Thursday, May 14, 2009

My First Car

There I was looking through some old photo albums, and what do I find? Pictures of the first car I owned. It was a 1975 Datsun B210. I bought the vehicle from my parents in 1986, when it was already 11 years old. I drove it for another decade. So the Datsun was there for my first date, my first job, my high school graduation, my college graduation, the day I received my master's degree, and the day I got married.

Here are some of the notable characteristics of my Datsun B210, the pinnacle of mid-70s Japanese automotive craftsmanship:
  • Color: Blue - except for the rust spots that covered about 40% of the body.

  • Acceleration: Zero to 60 in uh . . . well it eventually hit 60 mph, if traveling downhill.

  • Sound System: AM radio with one small dashboard speaker. Great for listening to Paul Harvey talk about the rest of the story.

  • Heater: Worked well in the summer.

  • Air Conditioner: Roll down all four windows and hope for a breeze.

  • Seats: Ripped vinyl. Able to reach temperatures in excess of 212 Fahrenheit when parked in the sun. Great flesh-searing summertime fun.

  • Floormats: Effective at hiding the holes in the floorboard. Kept me from being distracted by the street whizzing by below.

  • Engine: Well, I know it had an engine. I saw it many times when opening the hood to refill the radiator. Never did get that head gasket leak fixed, but dozens of bottles of Bar's Stop Leak kept me on the road.

  • Starting: Gotta give it up here for the Datsun. Though it sat outside all year long, the car was a consistent starter. Even on bitterly cold winter mornings, the Datsun coughed to life more often than not.

  • Endearing Quality: The engine would sometimes die while I sat in a busy intersection waiting to make a left turn. Good times.

I have mostly fond memories of my first car. It may not have been "a sweet ride," but for ten years it took me where I needed to go. My old blue Datsun was a good car . . . the same way that Marley was a good dog.

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