Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Lamborghini Countach? If I was a kid, I'd hang a '74 Buick poster on my bedroom wall!
That’s certainly the case for me, as my ’74 Buick Century is the only car that I still have dreams about. Apparently, I still have the old Buick at the back of the garage, and I drive it every once in awhile just to keep things oiled up. Actually, I sold it more than 15-years ago, but the sleep-induced fantasy that I still have it squirreled away makes me sleep better.
I took a job at a full-service car wash when I was 14. It actually was a pretty hard job for a 115-lb kid, and it was a two-mile walk from my house. I also had to walk uphill, both ways, in the snow. Kids today have no idea …
Dad spotted the 13-year-old Buick Colonnade coupe on the back lot of Don Stein Buick in Overland Park. It really didn’t look like much, sitting there with its trash can lid wheel covers and missing urethane pieces around the taillights. It wasn’t exactly the new IROC I had in my brain. Nevertheless, $820 later and it was in our driveway.
As time went on, the Buick of my dreams (literally) began to take shape. Buick Road Wheels from the junkyard changed the whole attitude. The broken stuff around the taillights was fixed. I had the seats reupholstered. It was pinstriped at a hot rod show. I learned how to work on things that I couldn’t afford to fix. Actually, now that I’ve become older and lazier, I am not willing to tackle many of the things I did back then.
Then one day, a couple of years in college, Mother Nature sealed the old beater’s fate. I must have waxed it 100-times, but it wasn’t enough to protect it from the baseball-sized hail. It was irreparable, and unacceptable. I convinced my insurance company that it was worth $1,650—almost double what I paid for it—and they let me keep the “totaled” car to sell. It took one day for someone to offer me $1,000 cash, hail and all, and the Buick was gone.
Except for Kojak, not many people ever cared about ’74 Buick Centuries. But, for old-time’s sake, I still have them as a favorite eBay search. I really do miss the old tank—my first true love.