"I often get stopped by people who say "my Dad had one of those!" We went everywhere in it."
How I got my first real V8 car:
As I recall, it was a September weekend in 1987, that I stood staring at my rusting old car. It had served us well for ten years, but the rust was too over powering for it and I felt it wasn't safe to drive anymore.
So, realizing that my bank balance could never afford us a new car, I hopped on to a blue racing bicycle and went down to the end of our street where I had seen a used van for sale. It looked a little rough but it was basically rust free.
"What am I going to do?" I wondered, looking at the van from all sides and imagining how it might fit into our single car garage. It was going to take some effort to even pay the $700 the owner was asking. I rode away for a moment then came back.
Standing there holding the blue bicycle at my side, I must have looked like a "pigeon" to a used car salesman in the lot across the street.
"Hey! You don't want that!" he shouted over to me.
I turned to see who it was.
"I've got something better for you! Come over!" he commanded.
So I went over to see him.
I didn't even noticed the metallic green 1985 station wagon with wood trim on the side as I passed it. I was mumbling to myself something about never having enough money. He ignored my attitude and stuck out his hand. I took it and before I could tell him I was broke he made his pitch.
Well, I looked at the Chrysler New Yorker he offered and then I directed his attention to the Pontiac stationwagon over on display in the corner of the lot.
"That's what I need for the family, but there's no way I can finance it."
He was good. There I was driving down the road, the air conditioning on full blast, wondered what had just happened. I'd never taken a car on a test drive before, let alone by myself. Yet there I was.
Back at the used car lot, I stepped out of the metallic green beauty and like a fly to the spider, went over to sit nervously in the chair opposite the sales manager. His pen was tapping on the desk as he talked to the bank up the street.
He took my rusty ten year old car and a few hundred dollars that I had left in my bank account.
The next day, my wife and three kids and I posed beside the V8 powered car, for a picture in front of the dealership. It was ours!
1985 Pontiac Parisienne Safari Station Wagon.
It's 2017, as I update this page, and I still have it. It's in a heated garage for the winter. It doesn't quite look as good as it did when new, but it still runs.
"Sometimes it takes a helping hand to get you where you need to be."