Friday, April 11, 2014

My first car


I was 21 when I bought my first car – a Fontana gray 1965 Volkswagen beetle.

I bought it on Aug. 1, 1966 at University Motors in West Lafayette, Ind. I remember the date because the sound system at the dealership was carrying the radio news reports of Charles Whitman shooting people from the top of the University of Texas Tower.

I drove it well past the 100,000-mile mark and sold it sometime in the mid-1970s after parts of the floor rusted out letting the road show through.

vw dash

Here’s the view from the driver’s seat. What can we see?

There were 42,918 miles on the odometer, the gas gauge shows a full tank, and it had the stock AM radio. I added the under-dash parcel tray after seeing one in the VW Steve Power’s mom drove. The hood (actually it was a trunk since the engine was in the back) release that I had to pull whenever I gassed up. It was a year or two later that VW added an external gas filler. There are two packs of Viceroy cigarettes, one unopened, and a box of Kodak Ektachrome 35mm film.

The key is in the ignition with my U.S. Air Force dogtag dangling on a short chain. And the ashtray is open.

Notice that the odometer only goes up to 99,999. That was when anything over about 60,000 miles was high mileage.

1 comment:

Domingo said...

That was my first car too. Not as good looking as yours but I sure loved my beetle. I wanted to pass mine on to my daughter now when she gets her license. Its still going to this day. My wife uses it from time to time but most of the time it remains parked in the garage, thanks again.

Domingo @ Viva Ford