When I was in elementary school, my brother turned sixteen and my dad bought him this:
A pristinely restored 1964 Chevrolet Impala. It was gorgeous. New paint. New interior. Pale yellow with black cloth interior. It was sweet.
I guess I was maybe 9 or 10 when my brother got this car, so I had a few years to think about what I might get. My dream car was a convertible Mustang, preferably vintage, but really any year would do. My dad borrowed a newer one for me to ride on in our local Christmas parade when I was in 8th grade and I think he inquired as to the price, but found it too high and my dreams were temporarily put on hold.
I would be lying if I said I didn't expect to get a car for my 16th birthday too. I mean, it's only fair, right? What's good for the goose and all that.
So imagine my surprise when I got my car for my 15th birthday! I'm not quite sure why my dad chose to give me mine early, but but boy was I excited. Until I saw this:
Yes, my friends, that is a 1980 (I believe) Mercury Bobcat. But that photo? Is not representative of my car at all. AT ALL. No. My car was special. How special was it? My car was tri-colored!! My first car was black on the roof and hood. It had a long, swooping red stripe similar to the one above and the area below was silver. And it it had the words "bobcat" down the side in red letters about a foot high. I searched the internet high and low for an image of my car, but I'm beginning to believe it was one of a kind. And trust me, there are NO pictures of my car. I made sure of that.
Oh, and another awesome thing about my car? It had no seat belts. The man who refused to allow me to take karate, have a motorcycle or a go-cart all because they were too dangerous, bought me a car whose gas tank was known to explode in collisions and whose seat belts had been cut out. Yeeeaaah.
I tried to act excited, but inside I was crushed. I know I sound like a spoiled brat, whining over a free car, but y'all? A bobcat? Seriously? That's the best he could do?
I've mentioned before that I wasn't really a part of the in-crowd. I mean, I was popular enough, but nobody's popularity is strong enough to withstand the 'cat. Did I catch hell about that car from my classmates? You bet I did. My arch-nemesis, Jennifer, took to calling me bobcat. She would say it as I walked past her in the hall. Kind of low and under her breath. But I heard her. Every time. Or I would come to class and find "bobcat" written on my desk. Some friends of a friend of mine had a field day making fun of the wood "accents" in the interior.
But I drove it. Every day. For almost two years. Until the day that my brother moved to Thailand and we got to keep his car. His new car. That my dad bought him. This one:
A Nissan 200sx. Black. With a sun roof.
So that's what I drove my senior year. Occasionally I felt bad about driving my brother's car. But hey, he wasn't using it. And they owed me. Big time. Right?
6 years ago