Sunday, June 12, 2016

My first car

(Not my actual car,  images have changed to protect the innocent.
 I had the sedan version)

1981 Chevy Impala Coupe
First cars are like a cheap clip- on neck tie you wore to the 8th grade dance. They both invoke that inner super hero attribute to become invisible so people wouldn't actually see you! Especially your peers! My first set of wheels (after my beloved Huffy bicycle) was a baby blue '81 Chevy Impala sedan. She was quite the chick magnet as you can see.When recollecting these memories with my wife she thought my car was cooler then her first car-a 1992 Cutlass Cierra. Apparently she mistook it for the bad ass Impala of the 1960's. The name Impala is often associated with muscle car. This car was slightly different:  heavy enough to be considered a tank by the US Army and slow enough to be ID-ed as a tug boat by the US Coast Guard. Under the hood was a 3.8 liter V6 110 horsepower ready to scream from burning rubber, or was that oil? She handled really "well" for a boat weighing in at over 3,800 pounds! Rear wheel drive could get you out of all types of terrain as long as traction wasn't pertinent!  In fact, one time during my senior year of high school I had to drive home in an unexpected heavy snow storm- down hill! Foot off the brakes,  put her in low gear and hoped for the best. Like aiming a shotgun out the front porch in the dark. I figured with a hunk of steel as a bumper worst I could do was take out a telephone pole and if I was lucky enough trim some trees too. I'd consider it community service! I learned a great deal about driving in inclement weather. Especially what NOT to do. This skill would come in handy off-roading with Sarge my old Jeep Wrangler. The 5th generation Impala felt more like a water craft than a motor vehicle on dry land. She floated nicely on the highway but don't ask her to corner what so ever! All of her official specs can be seen here. Highlights include 0-60 mph in a whopping 16.3 seconds and a top speed (theoretical as the stats say) of 96 mph! Glad I didn't race her for pink slips! But beyond that Betsy was basic transportation and an elaborate lesson in auto operation. I learned not only how to drive but also a bit about sledded down hill. The Jamaican bob sled team had nothing on me!

The dutiful police Impala
The tried and true
Impala sedan
1981 Impala Wagon
Notice the interior

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