Learning to drive at thirteen was a good thing!

When I was thirteen my father decided I should learn to drive. We had a 1959 Renault he had named “Fifi”.  She was adorable. Three speed. She had a bit of trouble on an incline, but who cares.

One weekend Daddy drove me to the empty DuPont Louviers parking lot.
He had me take the driver’s seat and calmly explained how to manage the manual transmission.  I lurched and stalled all over the lot.

But eventually, I got it.  That’s when I became dangerous. Mother and Daddy would go to a party, I’d steal Fifi and go joy riding.  Good news, that. It made stalking Carl Jacobson even easier.

I loved that car! By the time I had a legal license I drove her to school daily. Best friend Nora always knew when Fifi and I were half a block from picking her up. Fifi was marvelously loud.

I cut school in Fifi. Went to Washington, D.C. with my High School boyfriend, Greg. He was a terrible first boyfriend. (There won’t be more about him on this blog since my blog is all about channeling positive energy. Negative energy Greg blocked from my brain.)

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Once, while riding down the Main Street with Gina Jackson, we actually traded seats at the speed of 25 miles an hour! Gina climbed over me from passenger side to drivers while I crawled under her. Happily, we didn’t crash.  Gina’s car was a NEW blue opal. Her Dad worked for a car company so she got new cars all the time. Gina later got a bright orange brand new Vega.

My daddy believed in used cars, stating  “They depreciate by a third the minute you drive them off the lot.”

Upon college graduation, my parents offered to buy my first car.  Daddy and I shopped. He stated, “They are all yours until you buy one”.  While professing to let me pick it out myself he was obviously pushing me toward a canary yellow Karmann Ghia.

Instead, I chose Gina’s now used orange Vega. What a dope I was..hard to come up with a “….but that’s good because” about an orange Vega.

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Karmann Ghia. Cute huh? Even cuter in canary yellow.

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Orange Vega, not so much.

I’m not remembering my high school friends rides….One, Susan, drove a 1950’s Mercedes-Benz. The back seat was loose. Every time she hit the brakes all of us in the would be slammed face-first into the rear side of the front seat.
Her parents had added a big odd air-conditioning unit between passenger and driver. No other friend I knew had automobile a/c. Very plush.

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My sister Marilyn’s first car after college was a 1965 navy blue Chevy, Malibu.  I wrecked it while singing along to “Gitarzan” and fooling around with a car full of kids. Daddy replaced Marilyn’s Malibu with a 1969 Cutlass 442.

Daddy was such a muscle car cowboy.  His favorite big engine activity was pulling to the side of the road and standing on the accelerator.  He counted down how fast his buggy got from zero to sixty. When he leaned on the 442’s gas the whole front of the car lifted into the air.

I was forbidden from driving it. I suppose wrecking my sister’s first car played a large part in that. So I was back to tooling around in Fifi.

classic lady motors  If you’re into vintage cars, check out this link!

Remember the song “Gitarzan?” Lyrics follow–climb into your vintage car and sing your lungs out!! You’re welcome.

Gitarzan
Ray Stevens
He’s free as the breeze
He’s always at ease
He lives in the jungle and hangs by his knees
As he swings through the trees
With a trapeze in his B.V.D.s
He’s got a union card and he’s practicing hard
To play, the guitar, gonna be a big star
Yeah, he’s gonna go far
And carry moonbeams home in a jar
He ordered Chet’s guitar course C.O.D.
Like A and E and he’s working on be
Big W&W and R&B and even the chimpanzees agree
That someday soon he’ll be a celebrity
Get it, get it, get it.
Gitarzan, he’s a gitar man
He’s all you can stand
Give him a hand, gitarzan
He’s got a girl named Jane
With no last name
Kinda homely and plain
But he loves her just the same
Cause she kindles the flame
And it drives him insane
When he hears her say
She really does her thing
It’s her claim to fame
Come on sing one Jane
Baby, baby, oh baby
Baby, oh baby
(How about that folks)
They’ve got a pet monkey who likes
To get drunk and sing boogie woogie
And it sounds real funky
Come on your turn boy
Sing one monkey
Let’s hear it for the monkey
On Saturday night they need some excitement
Jane gets right and the monkey gets tight
And their voices unite
In the pale moonlight
And it sounds all right
Yeah, it’s dynamite, it’s out of sight
Let’s hear it right now
Baby, baby oh baby
Yeah, shut up baby, I’m trying to sing
Get it, get it, get it
Repeat Chorus

1 thought on “Learning to drive at thirteen was a good thing!”

  1. Love this post! I rode with my high school LOVE Vic Milliman to Haskell Texas in his new blue Vega. We went to visit his grandparents. He was very proud of that car! I have never seen one for sale in all 15 years of selling classic cars. Likely because they all rusted out!