in the best of weather.
My whitewalls are stained with varicose veins.
It takes me hours to reach my maximum speed. My fuel rate burns inefficiently.
But, here’s the worst of it…almost every time I sneeze, cough or sputter…either my radiator leaks or my exhaust backfires!
Oh! How we love our cars! And we are so dependent on them…we cannot visualize ‘life without a car’. To many, cars are our side-kicks, our friends who transport us from A to B to C…and our 4-wheel pride of ownership whose style, colour and comfort suits our lifestyle. I wonder if cars have sensibilities…they do communicate in ‘car language’…as do birds with other birds…as do animals in their woodland and jungle tongue. I know of men having a ‘love affair’ with their vehicles ~ even addressing them romantically!
Merle Baird-Kerr...scripted May 9, 2014
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