Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rick's Cars #4: 62 Pontiac Tempest

Following the demise of the panel truck, I needed a new vehicle. The boyfriend of a woman who worked with my first wife, Gayle, had a truck for sale -- an old orange Forest Service Dodge. I took a look at it, drove it, liked it. The next night, we met and I gave him the money. When I tried to start the truck, it wouldn't. Long story short, the dick had taken out the brand new battery that had been in there the day before. And drained the gas tank.

I called him and demanded my money back. "I can't," he said."I've already spent the money."
"On what?"
"A car."
"Does it run?"
"Then give me the car."

And he did. Mine was red with a white top. It was in near original condition. It was an automatic with a switch on the dashboard that you used to shift the gears. It was probably THE hippest car I owned. I think it was also the first car I owned after I got out of the Army.

I was driving home from work one night (I was a cook at a strip club on South Tacoma Way,) and going around a corner, skidded to a halt, after the rear hub sheared off and wedged the tire in the wheel well.

The mechanic who fixed it had to go through half the junkyards in Western Washington in order to find a wrecked one to replace it with.

This was the car I drove in the early days of MTV -- when it was still cool. I was wearing wraparound sunglasses and had fuzzy dice. It was cool.

Eventually, the timing chain broke and trashed the engine. I gave it to the mechanic to cover the costs of the work he'd done.

I was sad to see it go.


  1. How did you end up with all the cool cars? That thing is so cool. Do you have any idea how saught after these cars are now? Man, if we had only known and could have a garage of all the old cars and trucks we've had, we would be sitting on a gold mine.

  2. Of course, when I had those cars, they weren't all that old. Some weren't even ten years old.

    And, as we shall see, I only had one other cool car after this. Well, there was the RX7 that I'll discuss later, but that was when I was about 40, so it wasn't quite as cool. Plus it was an automatic.


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