The Car Your Father Drove
This is actually kind of a weird one for me. My father really, really had a thing for cars. Here’s a list of what I can remember, from approximately oldest to newest, along with any interesting things I can recall about them.
1960s model Land Rover
Dark blue Dodge Prospector pickup (aka, a “Digger”)
Massive Ford station wagon with the rear-facing seat
1980 Ford Econoline van, camping edition (my first car)
1980 Toyota Celica hatch-back
Bronze Dodge Daytona (“The Vomit Comet,” as my dad has always been both an erratic and high-speed driver, and my little brother and I always had to sit in the back seats, which was a lot like riding in a very small, dark barrel)
Red Dodge Rampage (not sure what’s with all the Dodge models)
1968 Mercedes sedan (remember this one; it shows up again)
1975 Mercedes sedan
1984 Two-tone blue Ford truck (he brought it home from the dealership and ran over and killed my mom’s miniature schnauzer literally the first time he drove it up to the house–big bummer)
Toyota Tercel wagon
Light yellow Dodge Rampage (this is what I drove through much of high school; I would actually love to buy one to bomb around in)
1986 Dodge “K-Car” station wago
1988 Mercury Sable
1985 BMW 633i coupe (I was hot shit when my Rampage broke down [frequently] and I got to drive this to school)
1986 Ford F250 (green)
1988 Ford F250 (red)
1992 Ford F250 (green)
1989 Toyota Celica turbo
1990 (?) Dodge Daytona
1992 Isuzu Trooper
1994 Ford F250 (beige)
1968 Mercedes sedan (the same one; he bought and sold it twice)
1992 Cadillac sedan
1994 Cadillac sedan
1995 Mazda Miata
2006 Ford Escape
2006 Kia Sedona (probably his last car)
I know I am forgetting about a few, but that adds up to 29 vehicles in 38 years that I’ve been alive. I know he had umpity-jillion cars before I was born. It isn’t always that my dad had to have the newest and latest model; most of the ones I listed were bought used. It’s just that if my dad had disposable money, he bought a used car with it. I think he envisioned a whole life built around a certain model of car, and he’d buy it only to discover that the life he imagined didn’t really manifest itself.
Growing up, my peers thought my family was wealthy. I couldn’t figure out where that came from, and then someone pointed out that we always seemed to have a new car. I saw what they meant, but we certainly didn’t feel wealthy. The vast majority of my clothes were also bought used, and almost all of our groceries were generic brand. We grew a lot of our own beef. We didn’t really go on vacations, except the few times my dad hauled us to California for a business meeting and used it as a tax write-off.
Seems kind of weird, doesn’t it?