The boat before the Boat.  Before the Coupe de Ville was the 1968 Chrysler Imperial.  A 440 cubic inch V-8, power everything, it would float along at 80 mph like it was riding on silk.  Another gas hog, and a bit spare compared to the opulence of the Cadillac that followed,  but still a great car.  I think my Dad paid about $300 for it.  Mine was a rich blue, called “silver cloud metallic”.  I didn’t see the silver, the metallic, or the clouds, bit it was a nice blue shade.

Some other cars I’ve owned…

A 1967 Mercury Cougar.  The headlight covers were vacuum powered, and didn’t come up at the same speed, so I could turn the lights on, then turn them off, wait a second, and turn them back on, and it would make it look like the car had just winked at you.  Mine was a darker blue than this one.  A small block V-8 in this one made it a bit of a hot rod, and really fun to drive.

Uh oh…  the 80’s get into swing, and here come the little cars!  A 1979 Plymouth Horizon.  I took a red one like this to Arizona on a road trip, got 35 miles to a gallon, and braved the desert heat without air conditioning!  But what the heck, I was young, dumb, and skinny, so heat wasn’t that big a deal to me.  Until I got dehydrated hiking in the Grand Canyon and almost couldn’t get out on my own power!  (but that’s a story for another time)

My next small car was a 1985 1/2 Ford Escort.  Grey like this one, but with better looking wheels, I ran it up from brand new to over 140,000 miles before trading it in.  It did delivery duty for the Senior Center’s Meals On Wheels, and Domino’s Pizza.  A road trip to Seattle and Canada put some miles on it, and trips up and down California.  One trip from Visalia to Sacramento it hit 42 mpg.  (of course, it’s downhill from Visalia to Sac!)

My second bought-new vehicle, a 1992 Ford Ranger XLT.  I’ve still got this one, and even at 140,000 miles, a replaced transmission, and peeling paint, it’s been a great little truck.  A road trip to Johnson Space Center in Houston, the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock Arkansas, and points in between flew by this truck, logging in close to 30 mpg.  Hmmm…  18 years.  I guess I’ll keep it.

My current daily driver, as it sat on the Carmax lot in Fresno.  A 2005 model, I picked it up in 2007 with only 8750 miles on it.  A road trip to Ohio got me highway mileage of 38 mpg with the V-6 engine.  It’s held up well, even after $5,000 worth of damage when it was rear-ended in San Francisco.  I’ll probably keep it, too.

There have been a few other vehicles here and there, and maybe someday one of them will make an appearance here.  For now, however, this is it.  My wheels, past and present.  Not counting the ten-speed bought in 1979, and still sitting in my garage.

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