Friday, February 6, 2015

Cars I Used To Own (part one)

Today will begin a series on cars.  Big cars, small cars, old cars, new cars.  Cars of all colors and creeds.  Cars that got me from A to B all of the time…and cars that only did it some of the time.

I’ve been driving since I was sixteen years old.  I’m forty-four now (my birthday isn’t until April, but tant pis, we’re close enough), so this list is going to be long.  With that in mind, I’ve decided to break it down into manageable chunks, like a true Six Sigma Black Belt.

At sixteen I got things started right away with the Dodge Aspen, a 70s something, pine green 6-banger that I will refrain from saying bad things about, because this car was never bad to me (at least not on purpose).  I learned how to change alternators with the Aspen, a skill that would come in handy with a car coming later on this list.  I also learned how to close a door made by Dodge.  Lift and pull!  Is it still like this?  Maybe one of you Viper owners can tell me.

This car excited me, mainly because it was my first.  It had an unkillable slant-six motor, rusty holes all over the body, and a front grill that looked like it had been punched through by Ivan Drago.

When the brake line broke after a year behind the wheel, I sold it to an old couple who liked it even more than me.  I told them everything in the car worked perfectly and sent them on their merry way down route 2 towards Cleveland.  They have not been seen since and I have kept my nose away from all traffic reports coming from the Plain Dealer.

(just kidding; it took the husband about five minutes to snap a new brake line in place and THEN they drove off).

The Dodge Aspen/Station-Wagon/slant 6-cylinder engine/automatic transmission:  An ugly but tough 6.5 out of 10

p.s. I replaced that front grill with one I found at a junk yard; the Aspen absolutely deserved it

Car number two: 

The Buick Century 350

We took one of these to Richfield Coliseum to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Chicago Bulls.  Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.  Yes.  On a night when Mark Price, Brad Daugherty, Hot Rod Williams, and the rest of the Cavs beat the Bulls, my Century 350 was in the parking lot.  That’s really all you should need.

Turns out it was just too awesome for its own good.  One night on the way to Fremont, Ohio, the engine burst into flames.  We pulled over and tried to figure out what to do, but the fire kept getting worse, until at last the car exploded into a glorious ball of unleaded gasoline that lit up northern Ohio for miles.  The culprit turned out to be an oil leak—one I had known about but, being a teenager who worked at a grocery store, did not have the money to repair.

This car worked hard, played hard, and died like a man.  I need to go get a beer now.  Rust in piece, my friend.

The 1974 Buick Century/2-door/350.2/automatic transmission:  A totally badass 8 out of 10

Check back soon for cars three and four on this list.  We’ve got parking calamities and bondo featuring Andy Capp.  Oh and more pictures, so it should be fun.


Tag Cavello is a novelist and short story writer.
Download his short stories (for free!) HERE and HERE
Download Regions of Passion, his novel of fantasy and adventure, for only 5 good American dollars at these same places!


  1. Love walking down memory lane looking at the cars that you used to own. I still remember my 1st car it was a hyundai accent.

  2. You're so adept with cars since you've already been driving for a long time. I haven't driven one yet -- even a motorcycle. hehe...But hubby is planning to buy one this year, sana matuloy.

  3. Driving is not my thing, I'm so scared to learn. Until now I haven't drive our car even my husband convince me to try it. I think "learning to drive" is in my goal since 2007. hehehe!

  4. Same to you Michi. Hubby keeps telling me to enroll in a driving school but I am too scared to drive. Feeling ko makakabangga ako ng wala sa oras lalo na minsan may taong biglang susulpot sa harap mo.

  5. Wow. you owned multiple cars already. Me? Still dreaming about buying one, even the cheapest one.

  6. I can feel you, Sis Michi and Jess! I was sooooo scared of driving that it took 15 years (and a siege!) for my husband to convince me to learn. Been driving for a little over a year now and I can finally admit that speed can be very addicting.

  7. I started driving when I was 22. I remember driving an owner-type jeep in our campus with my classmates. Nakakamiss...