I was thinking about some of the cars I have owned and driven during my lifetime as I walked along Wildcat Boulevard one morning. Perhaps it was a pickup with an especially loud muffler that made me begin these thoughts.

I was thinking about some of the cars I have owned and driven during my lifetime as I walked along Wildcat Boulevard one morning. Perhaps it was a pickup with an especially loud muffler that made me begin these thoughts.
The first car I drove was my parent’s car. They had bought a new one, and I was given their 1951 Ford. It was a baby blue, two-door Deluxe(not fancy).
One day my cousin and I decided to paint it black. We used brushes to paint the car. It never looked very good with brush marks in the paint.
My first unusual car was a 1954 Volkswagen that I bought and drove while in Germany during my US Army days. I paid $200 for it and it served us well for the year Kay spent with me there. We lived about 25 kilometers from camp, and it took me back and forth every day. I still recall the German words for twenty-five liters of gasoline I bought each week.
Before I got back from Germany, two of my Oklahoma brothers-in-law bought a 1962 International pickup for us to drive. Kay and her sister loaded it full of “attic” furniture and took it to my parent’s home in Minnesota.
The pickup served us well on the farm, and I drove it to college when I returned several years later. It ended up on a farm near where I first taught school, and I would occasionally see it in town. It was like seeing an old friend.
Strange things seemed to be a part of some of the vehicles I have owned after we moved to Neosho. The first pickup, a Chevy, had a bullet hole behind the driver’s door. Apparently, a previous owner had carried a loaded rifle on a rack behind the seat. Sometime a rifle had gone off and pierced the pickup cab.
Another car would misfire when it was first started. I took it to the mechanic several times, even leaving it over night. It never misfired for him. My dad in Minnesota told me the vehicle had sticky valves. The mechanic said today’s cars do not have sticky valves. I added some Casite, valve loosing oil, to the car. It never misfired again.
I had another car that would begin misfiring and sputtering. When it acted up, I would head out to the Standard Oil Station northwest of town and fill up with their gas. It always quit misfiring on Standard gas.
Another car we owned had many miles on it and it had been driven to college by our son. It developed a special lighting problem—the parking lights came on with the brake lights.
Another car would develop a sticky accelerator cable. I would have to take it to a mechanic, and he would shoot some graphite inside a cable. It would work well for about three months.
One pickup I owned liked ethanol gasoline. This was the time when a person had a choice of buying ethanol or regular gas. The pickup got two to three miles per gallon better on ethanol.
Take a walk, watch for pedestrians, enjoy the strange quirks that some vehicles have, use those signal lights at every corner, and see what you notice while passing along Wildcat Boulevard.    


 

Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.