If not now, then when? A simple question really. I owned convertibles in the 60’s. They were both British sports cars. My first ever vehicle was a red 1962 Austin Healey Sprite. Next came a dark blue 1969 MGB. It was one of only three brand new cars I bought over the years.
I turned 65 this year and I have beaten cancer. I intend to enjoy every waking minute. So, I bought another convertible. Oh, and one of those bucket type hats with a wider 360 brim to shade the face, neck and ears, and a pail full of sunscreen.
The last car I owned with a standard transmission was a mid-70’s Datsun 610. I hated it, the car not the stick shift.
When we had our second baby in 1978, I graduated to mid-size American cars, then to SUV’s and back to cars. With every purchase, I tried for more luxury and when possible, more sportiness.
Vehicles over the years
You don't realize how many cars and trucks you've owned until you make a list.
- 1962 Austin Healey Sprite – fun car, small and stark. It had windscreens not roll-up windows. I blew the engine and the transmission, the top was virtually useless, but you always remember your first.
- 1969 MGB – impulse buy, bought the one in the dealership showroom, a very nice unit, had synchromesh in first gear.
- 1964 Fargo window van – a brief journey into hippiedom, not my idea of a good time.
- 1970 Datsun 510 – a great car, fun to drive, bought it new.
- 1970 Cougar standard - my first American muscle car although the lower horsepower 351 Cleveland. This one had the houndstooth roof and matching interior.
- 1974 Datsun 610 – gas prices were high for the times, I missed the 4 speed and the Datsun 510, but this car was not a good choice.
- 1976 Oldsmobile Supreme Brougham – loved it, drove great with all the comforts including air conditioning and a cassette deck in the radio.
- 1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass station wagon – loaded and brand new. It had the fake woody side panels and the room for family vacations and hockey tournaments.
- 1970 Houndstooth Cougar XR7 – in the late 80’s, we went looking for a Mustang convertible but couldn’t afford it. Then one day, we found the Cougar on a car lot in New Westminster BC. With houndstooth roof and matching interior, it looked the same as the one we owned in the early 70’s but was the higher horsepower XR7 with power windows and more. We still own this one 26 years later.
- 1990 Chevrolet Lumina Sport – nice car, went pretty good, tight but had computer problems.
- 1995 GMC Jimmy – first of the SUV’s, 4 wheel drive, great for prairie winters.
- 2000 GMC Jimmy – same as the first one but more luxury options.
- 2001 Mercedes ML350 – all wheel drive, great vehicle, one of my favourites.
- 2003 Lexus GS300 – even nicer than the Mercedes although we miss the cargo capacity in the ML.
- 2004 Mustang GT convertible – could yet become my all-time favourite. This will be my toy car for the next 20 years.
Three cars and a 2-car garage
It’s a true dilemma. Terrie doesn’t drive and now with the arrival of the Mustang, the Lexus has been relegated to the driveway. The Mustang is so much fun I may not renew the insurance on the Lexus until it’s time to take the ‘Stang off the road for the winter. In fact, I may not take the snow tires off the Lexus. And the Cougar? It’s tough to justify insurance to go to a handful of car shows, so I've decided to explore selling after 26 years.
A rare, collectible car
But I won’t give it away. You can read all about the Cougar here. She needs some very minor body work and a good paint job. Top and interior are in great shape. Engine, transmission and differential have all been rebuilt in recent years. Last summer, I added chrome rims and new tires at a cost of $1500.00. I also have the original steel rims and high end hubcaps. If you or anyone you know is interested, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Asking price, $20,000.00.