It started with a love affair. The one that I had with this car back in the early eighties when I rode around Jacksonville Florida in it with the vent windows wide open in the scorching summer heat.
You didn't dare touch the dashboard between April and October unless you wanted third-degree burns. It certainly discouraged the idea of propping your bare sandy toes up after a beach visit! But despite the heat, that little car was cool! People looked at it, they commented on it. It was cute, like a little mutt puppy. It had personality. I loved it.
This car took me to my prom. My one-and-only prom - in my senior year - with the fellow I ended up marrying soon after graduation, just two love-sick kids who didn't know any better. This car brought the newlyweds to their first home: a garage-top apartment in Riverside that swayed in the wind during each daily thunderstorm. We lived among the trees and the birds for a while, with the Falcon parked in the driveway right out front. This car took us to the beach and the marshes, to our first rock concert and our first job interviews. This car took both of us to work, for many years a pleasant (and very cute) reliable ride that we took for granted. Just like us.
And then it was wrecked. Just like us.
The irony is, Andy was a mechanic at a gas station for a living. He had a brand-new master cylinder sitting in the trunk because he knew the brakes were failing. He put it off. Too long. He ended up hitting a tree and a fire hydrant. Tore up both front fenders, the grill, bumper, the entire front end.
My daddy bought it from us (we couldn't afford to put it back together on a pump jockey/glorified cashier's salaries). He sort of put it back together, with donor fenders and a cheap paint job. He moved it up to Virginia and he drove it around for awhile. He still ended up putting several master cylinders in it, it seemed to eat them. Alas, my daddy is never satisfied with a car for long. Some other will take his fancy and he will buy it and lay aside the last one like a tinker toy. The Falcon was rapidly relegated to the status of storage bin, sitting next to a barn. Then it went to my brother.
Now I love my brother, but he has a tendency to ride cars hard and put them up wet. He has little patience for covered trunk lock on a stormy day and not much regard for aesthetics, so the little Falcon began to languish, and was finally replaced and placed under a barn shelter to wait. wait. wait. For, well...
Jim would say it all got started when we went to a cruise-in on one of our early dates and I said my daddy had an old Ford Falcon and saw "Sucker" written on his face. But that's his story.
My story is...I wanted to see that car back to its former glory. I wanted it to shine and purr. I wanted it to be testament to persistence. It may have been beat up, it may have been neglected, but it's mine now - just like my life - and I love it. So...
Jim and I are started this new affair, another love affair, with a couple of damaged but still promising cars (my original falcon from Florida and the blue one from up north) with the most wonderful and mysterious compatibility. Just like us.
It was our hopeful dream that we would drive one gorgeous little white Falcon up the drive of Mama Possum's cruise-in the summer of 2008 and we lived it. My little white car received donations of engine, doors, and various other parts from the blue one (it was a sad day when we finally retired it to take it apart) as well as numerous ebay wins and scavenged finds.
Together, they are making my little white wonder come back to life. Jim's doing the mechanics, and I'm doing the detail, and we hope you enjoy our progress reports as we make this baby run!