My very good friend Rod got married on Valentine’s day at the top of a ski mountain in California. It was very romantic, but unromantic when he got divorced a few years later.
When I first met Rod, he was driving a 1964 MGB fastback with a large British Jack painted on the hood. I liked him right away when he told me his first car was a ’59 Anglia, a small English car. My second car was a ’59 Anglia and we had a great time talking about all the dumb things we did in those cars that are slightly bigger that a roller-skate.
At the time we met I had a small 250cc Honda motorcycle that I eventually had an accident on and pretty much screwed up my right leg. I also had a 1962 VW van that pretty much looked like your typical ‘hippy’ van. That thing ran and ran and ran and ran until I stupidly sold it.
I’ve had a lot of cars that I shouldn’t have sold, but what the heck are you going to do with them when you’re a young person with no real home. My mother died when I was in the US Army during Vietnam. My father traveled the country with a pull behind trailer, so, nowhere to store any of these cars.
In my teens I had a number of jobs that afforded me money to buy cars. I had a red ’62 Alpine Sunbeam convertible, which is the car Maxwell Smart drove in the old TV series, ‘Get Smart.’ Bond, 007, also drove one in one of the movies with Sean Connery. It only had a 6 cylinder engine, but I drag raced it on Woodward back in ’65.
My old friends always remind me of a car I wish I still had; a lavender ’57 Lincoln convertible with white leather seats. I probably looked like a pimp, but that was one hell of a car. I remember driving that car on I-75 north of Detroit and the speed limit at that time was 75 MPH.
My true Valentine’s Day car was a ’62 red Pontiac Bonneville convertible with black leather seats that burned my butt in the hot summer days. The 389 engine gave the car plenty of power, but the heavier convertible wasn’t a good car for drag racing on Woodward, in the ‘60s, even on Valentine’s Day. However, the car was perfect for cruising all the drive-ins on Woodward.