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A James Dean Wannabe - Jim Van Orden's Blog  April 8, 2021 – 07:58 pm

A sequel to "My Maplewood" that focuses on a boy's first car.

A James Dean Wannabe

By Jim Van Orden, Richardson, TX, 2012

(A sequel to “My Maplewood” that focuses on a boy’s first car.)

It was love at first sight. “Stop!” I yelled as my mother drove past the Texaco gas station. “I want that car.”

The car that got my attention was a 1951 Mercury 2-door, painted faded green with dual exhausts. The “for sale” sign in the back window read “$150/As is.”

Fortuitously, I had saved exactly $150.00 working as a $1/hour usher in the Maplewood, NJ, theater during the summer of 1960. “Mom, I have enough money to buy that car, ” I pleaded, “and it’s the car of my dreams.”

Mothers can be wonderful and mine was no exception. She did stop. And I bought the car 30 minutes later from the garage mechanic. My father, however, wasn’t impressed when he drove it home and told me the odometer had stopped at 98K miles.

“I smell oil, ” he said, “and there’s blue smoke behind the car.” He was right. The old Mercury had seen better days. But that didn’t matter to me. It looked like James Dean’s 1949 Mercury in “Rebel Without a Cause.” And James Dean was my idol at age 16.

The J.C. Whitney catalog became my best friend for the next six months. I ordered fender skirts, fake whitewall rubber tire inserts, dual glass pack mufflers, plastic filler for the holes in the hood and trunk when I “nosed and decked” the car, and even a cow horn to impress my high school friends (which later earned me a traffic ticket for “disturbing the peace”). The crowning touch was a $19.95 Earl Scheib “special discount” paint job. Black, of course, to match the James Dean car.

I couldn’t drive the car, however, until I turned 17. It was early January, 1961, about a week before JFK’s inauguration, when my long-awaited birthday finally arrived. Deep snow covered the northern New Jersey roads and my father and I struggled to put chains on the rear tires. As we drove to the state facility for the driving test, a link broke and smashed against the inside rear fender well on every tire revolution. This didn’t set well with the state trooper who conducted the test. But I aced the parallel parking maneuver even in the snow. The officer thankfully ignored the painful noise and I passed.

Source: maplewood.patch.com

Toyota seems to bend over backwards taking care

Of problems. They're the only manufactures I know of who were willing to buy trucks back due to rust issues.
I believe Toyota is determined to make owning the Prius as painless as possible and has probably good willed a ton of repairs to make it so. I also believe Toyota does a huge majority of work on the hybreds, I have never even gotten a call about working on one and just by happen stance one was in my half page ad. I told um to pick a car and damned if they didn't pick a Prius.
Detroit is awfully late coming to the game and what they have to offer isn't selling very well

Feel the power  — Milton Daily Standard
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Allmendinger wins in NASCAR's first visit to Mid-Ohio  — Coos Bay World
The race was plagued by spin-outs and fender benders. The last one almost .. Hornish made a run at the leaders almost immediately and also tried to skirt inside McDowell at the first turn. ..

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