A Lesson I was Never Taught

A midnight-blue, two-door hardtop Chevy Impala with 42,000 actual miles on the odometer would tip the value scale today at several thousand dollars. But in 1973, the price tag was $450.00. This, the second automobile I ever owned was certainly a keeper. But no one told me that. Even if they had, I probably wouldn’t have listened. I was only seventeen!

This Chevy is still one of my favorite automotive memories. My first car, a 1962 rusted Ford Fairlane four-door sedan named “Ottis,” was a $50.00 hand me down from my older brother. Ottis was a sad story which I’m sure I’ll write about someday. So the Chevy was a MAJOR upgrade. I bought it from Mr. Budde, the neighbor across the street, with cash I saved from my paper routes. It seemed like a lot of money then…

It was stock. 283 cu. in. (220 hp) with an automatic transmission. Very little rust, no rattles, no dents, near perfection. I’m sure I have forgotten the little finish flaws. Now that I think about it, I remember spending New Years’ Eve 1973 painting the car with a friend in a borrowed paint bay of a local body shop. It was a midnight re-application of the original color, midnight-blue, a color eerily similar to my 1974 Firebird, my 1987 Grand Marquis, and my 2002 Camaro Z28.

1965impala0011Thinking further… the original wheels must not have been perfection to my taste either. I changed out the plain stock steel wheels & full wheel covers for the magnesium “bullet” style wheels pictured. I’m not quite remembering where I got those beauties, but they are undoubtedly the all-time number one WellsWooster favorite wheels over the last 35 years. Continue reading

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