Grandparents' cars.

tcadam

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My maternal grandparents were Buick people while my paternal grandparents were Oldsmobile people. They seemed to get along ok, though.
 

Teleguy61

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I don't remember my paternal grandparent's cars, but my maternal grandmother had two cars:
1960 Chrysler Imperial, and a 1960 Chrysler Valiant, which we all loved-- 1641850146233.png 1641850235529.png
 

schmee

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My Grandparents on my Dad's side had a 57 Ford 6 cyl stick shift on the tree. My Grama was super short, I mean like 4 ft 10! ? When she drove, she'd look THROUGH the steering wheel right below the arc of the wheel! She took me and my buddy on a driving trip for a few days. Once, she turned onto the off ramp and started down the hiway the wrong way! Me and my buddy in the back seat were yelling at her to stop!
Just like this one:
 

RoscoeElegante

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My maternal grandpa lived in NYC and died young, in 1936. So he never drove, much less owned a car.

My paternal one I barely knew, as he was a moral monster. He died when I was about 9. I never saw him drive. But my dad told a great story.

During WWII, the only car his dad could afford was a Lincoln V12. No one wanted it due to gas rationing. He was a careless man in many ways. So when my dad visited home between his Navy hitches--this was probably 1946--he gave his dad's car "the once-over." He saw that the oil filter was completely rotten. "I had to clean it out of there with a spoon," my dad said. When he asked his dad, "Didn't you notice any problems, driving with a rotten oil filter?" his dad replied: "I thought all that smoke was the car's way of telling other drivers 'Get the hell away from me.' Also, the noise. That loud engine kept me safe. What, are you saying I was wrong?"
 

fjblair

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My grandparents on my fathers side never owned a car, and never learned to drive. My maternal grandfather always had Dodge cars and trucks. He had a really cool '49 sedan, and I can still remember the smell of that old car.

Something about his loyalty to Dodge stuck with me because the only American made vehicles I have owned in my life have been Chrysler products.
 

ndcaster

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cars? look at this guy, my grandparents had horses

pap.jpg


I kid ... barely

it's possible they had cars, but they were born in the 1890s and lived on top of a hill above the coal mine where they worked, so they had it easy: they could walk to work every day

like most everyone else, our family ever since has seen the automotive history of the entire twentieth century in America. my dad's first car was a late 1940s something that he liked a lot but had to leave to his older sister when we went off to France during the postwar Marshall Plan. when he came back and started having kids, he bought a purple Mustang, a '65, with bucket seats

Screen Shot 2022-01-10 at 4.41.39 PM.png


I loved that damned thing, but he didn't have it long. I don't know the full story, but I suspect my mom made him sell it after a year or two because it was impractical for a growing family

grr ...

my first car in the 1980s was a Buick Lesabre wagon, just like this:

Screen Shot 2022-01-10 at 4.28.02 PM.png


it was a school of humility, but man, was it ever useful
 

kranz

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This is me as a young lad standing by my grandparents '52 Chevrolet two tone Deluxe with a 6 cylinder. They lived on a farm in northern Wisconsin. Stick on the steering column. Starter button. Beautiful herringbone wool bench seats. Vacuum powered wipers that would pause under heavy acceleration. Tires had innertubes. It had a 6-volt battery that would be removed in the winter and kept warm in the house so it would start in the periods of deepest cold.

It came into my possession in the early '70s while I was in college. At that time it only had 27,000 miles on it. I took it on a road trip from Chicago to New York and I took the route through Ontario Canada. When I re-entered the US, the friendly US customs service searched the car for drugs. After they emptied the contents of the car on the ground and removed the back seat they said "OK, you can go now."

52 Chevy.jpg
 

imwjl

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Yeah, in those days, the Buicks had their own engine source - they did not yet share with Chevy, Pontiac and Olds.

And so, some kids could tell by exhaust sound, which brand and sometimes which model with what options, a particular car had. 15 years later, a lot of different GM brands used the same motors and exhausts. I remember the Louisiana Attorney General (Billy Guste) filing a lawsuit against GM over it.
Some of the neighborhood kids with me among them would guess cars by the noise, and those GM days you speak of were towards the end of our business that served a GM plant. Lots of good and bad memories.

Something else cool to me about the time was my dad's cohort and group of pals he had from growing up and the GI Bill college days getting the flagship wagons. I sensed their getting the nice family rigs was a pretty big deal to them.

@mexicanyella Here's my early 6 cyl sound track along with Mack B models. My grandfather drove this truck picking up scrap metal and hides saying some day I _will_ graduate from college and not have to. When I finally did graduate I gave thanks to my grandparents.

I'm sure the grandmother's cars stick because she was just so fun and wise and strong in the family. She was a poor immigrant kid who lost her mom and her husband but totally kick butt strong and modern for her times. She took over and grew her husband's business when he died young around 1940.

SLvm93Q.jpg
 

985plowboy

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Mom told me when she was a kid the family car was a ‘57 Chevy.
I thought that was awesome and asked her how she liked it.
She said she was so happy when Paw Paw sold it and bought a car with air conditioning.
I don’t blame her.
 

brindlepicker

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Mine all started out with horses and carriages.Had a pic of dad’s mom with retired old Nell.
The Grandpa’s car I remember was an early 70’s giant new yellow Electra. My Uncle told me Grandpa complained about it being hot driving around 1 day. Uncle told him if ya weren’t such a tight [email protected]@ you could’ve got A/C!
 

David Barnett

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... but I remember my Mom telling of my Aunt (her sister) getting a coat shut in the door when Unk dropped her off. He was old at the time and didn't hear well, he took off and she was banging on the window to get him to stop!

I love the stories of our ancestors' misadventures in cars.

My great great aunt Kate was a very short woman, certainly under five feet. She drove a huge white '57 Cadillac with the Dagmar bumpers, and sat so low she looked out between the steering wheel and the top of the dashboard. My mom would not let us ride with her. There was a story of her driving in downtown Muskogee when she hit something, couldn't see what it was, so she circled the block and hit it again.
 

mexicanyella

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Some of the neighborhood kids with me among them would guess cars by the noise, and those GM days you speak of were towards the end of our business that served a GM plant. Lots of good and bad memories.

Something else cool to me about the time was my dad's cohort and group of pals he had from growing up and the GI Bill college days getting the flagship wagons. I sensed their getting the nice family rigs was a pretty big deal to them.

@mexicanyella Here's my early 6 cyl sound track along with Mack B models. My grandfather drove this truck picking up scrap metal and hides saying some day I _will_ graduate from college and not have to. When I finally did graduate I gave thanks to my grandparents.

I'm sure the grandmother's cars stick because she was just so fun and wise and strong in the family. She was a poor immigrant kid who lost her mom and her husband but totally kick butt strong and modern for her times. She took over and grew her husband's business when he died young around 1940.

SLvm93Q.jpg
Man, I love old stakebed trucks, and that’s a cool one! Growing up, our neighbors were farmers and had an early 60s Ford, 2-1/2 ton I think, with a dump grain bed and a 292 Y-block V8, 4-speed and a 2-speed electric-shifted rear axle that was good for some surprise crunches when you were least prepared for them. I used to love riding in that thing, sitting in a pile of wheat and smelling cut wild onions that got snipped and scooped up by the combine...

Talking of being able to identify engines by exhaust sound...the 292s I’ve seen all had this weird exhaust crossover pipe linking the front of the driver’s side exhaust manifold to the front of the passenger side one, and then the outlet was off the back of the passenger side one. It sounded like a V8, but with an odd throbby/thuddy kind of sound to it. No other V8 I’ve heard sounds quite like it.

You ever see American Graffiti, where Toad is cruising in the ‘58 Chevy and tries to engage a T-bird in a drag race, but ends up punching it in reverse and hitting the car behind him? There’s a brief burst of T-bird sound that has that weird Y-block throb to it.

Another one I could usually pick out was 1970s Oldsmobiles, which often had an under-the-engine crossover pipe from the center of one manifold to the other, and then a rear exit from the passenger side. It seemed to give them a unique beat also, although I heard those as more barky and mean sounding, and less goofy.
 

Dan German

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My maternal grandfather (born 1912ish) was a salesman. He wasn’t a car guy, but a good car showed you’d made it. He had Buicks through my early childhood, because his company provided them. He made a statement by buying a nice car for my grandmother. I have some late ‘50s pics of her in a Pontiac, first a coupe, then a convertible. Things were a bit tighter in the early ‘60s, and she drove a Comet for a couple of years. Then, with business booming, she got a ‘64 Riviera. White with red interior. I loved that car. In 1970, he set himself up in business, so no more company Buicks, although he bought himself two more before switching to Lincolns. The ‘70s were the Town Car years for him, and my grandmother was driving less, so only the one car. I bought his ‘73 Buick Estate Wagon from him.
 
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drmordo

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P.S. I think the early 60s through early 70s big flagship wagons are their own cool and cultural thing.

YES!!! I almost bought a 70 Chevy Kingswood (Impala station wagon) a few months back and am still not sure I made the right decision.
 

mexicanyella

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Most of the automotive weirdness in my family came from my dad. He drove used beater Chrysler products for most of my childhood...an off-white government fleet ‘64 Belvedere wagon he called “The Pelican” with huge wraparound rear quarter windows and a slant 6 with three-speed column shift. He added extra leaves to the rear springs so it wouldn’t squat when loaded down with tools and building supplies when he took on extra work remodeling and doing decks for people. In between being a carpenter truck, it was a rafting/camping/hiking machine, with whitewater rafts/canoes/kayaks lashed on top. I remember dragging the exhaust center pipe on a really Rocky Mountain road in Montana or Wyoming or something, crushing a section of the pipe, and he and my uncle cutting the crushed section out with a hacksaw and patching it together with a split-lengthwise metal tennis ball can and a couple of big hose clamps. It got us home with our hearing intact and no carbon monoxide poisoning.

Another time, on a Sunday evening a joint broke in the throttle linkage halfway en route from Denver to Kansas City, and dad ran a piece of wire from the carburetor bell crank through a grommet in the firewall and into the passenger compartment under the dash. He clamped a big pair of vise-grip pliers onto the end of the wire and drove by pulling on the vice-grips. He’d let me take a turn at being the vice-grip guy when his hand would get tired. I thought that was awesome, being entrusted with a serious job like that. It probably helped that the slant 6 had a torque curve a mile wide so there weren’t too many necessary shifts...

The Pelican’s successor was a ‘65 (?) Valiant sedan in faded red. It was actually pretty close to that coveted faded Fender Fiesta Red color, and he called it “The Roseate Spoonbill.” It has the same slant 6/3-speed column shift drivetrain. Once while driving on a long, straight gravel road along a big water supply canal in a desert somewhere in California, we saw a discarded lawn chair on the side of the road. We pulled over and my dad, uncle and stepmom lashed it to the cargo rack on the roof and we all took turns sitting in it and riding up there, catching some 35 mph breeze. That would be black helicopter child endangerment now, but man it is a happy memory.

The Roseate Spoonbill era came to an end when its second swapped-in junkyard engine was burning a quart of oil ever 150 miles or so and it had to have anti-fouler tips installed on five of the six spark plugs. It was replaced by a ‘66 Chevy Biscayne, with a 283 and a two-speed powerglide, which was similarly decked-out for post-hippie Western State adventures and carpentry in between. It was half faded metallic green and half silver brush paint. I was getting into my teens then and simultaneously affectionate toward that bombproof car and queasy about being seen near it whenever teenage girls were within sight. Dad always had a few pair of gas station sunglasses on the dash, and he used to love to ease up alongside some car with an attractive girl in it at a stoplight, look over to make sure I was aware of what he was doing, and slip on a pair of the shades, scooch down a little in the seat, crank up the stereo and rev the little polite-sounding 283 a bit...then sluggishly pull away. I’d be mortified. He never cracked a smile as he did it, but he sure kept doing it...
 

MickM

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I had a '68 Mercury Montego wagon that I bought from my Grandfather. That was around 1980 and it had 140K but he maintained it always. The coolest thing about it was that it was blue from the factory and after fixing some rust he re- painted it blue with Rustoleum and a brush. Nice job too but it powdered after I got it which turned it into a message/chalk board for anybody with a creative finger.
 




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