Tuesday, February 02, 2016

1962, On The Way to Work

Click photo to see FOR SALE signs in window

I pass this house almost every morning on my way to work. It's a corner house with a big driveway and a side-lot. There are always vintage 1960s cars in the driveway and parked at the curb nearby. Sometimes the cars are perfectly maintained and preserved. Other cars have been tricked out with suede paint jobs or fancy wheel rims.  You can almost see an old Chevy in the driveway that doesn't have wheels or windows. It will probably be looking good in a few months. Yesterday I spotted this 1962 Thunderbird in, what looks like, nearly perfect condition (as far as the body is concerned). $14,000. Yikes! That seems a lot for a car that is 54 years old. I wonder if the engine has been rebuilt?
I've had a long love affair with Thunderbirds ever since the first generation, 1955-1957, came out. What an adorable two-seater that was! This looked like a perfect car for my Barbie doll! Barbie ended up getting a 1962 Austin-Healey Roadster. Silly girl. Barbie may have been foreshadowing the upcoming British invasion. 
Barbie would have looked so cool in this car!

Our next-door neighbors had a 1959 Thunderbird. I remember watching Mr. Brown attach ropes and pulleys to the roof of his hard-top, convertible T-bird and lifting the roof to the rafters of his garage for the summer. Magic.
The 1962 Thunderbird

Later, when I was ready to purchase a car in the early 1970s, one of my Dad's friends was selling a 1957 T-bird. It was the same price as a new compact at the time. I wanted that car so badly. My Dad said that buying a car that was 14 years old couldn't be as reliable as a new 1971 Dodge Colt. Since Pop was paying, I couldn't argue. I settled for the red Dodge compact. Sigh.
Once, at the end of the summer session at Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, I helped a friend out by driving his 1966 Thunderbird to Los Angeles. Whoa! That was one long car, especially driving it down the hill around all those curves on the Idyllwild highway!  I managed to make it to L.A., but I really wished he'd had the smaller, cuter '55-57 model.
The 1962 model is not as adorable and small as the '55-'57 model, but it's a nice, medium-sized car, perfect for a matron of a certain age, like me. Hmmmm? Wonder if I could trade this guy for a 1955 Chevy that's molding in our backyard. Larry might have something to say about that! A girl can dream...

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At 3:23 PM PST, Blogger janeray1940 said...

Love the idea of Barbie anticipating the British invasion :)

I've got a similar first-car story - I found a 1953 Corvette, two-tone red and white, that I wanted something AWFUL. I think it might have even cost less than the Datsun 810 I ended up getting, but the powers that be wouldn't sign the paperwork on the Vette and I wasn't old enough. I get a little teary-eyed when I think of what I could have re-sold that Vette for!

At 3:27 PM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

EXACTLY, Marielle!! The '57 T-Bird I wanted cost $1,200. The new Dodge Colt cost $1,250. I was 18. Dad was in charge. Darn it. The re-sale on the Colt was nada. The '57 Bird would have been a goldmine! Oh well.

At 5:45 PM PST, Blogger Unknown said...

Buy one, Ellen! I can just picture you in a pair of glasses with rhinestones, dashing around LA in a T-bird. Guys buy the cars they couldn't get as a teen; so should you. YOLO!

At 5:47 PM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Thanks for the "yes" vote, Debra. HOWEVER, we already have 4 cars!! If I didn't other priorities on my list, I'd go for it!


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