18 January 2015

Auto-Biography - my first car

A few days ago my 16-year-old son and I collaborated on his end of the semester History Project. The teacher assigned an "Auto-Biography" in which the students had to search out and write about personal automobile stories that meant something important to them or their ancestors. The caveat was that the paper had to include a minimum of three generations and go back in time at least 50 years. Of course, this got me thinking about my own life and the stories I might want to tell.

Photo from http://www.barrett-jackson.com 
This is not my original car but a fairly close match.

The first car I ever had was a 1969 Chevelle Super Sport. My parents bought it "used" in the late 1970's and fixed it up for me when I was about 15 years old, just before my Sophomore year of High School. It was gold and had black racing stripes around the sides. It was special to me not only because it was my first car, but it was also one of the last fixer uppers that my dad worked on and finished before he died.

Interestingly, the Chevelle was a gas hog; not a problem when gas prices were still under a $1 per gallon back then. It had dual exhausts and was LOUD--very loud. Sneaking in late at night was out of the question because you could usually hear the Chevelle long before I drove into the driveway.

Sometimes I wonder, whatever happened to the "old Chevelle"? Eventually I bought a newer less flashy car and left for college, leaving the Chevelle for my two younger brothers to drive. At some point it was sold and our family never saw it again. The memory is somewhat bittersweet. If the "old Chevelle" is still alive somewhere, it might be worth a tiny fortune today. It was definitely a car worthy of remembrance.


  1. What a neat assignment he has! I think it is great that you got to make those special memories with your dad fixing up your car. I remember fixing cars with my dad plenty of times and the "talks" we had to go along with them. I look forward to sharing similar moments with my own son someday.

  2. Thank you for your kind comment.
    Making memories with family is what life is truly about.