I recently bought a new scanner and decided to scan pictures of every car I’ve owned and write a self- indulgent fluff piece about my personal car history. The next 30 or so pages will list every car I have owned and the reasons you should rush out to your local salvage yard and buy one. Enjoy.
1953 M381A Military Jeep
I learned to drive on one of these babies during the Vietnam War. (I was a 15-year-old living in Massachusetts at the time, but it was during the Vietnam War.) It had no doors and no roof. It had one of those old starter buttons on the floor and a wartime blackout light system. How many kids could say that about their first car? Among all my friends, I was the most prepared for a Russian invasion.
1973 Ford Galaxie 500 Sedan
Lulubelle was my first official car. It was named after a tank in a war movie because you could ram it into anything and still come out alive. The rear fenders grew rust holes that allowed the trunk contents to slide out, and major parts of the car fell off on a regular basis. By the time I junked it, it was just a seat and a steering wheel, but it still handled quite well.
1965 Ford Mustang Notchback Coupe
A hand-me-down from by brother. I couldn’t fix it so I sold it to someone who could and he made a boat-load of money off it. I got the last laugh, though, when I drove it into a pond.
1973 Volkswagen 412 Station Wagon
This car never made it past than the end of the driveway, but it had a cool German interior.
1972/1976 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Regency Coupe
Imagine its 1979 and most of the kids your age are driving beat-up Chevy Vegas or Novas. Now imagine that you’re driving a luxury yacht with the biggest engine and back seat in automotive history. That was me during my high school years. My parents bought a pair of Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Regency Coupes and my best friend had a 1976 Cadillac Coupe Deville with curtains in the back window, and the two of us took these monsters around to parties. Those were the days.
1981 Ford Escort L
I had this car custom ordered with every option available and then drove it into the ground. It didn’t get its first oil change until 65,000 miles. Eventually, the driver’s seat broke and I had to lean to the right every time I got behind the wheel.
1976 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Regency Pillarless Hardtop
Words to describe this car include “massive,” “behemoth,” “leviathan,” “herculean” and “titanic.” Under the runway-sized hood was a 455 cubic inch Rocket engine, and inside were recliner-sized front “flight” seats made with leather and velour. It was roughly the size of Giants stadium and could seat 60,000 comfortably.
1979 Cadillac Series Seventy Five Limousine
I started my own Limousine Company at 21 years old and this was my first limo. It was a factory car without a solid divider and had a custom wood bar and one of the earliest Harris radiotelephones. The phone had a control box in the trunk the size of a small stove and rarely worked properly.
1983/1986/1989 Lincoln Town Car Stretch Limousines
This car was a double-cut Armbruster Stageway, stretched once in the middle and once again behind the rear door. It was originally a gift from Liza Minnelli to Tommy Tune and was equipped with one of the first “Billy Bars,” named after Yankee manager Billy Martin. The next car was a 1986 Lincoln Town Car Stretch Limousine made by Carlos Allen. The car featured a single stretch with a raised formal roof, double side bars, and custom burled mahogany woodwork. Then I bought a 1989 Lincoln Town Car Stretch Limousine built by Bradford Coachworks, which was given to a customizer in Texas who added Level 2 Armor to the car, which is why none of my clients were ever assassinated while I was driving them.
1977 Ford LTD II / 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis
The Ford was named “Lurch” because that’s all it did. The Mercury was a floating island.
1990 Ford Probe LX
My next car was a Probe with a big V6 engine. This car was all torque and cost me a ton of money in speeding tickets, but it was worth it for all the chicks I didn’t get.
1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera / 1999 Nissan Altima / 2000 Mercury Mystique
These were appliances, not cars, and the Nissan destroyed my belief that the Japanese could make a decent automobile.
1977 MGB Roadster
The MGB was my project car. Purchased for $700, I took it apart, stripped it with a grinder and then let it sit for a few years at my brother’s house. It was a fun car that made me feel like I was riding through the English countryside even when I was being carjacked by street thugs.
1994 Jaguar XJS Coupe
I always wanted to own a Jaaaaag. This one is a cool Grand Tourer with a wide front and a tapered back. It’s stunningly beautiful from every angle. The interior is layered in Connelly leather and Burled Elmwood and has the best concert stereo I’ve ever heard and even a weather band radio. It has inboard and outboard rear brakes and takes 12 quarts of oil. It has dual oil coolers, dual fuel pumps, dual blower fans, dual cockpit fuse boxes, dual everything and is only seven inches taller than a Ford GT40. You can drive 150 mph down the highway and never spill a drop of your champagne. I named her “Sarah” and love the reaction I get when I drive her around. This is the best car I have ever owned.
2007 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring Edition
I needed to get a “normal” car, but not too normal and I’ve always heard good things about the Miata, so I searched around and bought a beautiful Copper Red roadster. More fun than my MGB, and more reliable than my Altima, this car is a blast to drive. It has an automatic transmission that can be switched to manual, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, an upscale leather interior and the easiest convertible top I have ever used. The Miata is a tiny two-seater with no space for anything, but it’s tons of fun and worth every penny.
That’s it. I’ve had 22 cars, most of which are listed here. I think a person’s car history tells you a lot about them, and I enjoyed every car I’ve owned. Let me know about your car history in the comments section.
Article courtesy of Chris Raymond