When I first saw the topic for this week‘s “52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History" I didn’t think I would have much to write about. I mean, I’m female; a car’s a car, right? But when I really started thinking about it I realized how much this subject really calls to me. I’ve written before about my family’s automotive history in Jefferson County, IL.
My great-grandfather, Robert C. Smith was one of the first auto mechanics in Mt. Vernon, IL and several of his sons followed him in the business. Although he never became rich, the business kept his family of eight children fed and clothed. Great-grandma Verna was often seen driving about town in one of the many cars her husband provided for her. I’ve heard many times that Grandma Verna loved to drive so much she would go to the grocery store three times a day! I hate to grocery shop so much my husband begs me to go at least once every three weeks!
When my husband and I first became engaged in 1972, I was still a senior in high school. We decided to pool our money – I was working at a grocery store.…hmmm…there’s that grocery store again. Anyway, I had my eye on an AMC Gremlin which I thought was just the cutest little car. My husband-to-be sold his 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air to cover his share. Can you image? That was a HOT car.
When we got to the car dealer all of a sudden my eye landed on a silver blue 1973 Javelin and that was all she wrote! The only thing out of my mouth was, “I. WANT. THAT.” That car was to be the forerunner of cars to come. I looked all over for a picture of that car and cannot believe this is the only picture we ever took!
It was such a beautiful car. I found this picture of a similar Javelin on Wikipedia.
Unfortunately, the Javelin had some weird problem that caused it to stall all the time and no one could seem to fix. We married in February 1973 and after we had our first child in May 1974 decided to trade it in on something more economical. The next couple of cars after that were unexciting and not worth mentioning. In 1986, with two kids, we were again in the market for a family car and decided on a nice, four-door Honda Accord. Off to the dealer we went and lightening struck twice! My eyes landed on a black Honda Prelude. Again my mouth opened and I said, "I. WANT. THAT.”
This two-door sports car was not exactly what you would call a family car. However, buy it I did, and I drove it for eight wonderful years. I squeezed two growing boys and all their sports equipment, etc. in that car and hauled them all over the place. I LOVED that car! However, all good things must come to an end and I traded it in on a Ford Explorer, the first of three Explorers I would drive. Why, I don’t know, because I am not particularly crazy about them.
However, in between Explorer number two and number three, my eye saw this and yep, I had to have it. It was a dark green 1998 Mitsubishi 3000GT. It was so much fun to drive and no one could believe that I picked out a car like that. Loved, loved, loved that car and why I got rid of it for another Explorer I will never know.
When I decided to get rid of Explorer number three in 2005 I wanted another sporty car, but with a then one year old grandson I decided it was time for something a little more practical. What to do, what to do. And my eye landed on this 2006 Chrysler 300. I have had this car for six years now, it only has 36,000 miles, its paid for and I love it. I may drive it forever.
Of course, I did just see a beautiful little red ………….No.