With a nice paint job, Keystone Klassic rims, Mickey Thompson tires and a 200 inline six-cylinder, this car set the benchmark for the expression “all show and no go!”
Then in 1978 I bought a red 1974 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400.
Around 1980, I purchased what was probably my “nicest” car: my silver 1975 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am with a 400 V-8, 4-barrel, powering a four-speed transmission.
Believe it or not, that was the last car I ever owned with a car payment.
Then in July 1989, I bought a car I still own. Now repainted silver and black is my faux SS 1971 Chevrolet El Camino.
My partner in automotive crime, Jim Muraski, and I pulled the original 350 V-8 and replaced it with a newly rebuilt 350 with goodies like a 4 barrel Edelbrock carburetor, a Weiand aluminum intake, and a Mallory Unilite distributor.
In 1995, I bought the best car for the money I ever owned, a 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with an original 400 V-8 purchased for $175 (ha!) Yeah, it was little rough, but it always ran.
I sold that car in October for $1,500 so, if you ever get to Millen, Ga., and see a brown ’Monte Carlo with the vinyl roof “peeled back,” say “hey” to it, will you?
Four stories about the most memorable cars I’ve owned and I don’t have time for the other 30 or so!
– Jeff Miller, Martinez
MY FIRST CAR WAS a 1965 Chevrolet Malibu SS. I bought this mildly powered, 283-cubic-inch/Powerglide, Nassau Blue beauty four months before I even got my driver’s license.
Driving this sweet little ride through high school got my car addiction going, because I’ve owned more than 75 vehicles in the 38-plus years since.
These have included everything from 1938 Dodge coupes, ’57 Chevy Nomads to Volkswagen Super Beetles and Corvettes and everything in between up to my current ride, a ’87 Chevy Silverado short bed.
– Jim Muraski, Martinez