Performance had been all the rage, so it was natural that I'd look at a muscle car - great idea until I received an insurance quote. Ok, so no muscle. What I settled on was a car that looked the part, but only had a mild V8 under the hood.
1971 Plymouth Satelite Sebring Plus
My Satelite was gold with a black half roof like in the picture. Bucket seats, automatic floor shift and Magnum 500 wheels. It looked great and I think it still does. Also had a 150 MPH speedo (part of the "Plus" package) which was optimistic in the extreme. I came from a small town, so there were few of these around and mine was by far the best looking.
I dragged raced it a bit, although it only had a small 318. Even won a trophy when a much faster car spun its tires. I had a choice of $5 or the trophy, so I took the trophy, still got it.
My Sebring also had a tendency to hit other things. In the short year and a half that I had it, my poor car was involved in 4 accidents, the last one ocurring the morning after I had sold it. Bummer. I signed off on the ownership at the body shop.
I feel in love in the fall of 1972. My lust was directed towards the new for '73, Pontiac Grand Prix. This was a time when the Grand Prix name meant something. Not a cheap car, probably be around $50k today, but I was still living at home. It had all the luxury touches (power windows, locks, seats), all except one.
1973 Grand Prix
This car really hauled ass. Even with the downgrades in the engines due to emissions, it still had a 400 cubic inch V8 with lots of torque. Loved that car and probably of all my past cars, this is the one I'd like back. Colour........dark blue, black vinyl roof, white vinyl and mag wheels. Showy, but with class (my opinion only).
Shortly after taking delivery I was transferred to Toronto. Oops, maybe this car wasn't such a great idea since I now had to pay rent. Oh well. Loved Toronto with its glorious summer heat, a far cry from those cold Bay of Fundy summers. This brings us back to the one option I didn't buy, a/c, air conditioning. Didn't need it back home, but I died stuck in traffic at 90 degrees up here.
Great car, no accidents, a few tickets, had it for almost 4 years.
Always envisioned myself as a "shooter", so my next car had to be a real luxury boat (maritime boy makes good?). Hey, I was only 28 and thinking with my eyes, not my brain. So this what I got next........
1975 Cadillac Coupe de Ville
Found this beauty at the long gone Parkwood Central Cadillac at Yonge and Eglinton. There it was sitting on the showroom floor in dark blue, dark blue vinyl top and dark blue brocade interior (hey, this was the '70's remember?). Couldn't sleep for 2 weeks, as I waited to sell the Grand Prix so I could drive it home.
Some things look better than reality proves them to be. Great car on the highway, but don't go near a corner. Took me ages to get into my condo parking spot or the underground garage at the office. On the plus side it had a 500 cubic inch motor and would smoke the tires endlessly - quite a scene from this big boat. But the really hard part was facing the ridicule this young guy got for buying a Cadillac. Created a very bad vibe at my work and many hard feelings at a very conservative company. Even a kind of confident guy like me was feeling the heat.
What to do?
Until next time........