All the cars I've ever owned
I should mention that when I was in the Marine Corps I didn't exactly "own" the vehicles I drove. But as
long as I drove them they were "mine". But aside from that these are the cars I have owned and a little story about each.
Some I wish I still had. Especially the BMW 3.0s. That was my first luxury car and gave me the bug for class early on. The
Ford Ranger was a great truck as well. And it would still have it as well because it was bulletproof. I never had any major
problems with it. I sold it with 188,000 miles and it still had the original clutch.
So let's begin with my first car...
1965 Pontiac Tempest Station Wagon
My first car. I bought it from a retired old lady at my grandmother's retirement home. She used it as a storage shed.
She was selling it for $150. That was exactly what I'd saved in one year of work "real jobs". You can imagine what kind of
car 150 dollars would buy even in 1979. But she assured me it ran and drove nice. She was right. But there was still a lot
of work to do. The heads failed one day on the way home from OKC and she finally threw a rod.
1973 Ford Maverick "Grabber"
This was the first car I bought from my dad's best friend Gilles Eades of Tuttle America. I bought several cars that his
daughter had driven when she swapped up. This car was a hideous color of orange with an orange interior. That is indeed me, proudly
standing by her in the driveway in Newcastle. It was sporty and had "MAGs" and I bought it for $900.
Gilles carried the note for me. Actually I think my dad just got a loan at the Credit Union and paid
Gilles and then got the money from me to pay the note. But it was a great car. I wrecked it
underneath a farm truck due to
following too close and having bald tires. It sat about 6 months while I found parts and my dad and I married the fenders
off a gold Maverick. The engine eventually failed after that.
1977 Cheverolet Malibu
Back to Gilles, and I got a note from the Credit Union myself if I remember this correctly. His daughter had gotten in an
accident. The quarter panel pictured above was crushed. Mine was a chocolate color. Gilles had put Slick 50 in the motor and this
thing ran like a top. I eventually put tall truck tires and gas shocks on it for a raised profile. I never again bottomed
out when I was racing up and down the dodgy Newcastle, Oklahoma back roads. I gave it to my brother. He burned up the motor
about 6 months after that.
Revised: My Brother read this and wanted to add: By the way,I read about your previous vehicles, on the Malibu-The motor DID
NOT get blown up by your brother. I sold that car,and it was still running like a top.
1974 Plymouth Valiant
Gilles's mother drove this one literally to the grocery store and church. Mine had a white vinyl roof and was "cherry".
This car had 318 cubic inch engine and weighed maybe 1800 pounds. It would fly. The fastest I ever drove it was 105mph. That's
as fast as I think I would ever want to go in a car on public roads. My roommate Ernie borrowed it one weekend to visit his
girlfriend and drove into a ditch. The front in was never the same and Ernie never copped to doing it.
Through this period I was in the Marine Corps and I got to drive some serious offroad vehicles.
Kaiser M54A2 5 ton
What can you say about this relic? My good friend Terry Bechtold and I managed to bury this 6x6 behemoth twice in the
same day during a cold and wet Winter Drill. I hosed mud off of it for 2 and half hours. The last time we stuck it we had
to be recovered by a M110A2 Howitzer. We had burried it to the pumpkins.
King of the battlefield in it's day. Range of 21 miles and you could hit a 3 meter square everytime with a 208 pound projectile.
Since I was the designated truck driver for my gun crew I didn't get to drive this very far only around the gun park and a few
times in the field.
7 Ton Truck
The M54 and this truck are seen towing the M198 howitzer. We transistioned away from the maintenance intensive M110s and
to the towed Niner-Eights near the end of my hitch. The M54's were under powered to pull the Niner-Eights and they got us
these 7 ton monsters. High tech considering the M54s. My best friend rolled one in California after I got while towing one of the
M198s. The 98 was unserviceable after that. He was cleared of all wrong doing. And even got a Navy Commendation Medal that year.
AM General HMMWV (High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle)
When I lost my truck to another driver I was the driver for the Battery Executive Officer. The Hummer was fun to drive and
even had heat! I never got it stuck but it wasn't cause I didn't try. I got out of the Marines that year, May 1988.
1974 Plymouth Horizon
This car was abandoned at the office building where I worked. The management company was gonna just haul it off when I
convinced them to give me 30 days to file a lien and take possesion. Which I did. After we put the clutch plate in it my total
out of pocket expenses were $150. Yeah. It had a VW motor and liked to slip it's drive shafts. I broke my right arm the year I got
it and had to learn to drive stick left handed and with out my right hand. Very exilerating I can tell you.
1974 BMW 3.0s
I dearly loved this car. I was my first luxury vehicle. Similar to it's European
cousin the "Bavaria" the 3.0s was the American model. The sunroof never worked. But I could open it by hand and did
often. This was the first car my oldest daughter Lecia drove. She was 6 years old and she drove it across the softball field
that was once behind the Indian Hills Steak House Restaurant. Janie was really mad when she found out. She wasn't as mad as
the time Lecia and I went skateboarding or in my day sidewalk surfing. Janie had forgotten something after just leaving for
work. And saw me surfing down the sidewalk with 5 year old Lecia on my shoulders. Wow was she mad.
The rich kid who drove this before I got it had driven it into a curb and tore up the right front wheel. Mike and I traded a
Clone XT computer and monochrome monitor for this car. Mike and I fixed it up, (okay mostly Mike) total
cost to me, $70. I was on a roll with cheap cars. She eventually cracked a head and I sold her for $500 for parts.
1992 Ford Escort
My first sorta new car. It was a demo. I bought it for Janie when she graduated from LPN school. She loved this car
and it never gave us any trouble. We traded it in for an Aerostar when we had our third child in 1993. Lecia was happy because
she no longer had to squeeze in the back seat between two car seats.
1993 Ford Ranger
My first new car. Mine was white and the long bed version. I drove this truck hard and it never failed me but once.
That was a five dollar belt tensioner made of some plastic material. The replacement was what it should have been when it was
built in the factory, steel. I replaced the spindles and the air conditioning in her. But those were the only major repairs.
1994 Ford Aerostar
Our first minivan. We bought it mainly to take the kids on our first vacation. The battery died and started leaking
when we hit Houston. We took it to the dealership and there were 20 cars ahead of us in line. So after I got out of the triage
I went to their car rental side and got a car. I went back to the van which was still in the triage bay to fetch my sunglasses.
A young man came over and said my supervisor would like to talk to you. So I grabbed my sunglasses and went to see him.
"Are you one of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children?" He asked me.
"Why yes I am, 0811, Fox Battery, 1982 to 1988." I replied.
"Me too," he said. "1959 to 1963, 0311. I'll have you out of here in just a few minutes, your battery has a failed cell,
I'll have it replaced right here and you'll be on your way."
"I have rented a car." I said.
"Let me have those papers." He took them and scribbled something on them, and said, "take these back over there and your all set."
I went over to the waiting room and told Janie we were almost ready to leave. She asked what kind of car did you get? I told her
head guy was a Marine and he "took care of us" and we'll be leaving as soon as they get the battery replaced. She had never believed
me about Marines all being brothers and taking care of each other. She's seen it a couple of times since then but she was happy
we were being looked after by men we could trust. The Aerostar burned to the tires on the Fourth of July in 1996. It had been recalled
for a faulty ignition switch which we never received being the second owners. I had just put four new tires on it and told Janie
we weren't getting a new van and that there was nothing wrong with this one. I guess I was wrong. Something was wrong with it and
we did get a new van.
1996 Ford Windstar
This piece of crap had everything but the Eddie Bauer edition features on it. It was my first car with a CD player in it. It
never did work correctly. The rear vent windows would alternately open and not close. But the dealer (Reynolds of Norman) could
"never find anything wrong". This one also had an ABS sensor problem that caused me to slam my head into the steering wheel one
time as I was transitioning from pavement to gravel. I took it back to them and they again told me "they couldn't find anything".
When the door locks wouldn't unlock and the driver's window couldn't be repaired we decided we should bail out.
2002 Ford Taurus
This was the compromise after the Windstar crapped out. I swore I'd never have another minivan. As this was Janie's car
to drive I pushed her toward the Taurus instead of the smaller Focus. We got hosed on this deal as they would only give us 1500
American dollars for our Windstar piece of crap. They knew it was crap because they had done all the work on it or I should say
lack of work to keep it that way. As of winter setting in 2006 we still had the Taurus. It is to be the Rooster's car when he
starts driving in a few years.
Right after my wife finished RN school she said I could get whatever I wanted. I had been looking at Jeeps and
Charlie Blankenship at Sports and Classics in Norman talked me into looking at the Range Rover. I wanted a Defender or a Series
which was very rare in my area at that time. But for what I was going to use it for the Range Rover made more sense.
I bought her in 2000. She was a salvage rebuilt but I bought it anyway. The price was right at the time and I wanted it real bad.
The rest is history. I look forward to buying a Series IIa 109" in a few years. I've always wanted one and I will have one eventually.
Some guys want motorcycles for their mid-life crisis. I know I am a terrible motorcycle driver and would have to have something
totally unique like an old Indian or BMW, maybe even and old Triumph or BSA. But I would enjoy the Series so much more
for where it could take me. And the fun I'd have working on it.