#851 Your family car growing up


Hanging out with friends late, late, late the other night, dim music on in the background, splayed haphazardly on a fat, squishy couch, my brother-in-law Dee suddenly started waxing nostalgic about his family’s big, old 1991 white Chevy Suburban.

He just broke into it, too.

“That monster seated nine people, I swear to you. Honestly, nine! There was a bench in the back, a bench in the middle, and a bench in the front. I remember when my parents bought it I said ‘Why not get the captain’s chairs in the front?’, and they were like ‘No, that’s just not practical.’ But I guess the benches did come in handy. My dad used to drive our entire baseball team around — that’s fourteen twelve-year-olds wedged in tight and twisted. I mean, we referred to it as The Team Tank. … Honestly man, I miss that old beast.”

A real showpiece

His wistful, late-night rambles got me thinking.

For my sister Nina and I, nothing would beat sitting in the backseat of our old 1984 Pontiac Station Wagon with brown paint, brown interior, and a classy fake wood trim on the outside. The backseat in this Logmobile was about eight feet away from the driver, but a world apart really. You could talk and play games out of earshot, all the while looking and laughing straight out the back window, distracting the people behind you on the highway.

Feel the teal

In the summer the metal belt buckles would grow red-hot and scald your skin when you tried to buckle up. The cup holders were always full of sticky remains from the half-dozen spilled Cokes that were never fully sponged up by the handful of McDonald’s napkins stuffed in there. The A/C was temperamental, the windows wouldn’t roll down all the way, and there were no DVD players entertaining you, no GPS voices guiding you. You’d just clamp up, invent your own fun, and sit patiently on the dark, fabric seats, deeply stained from that time somebody sat on a banana.

1992-teal-ford-taurus1So — what was your car? Was it a 1969 Dodge Dart? A 1990 Chevette in Classic Dull Grey or 1995 Chevy Lumina van? Was it a monstrous 1968 Impala, a 1954 Desoto, or a 1991 Ford “Feel The Teal” Taurus?

Whatever it was, I bet it sure does give you a trip down memory lane when you see the car you grew up in, the same color, the same style, the same model, just driving around town like nobody’s business. Or maybe just fixed up real pretty at an antique car show. Or maybe just calmly coasting on cruise through your brain once in a while.

For old time’s sake.



Photos from: here, here, here, here, and here

70 thoughts on “#851 Your family car growing up

  1. Dad’s 1965 Ford Fairlane. He got it from his Dad who got it from the original owner in ’66. He drove that car for years until he tore it down to rebuild it. But not to worry folks, Dad’s got a black one, same year, make, and model and we drive that thing everywhere. And there’s no a/c so it gets hot as hell in that thing during the summer. My brother said ‘why don’t you put a/c in Dad?’ Dad replied with ‘roll down your window while we’re going down the road and you won’t need any a/c. We did it when I was growing up and if it was good enough for me, its good enough for you, now roll down the window, we need the air to circulate’.

  2. 79 Ford LTD Brown with wood trim station wagon. Seated 8, with the fold up seat in the back that faced the back window.

  3. Great memories along with many of these comments!
    For me…
    so many families,
    sooo many cars,
    save time and face…
    too little time and not enough space!

  4. Like many others, I had the good fortune of watching my car grow up. When we first purchased the automobile, it was a Chevy super compact. By the time I was a teenager, it was a Ford Explorer. Boy, how time flies.

  5. This one took me back… all the way back to my first car- a 1993 Buick Century stationwagon. It was ugly red with that awful wood-mimic sidepanelling. I remember putting six full-sized adults, several bags of horse feed, half a dozen duffel bags and one big dog in that car at one time. It never complained. I miss that car.

  6. We had a ’90-something Mercury Cougar, and I loved it. The AC didn’t work, and there was a splotch on the ceiling from 5-year-old me being dramatic and flinging a half eaten banana into it, there was a ton of melted crayon in the back, there was a Bratz doll rattling around in it… I miss that car. I’m 14 now, and I wish I could learn to drive in it, but my dad traded it in for a Nissan.

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