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My Car History

I have wanted to do this long before this blog. I was collecting pictures of the cars that I’ve owned over the years but never got around to doing anything about it. So the blog seemed to be the appropriate place and time to do it.

Cars, tools, and other toys are most likely a guy thing. We all seem to talk about our old cars and how much they would be worth now if we had just kept them.  It is amazing what we can remember when we really want to. I can remember cars all the way back to my first one in 1953, but I can’t seem to remember to pick up that gallon of milk at the grocery store.

Most of the photos were taken from the Internet and all of them are the model and closest color of the actual cars.

1953: My first car – 1939 Buick Business Coupe. Strait 8 engine. You started it by stepping on the gas pedal. My dad bought the car from a friend for $150.
1954: 1939 Mercury – Cool car, but I smashed into someone’s rear and they smashed into 5 more. My sister worked for the Insurance company. Nuff said. The color was actually dark blue.
1955: 1952 Chevy coupe. I don’t remember a lot about this car but I do know that I drove it to Las Vegas and back. I had the car for a couple of years while going to college.
1958: 1955 Oldsmobile 88. I bought this car my senior year at CSU. All I can remember about the car is that I drove it back and forth to a bouncer job that I had at a club in a small town outside of Fort Collins, Colorado.
1959: 1959 Opel station wagon. This was my very first new car. I have no idea where the money came from. I drove the car to Newport, Rhode Island where I attended U.S. Navy Supply Corps school for four months, and later was assigned to a Destroyer in Norfolk, Virginia.
1959: 1954 Chevy sedan. Well, guess what, when we went to Norfolk we discovered that we didn’t have enough money to make the payments on the Opel. So we purchased this piece of junk.
1959: 1957 Buick. My parents came to visit us in Norfolk and while they were there the 54 Chevy just quit running. I remember vividly my dad and I pushed it the last block or so into the used car lot. This Buick was a great car.
1962: Out of the Navy and starting a job with the U.S. Forest Service in Custer, South Dakota. The house we found was 5 miles out of town on a dirt road. We were going to need another car. I located this 40 Ford pickup. It was very old but ran. It certainly didn’t look like the one in this picture.
1963: 1960 Volvo. It was time to lose the gas-guzzling Buick. In 44 degrees below zero winter night, the oil for heating our house froze. In order to get to town for some de-icer, I had to start this car. Poured hot water on the engine and it started! Unfortunately, the wheels wouldn’t turn and I had to push it to get it rolling.
1964: the time ran out on the old 40 Ford. I looked around and found an old Studebaker pickup. I have no idea what year it was and it didn’t look as good as this picture. Had to have the pickup because we moved into a house that didn’t have running water at the time, so it was used to haul water in a big tank.
1965: 63 or 64 Ford Falcon station wagon. Traded the Volvo in on this wagon, obviously for more space.

1966:1965 Ford Bronco. We moved to Cody, Wyoming with the Forest Service. Of course, I absolutely had to have a four-wheel drive because I was in the greatest hunting and fishing area possible…so traded in the Ford station wagon.

1968: I was transferred by the Forest Service to the Washington office. I am not too clear on this date nor the year of this VW bug. It was stolen once and was wrecked by the thieves, repaired, wrecked again and repaired. My son, Gary used it for years
1968: 1962 VW convertible – an additional car desperately needed. What a great little car!
1969: 196? MGB. Again, I am not really sure about the year of this vehicle. I just had to have a sports car. I guess it was a mid-life thing. I traded in the VW convertible. What a mistake. It became a full-time job keeping this running.
1970: 1968 or 69 250 Honda. This, of course, I had to save gas commuting to Washington DC from Fairfax Virginia. It worked out for a while.
1972: 1972 Saab 99 – 2nd new car. Drove this to Ogden UT when I was transferred there by the Forest Service. I pulled a trailer with my belongings (including the above motorcycle). Made it, but ruined the transmission. The Saab was in the repair shop for 4 months, leaving only the motorcycle for transportation. Never ran right after that.
1975: 1974 Ford Econoline van. Left the Forest Service to open my own flower shop in Albuquerque NM and traded the Saab for this van so I had a delivery vehicle. Slapped a magnetic sign on the side for business use and took it off when needed since it was the only car.
1976: New 76 VW Rabbit. The business grew and a 2nd vehicle was needed ( better mileage). Took out all but the driver seat and used this for deliveries. It was tastefully adorned with the company name and a lot of flowers.
1980: 1974 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. Found this sitting on the side of the road in one of those instant car lots that pop up on any vacant piece of land. I fell in love and the price was right, so had to have it.
1986: 1986 Mercury Lynx. The Cadi started getting expensive to maintain, so it was replaced with the cutie. After purchase, I read that this was a “chick car” but the real issue was that I just didn’t fit in it. It went to another of those instant car lots but took a while to unload.
1988: 1987 Mercury Sable. Driven by that proverbial little old lady to church. Great car – my favorite of all time!

1990: 1987 Suzuki 750. Met Gwynne, who had a motorcycle, so I had to get one so we could cruise together. Took some fun vacations on ’em!


1992: 1987 Harley Softtail 1360cc. MORE POWER! We both upgraded to Harleys and headed for the famous annual rally in Sturgis SD. Every Harley rider needs to go at least once.
1994: 1987 Ford Van. Got it to camp in at horse shows while we pulled the little horse trailer. Didn’t have it long – Gwynne didn’t even remember it.

1995: 1994 Ford F150 pickup. Bought a bigger horse trailer and got this to pull it.


1997: 1996 Dodge Ram Pickup 250 Diesel. The Ford was barely making it up hills with the big horse trailer and sucked gas like crazy. I still am in love with this truck, and with only about 95,000 miles. everyone says it is barely broken in.
1997: 1994 Chevy S10 Pickup. Moved to Los Lunas and needed a cheap commute up to the flower shop in Albuquerque. Hated this truck: too small for me, but Gwynne drove it till it died (literally).

2003: 1997 Buick Century Ltd. Posh. Moved to ID with us in 2005. We drove this until it was falling apart (literally) and not worth fixing.

2008: 2006 Dodge Stratus. Replaced the Century.


2010: OK, so the Stratus was boring, and we got the urge to get something FUN like this 2005 VW Bug. Gwynne named her Gretchen (good German name) and she has incredible head and leg room plus great gas mileage.

2009 Volkswagon Beetle: The convertible was cute, but not really practical: manual top was a hassle, hated to leave it wide open if making multiple shopping stops, and how many days in Idaho are really suitable for an open car? Also, wasn’t comfortable with a manual transmission anymore. Hence, got this hardtop automatic and still had the cute factor. With front-wheel drive and all-weather tires, it got us through the miserable winter of 2016/2017.

2007 Ram

2007 Dodge Ram Pickup: Stopped traveling to horse shows and sold the big trailer with living quarters, so really didn’t need diesel for power anymore – and diesel was really expensive. Had to look hard to find this one without an un-needed back seat. With the short bed, it can even fit into the garage.

2012 Nissan Xterra:  In our dotage, we’re driving way less and rarely go anywhere unless we’re together. We traded both the Blue Beetle and the pickup in (along with some extra cash, of course) and became a 1-vehicle household with this 6 cyl. SUV. Had a hitch put on for the horse trailer, cargo area handles a few bags of feed/shavings, and the interior is nice and comfy with a back seat that folds down so we’re “good to go” for a while, with the insurance/maintenance bills cut in half.










  1. mjcpurse
    mjcpurse March 16, 2011

    This is great – I’m part car make/model afficionado. LOVE this. Fun to see the green bug w us in front! Mj

  2. Carol
    Carol March 17, 2011

    Great history. You may be old, but you sure have a good memory. I can’t even remember all of the houses I’ve lived in, much less the cars I have either rode in or driven.

  3. Mo Carman
    Mo Carman April 15, 2011

    Daddy- I love the convertable the mostest!! That is when you were home with us! YaY. And it was the most fun. Best car memory for me.

  4. Mo Carman
    Mo Carman April 15, 2011

    I also love the Motorcycle that you would give me rides on……so fun….

  5. Steve Brittenham
    Steve Brittenham May 11, 2011

    I remember all of them from the ’74 van through the Harley. Funny, I don’t really recall the Suzuki, though. I’ve probably got pictures of most of them that will eventually make it to my Flower Company album on my Facebook page.

  6. The Geriatric Curmudgeon
    The Geriatric Curmudgeon May 11, 2011

    Hi! Thanks for the comments. I am really looking forward to your Flower Company album. I have VERY few pictures of anything related to The Flower Company as they all seem to be in someone else’s possession.

  7. James
    James June 20, 2012

    You sure bought a lot of cars over the years. Let’s see I’ve had a 56 Buick Roadmaster Special (bought in 1963), a 1963 VW Bug, a 1968 Karmann Ghia, a 1973 Buick Opel Manta Luxus (new), a 1982 Ford Escort, a 1988 Mazda 323, a 1997 Mazda 626 and now a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe (best of all of them)!! A total of 8 cars over 49 years, while you’ve had, I count 31 vehicles (when you count the motorcyles)!!

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