The Commode

Another car story. My friend Adrian just reminded me that I haven’t written about my FIRST car, the Most Awesome Car In The World – a 1967 Chevy Camaro.

Fact you should know: I may be a 30-something female, but part of me is a 12 year old redneck boy. And while I do love a good spa day and fantastic shoes, I also enjoy things like four-wheeling, playing in mud…and Muscle Cars.

And I was trying to think if I have any good stories to tell about my time with The Commode. (My cousin nick-named it that for no apparent reason except for the fact that we lived in Tennessee and lots of things have nick-names for no apparent reason. In fact, I know several people, some are relatives, who I don’t actually know their real names. It’s a thing we do. Don’t judge.)

And there were definitely fun quirks about that car, like even though it was a ’67, it had a remote control changeable CD player.

And a BAG. PHONE.

Do you even know what that is?? That is like the FIRST CELL PHONE EVER. It was actually just a CAR PHONE, meaning, it can't leave the car because the equipment for it is in a bag, attached to the cigarette lighter. Before everyone and their child had a cell phone, I had a phone IN MY CAR people. I was the bomb. Not really, because I was only allowed to use it if I got lost on Tennessee backroads (which I did) or ran out of gas….which I DID, and THAT is what I’ll tell you about in a second.

But a couple quick separate stories first. So, the redneck boy in me liked to race other boys in THEIR cars and trucks. So I have different stories of like when my friend Mark took off beside me in his truck, which had a tool box in the bed that you open up in separate places using latches on either side. So as I’m leaving Mark in my dust, you could see those latches release themselves and his tool box open up like wings behind his cab. It made me laugh. And feel superior when he had to stop then.

Or I’d see my friend James in my rearview mirror in his 454 (for you non-redneck boys, that is a Fast Truck), while driving my neighbor to school, and I’d SLAM my pedal down on the floor, scaring my neighbor SENSELESS because he had NOT seen James coming up behind us.

And slamming my pedal to the floor isn’t always such a great idea, as I embarrasingly learned while attempting to race YET ANOTHER BOY in the parking lot at the public pool. And I’m starting from a dead stop. And I slam the pedal all the way down…

which floods the engine.

So I have to restart my car and I become the girl who “Green-horned an automatic” because green-horning is the term used for people who can’t drive stick-shifts, they just end up killing the engine while trying to get the car moving. And my car is not a stick-shift. I just apparently can’t drive at all.

And I mentioned that the car had funny inconsistencies like being old, yet having a cd player and air conditioning (that the previous owner had added). And it also had power steering, but my dad added that because Manual Steering is hard to turn with. And if you have a lot of turns, it can make a girl sweat on the way to high school - and HELLO! I can't be all sweaty when I arrive at school, DAD! (see, I'm also very Girl as well...) – so he got power steering installed. As well as it could be on a car that old. So the funny little thing about THAT was, if you turned the wheel too far:

It cut the engine.

Not that I know that from experience or anything…

But you also had to hit a button on the floor with your foot to dim or bright the headlights, which was fun, and the shifter didn’t have the usual P, R, D or whatever else the normal things are to tell you what you are shifting into. It had nothing. So you just had to KNOW what you were shifting into.

And after I drove it for awhile, the gauges started acting up. And one day, the whole car started acting a little strange, sluggish, jolting a little. And I wondered if I needed to get gas so I pulled into a gas station. But then I look at my gauges and think “I can’t really tell if I need gas because I don’t trust the gauge – and since my car is acting weird, what if I turn it off and can’t get it started again??”

So I don’t turn off the ignition, I pull right back out of the gas station and onto the main street towards home, which is uphill-

And my car promptly dies. From lack of gas. On a hill, a few feet from a gas station I JUST PULLED OUT OF.

So, in the end, the stories I have of my muscle car are pretty much like all my other stories: they end with someone looking at me amused, shaking their head in disbelief.

But man I loved that car. She looked exactly like this: Enjoy. :)