Thursday, February 11, 2010

Nash Rambler

While driving around his morning my mind started wandering
as it tends to do when I leave it unattended.

I started to remember my first experience with driving a manual transmission vehicle.
I think my little sister and I were about 18.
We had outgrown the normal church dances that were held every weekend for the youth at church, and quickly moved on to the dances for the young singles that were held at the ASU institute building.
This became a problem since it meant driving to other side of the valley, and we had no car!
There was only one vehicle available at our house at that time.
It was a very ugly, primer blue, 1964 (I think) Nash Rambler!
No, it did not look as nice as this lovely picture I pulled off the internet!

Besides, this one is just a model.
The largest obstacle that prevented us from driving this car was the fact that it was a stick shift.
Oh no people! This is not the kind of stick shift we all know today!
No! This was a three speed on the column!
I remember the day we finally approached our Dad about learning to drive this ugly thing.
My Dad was a truck driver.
Did I ever tell you that?
He drove big semi's, so to him this was a piece of cake.
Without blinking an eye, he reached in his pocket, pulled out the keys, and tossed them to me.
Then he said (as near as I can remember) "Knock yourselves out. Go start driving it around the block. You'll figure it out."
Do you remember the first time you learned to drive a stick shift?
Ahhh, good times!
We jerked and stalled our way around our neighborhood until we could finally drive that car well enough to get out on the highway.
I remember what it was like to have to stop at a red light.
The clutch on this old beast was HARD!
It was like holding down a huge weight!
Being a novice you didn't dare just put the car in neutral for fear you wouldn't be able to get it back into first when the light turned green.
Instead you sat there holding in the clutch until your leg would start to shake with the effort!
Then the light would turn green and you had to pray you still had enough strength left in your leg to slowly let out that clutch so as not to stall!
One day I was driving the beast so I could go and see a friend.
The light turned green.
I tried to go
There was this terrible sound as I rolled forward a few feet, and then came to a dead stop.
Laying in the road behind me was the drive shaft!

Looking at pictures of Ramblers online I realized we were so Retro, before retro was cool.
Can't decide if that makes us uncool, or just ahead of our time.

So where exactly was I going with this post?
I can hear you wondering
I was thinking about the unlimited power and control that comes with driving a manual transmission vehicle!
Driving around in my beastly SUV and I started to think maybe it's almost time.
Time to get out of the family vehicle.
Time to get something fast!
Something sporty!
Something with a manual transmission!
I am the master of my own destiny!
Speeding down the road with the top down!

Is that a cop I see in the rear view mirror?

Maybe I'd better just put this little fantasy on hold.


veronica said...

haha... GREAT story Suzee i learned how to drive in a manual transmission (mind you i didnt start driving till out of high school and my boyfriend at the time was the one who taught me) I also remember riding with Christina Muller in her brother Ronnie's truck one time and the vehichle jumping and lurching across glendale ave when we were leaving the h.s. campus thanks for sharing your memories and bringing a few of mine back too!!

Bev said...

I remember the "BLUE BOMB" I remember when the muffler fell off when Margaret & I were going somewhere with dad. He jumped out of the car (we had just gone through Grand Ave) & he ran to pick it up! Margaret & I hid so no one would see us!

Crissie said...

LOL! Learning to drive that beast still ranks up there with the stuff that I'm proud of. So are you the one that killed that car? I just remember that it went away but my memory is so bad that I had no idea why.

Suzee said...

No I didn't kill it. I think it may have just finally outlived it's usefulness. As all good things finally do. We'll have to ask dad about that.

stephaniestempinski said...

Hmmmm. I've got some good stick-shift memories, too. I actually still drive a car with manual transmission - I think it builds character.

Carrot Jello said...

I am calling you-oo-oo-oo-ooo.

Suzee said...

Carrot, I will answer tooo-ooo-ooo.