Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Business

My First Car: '40 Plymouth sedan, George Nauck, 74, Sun City Center

'40Plymouth 2-door sedan

My first personally purchased car was a 1940 Plymouth 2-door sedan. I paid $100 for it, using the $100 that I had received for pain and suffering when I was run over by a Chevy coupe on the sidewalk in front of Roberts Funeral Home in Beaumont, Texas. My Plymouth had been repainted a kind of "Columbia Blue" by a previous owner, and the body was in pretty good shape, making it a pretty cool car for a 16-year-old in 1954. The motor had a slight knock from worn inserts in the connecting rods, and the starter dragged really bad when the motor was hot. Other than that it was a pretty cool ride. I was eventually able to talk my dad into letting me buy a pair of fender skirts to "customize" the old buggy. I never was able to exactly match the blue paint on the car, but that mattered little to me. With wide white sidewall tires on the front and skirts on the back and, of course, a chromed tailpipe extension, I was Mr. Cool! In March of 1955, as a junior in high school, I found that there was more to life than rabbit hunting. I had my first date with the girl I would fall in love with for a lifetime. On our first date, I made the mistake of shutting the engine off while I waited for her to make her appearance. There just wasn't quite enough cool-down time for the old flat-head 6 to crank with a 6-volt battery and the dragging starter, so her dad and brother-in-law had to "jump" us off with a backward shove down the driveway while I popped the clutch in reverse. Was a bit embarrassing, but it obviously did not prevent a love affair that would result in marriage five years later, and a wife of more than 50 years.

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