Where We’ve Been

Where We've Been

Hey, Duane here! Like memories of a first dating relationship, early car experiences can last a lifetime. Here is a quick synopsis of my recent blogs on cars spanning high school and college.
Click any heading to link with that past blog.

(1st)  1971 Plymouth Barracuda, “The Pickle”

1971 Plymouth Barracuda
Purchased 1975, Sold 1976
Turning 16, I purchased a four-year-old 1971 Plymouth Barracuda, a basic version with manual drum brakes all-around and power steering as its only power feature. It was green inside and out, and nicknamed “The Pickle” by my sister and her friend. My driving style did not match well with this stripped-down car.

(2nd)  1969 Hurst/Olds

1969 Hurst/Olds
Purchased 1976, Sold 1978
Fifteen months later, I found my second car in Detroit and was one equally nervous and excited kid as I flew alone to drive it home. The 1969 Hurst/Olds looked so distinctive with gold stripes, ram air hood, and rear spoiler. It was everything “The Pickle” was not and possessed more power than most kids should have access to.

High School Senior Slop Day – 1970 Cord Royale

That’s me in the 1977 photo donning 1930’s attire. I borrowed this candy-apple red 1970 Cord Royale to drive to high school on Senior Slop Day. It was my father’s car and a “sleeper”. There was a Chrysler 440CI V8 350-hp engine underneath the classic exterior, making this car fast. The 1970 Cord was more an interpretation than an exact replica of the 1930’s era Cord. Entry was via suicide doors and if one was flexible, there was a small back seat. Left foot braking was necessary, like my Triumph, as the gas and brake pedals were shifted left in the narrowed footwell to accommodate the wide automatic transmission. Take care in changing lanes as outward visibility was severely restricted.

(3rd)  Identical-Twin 1969 Hurst/Olds

Two identical 1969 Hurst/Olds
Purchased 1978, Sold 1998
Now in college, driving my 1969 Hurst/Olds was an experience I loved so much that I purchased an identical-twin. This one was in nicer condition than mine and featured factory air conditioning. My first H/O sold to a guy from a neighboring state, and he was shocked when I commented that I had an identical one parked in the garage.

(4th)  1962 Triumph TR4

1962 Triumph TR4
Purchased 1978, Sold 1979
Soon thereafter, I purchased a cheap “bad-weather” car so my 1969 Hurst/Olds could remain garaged. This 1962 Triumph TR4 was modified with a 350CI V8 engine and automatic transmission. A tin can on wheels, it sure shot down the road. No heater or defroster made for cold winter drives and a perpetually fogged windshield on rainy days.

(5th)  1979 Hurst/Olds

1979 Hurst/Olds
Purchased 1979, Sold 1981
As a sophomore in college, I rationalized that the soon-to-be-released 1979 Hurst/Olds was attainable if I sold the Triumph and worked summers and school breaks to cover the monthly payments. What this new H/O lacked in acceleration and stimulation, it compensated with comfort and convenience. It was an adult car with adult comforts like heat and defrost.

College Graduation

I moved back home after graduation owning both the 1979 and 1969 Hurst/Olds. Later that year after working full time a few months, I wanted a life-change. I sold the 1979 H/O to eliminate the car payment, stored the 1969 H/O, and ventured east for a while. Oh, the impulses of a recent college graduate.

Next Sunday meet the Pinto and my new Supra. Thanks, and always drive with allure!

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