My first car was a extraordinary black, 2 door 1962 Chevy Belair with blue vinyl seats, which I nicknamed "The Black Beauty"! I mean she shined beautifully when polished. There is nothing like a black car highly polished! It also didn't hurt to have those 8 cylinders and that great 283 workhorse engine that Chevy put in it! And all for the bargain price of $400! Five years later I sold it for the same price!
Like many of my generation, we normally got cars for our graduation. I was lucky, as my dad worked for Rolls Royce and the head mechanic there, Johnny T was selling this fantastic car. Now this wasn't just any 1962 Chevy Belair. Since Johnny T was an avid fisherman and didn't want to ruin the upholstery he covered the cloth upholstery with a blue vinyl one. Johnny also put in all the instrumentation needed on the inside of the car, oil and temp gauge, and tach. He also installed a blinker system, so the blinkers were on the hood. The final coupe de grace was putting Rolls Royce seat belts in the car. Since Johnny was a great mechanic and of course, did all his own work, when he sold us the car he included extra tires and all the materials to keep the brakes up to par for many years to come.
I can remember my first drive in the car. I pulled out of my drive way and drove over to the park a couple blocks away, too, of course, show it off to all my friends.
I cleaned the Black Beauty every weekend from top to bottom. My Saturday morning ritual was cleaning the inside, and then washing it. I waxed it once a month. My dad went and got me a 8 track cassette for it (yes, I know I just dated myself; for those of you who don't know what an 8 track is, think CD player of today)! Unfortunately my poor baby was broken into a couple of times when they stole my 8 track and some very nasty person slit the front seat. Bad enough they took my 8 track and tapes, the least they could have done is left the seat alone. So, yes there were bad eggs around then too!
Whenever we had to make a trip into the city (New York that is), my father made me drive while he sat in the back seat. It had a amazingly comfortable ride, even with all the pot holes on the Long Island Expressway! In addition to drives into the city, I had loads of fun in the Black Beauty with my friends.
Unfortunately I had to sell the "Black Beauty" when my husband and I went off to graduate school. However, don't feel too bad, we had replaced it with a 1976 Pontiac Trans Am, yep, the last of the big 455's. Plus we had the engine blue printed, balanced and a whole lot more, so it really hauled a**!
We sold the Black Beauty to a neighbor, who took out the vinyl seats and lo and behold the cloth ones were in excellent condition. He eventually sold it to his brother in Brooklyn, who while driving one day went to step on the brake pedal and his foot went through the floor. Unfortunately the harsh NY winters aren't kind to cars!
I think many of us wax sentimental when we think of our first car, I know I do! Luckily , I still have my pictures and some very great memories of my "Black Beauty"!
DeFiore Enterprises, Copyright 2005
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