Everyone Is Entitled To My Opinion-On Cars

      Here we go, “What was your first car?” Mine was a 58 Desoto, dark green and I called it the Green Goblin, yes I read comic books.

It was a large car, bench seat, four doors, fins in the rear, and a trunk you could put several people in (I heard some people did this to sneak people into the Drive Inn’s.) How many miles per gallon? I have no idea I do know that at that time I could pull into a service station with my fuel gauge on empty and the attendant would fill my tank, check my oil, and clean my windshield and it would set me back five dollars. I truly loved that first car, not because it was fast or flashy, the radio was AM with one speaker on the dashboard, roll up windows with vent windows (age test) no air conditioning but there was a vent you could open under the dash that allowed cool air to flow through. The ride was smooth and the muffler was quiet, and the Green Goblin got me where I wanted to go and back again.





If it needed anything repaired or maintenance I called on a local mechanic. I was not a “motor head” I never drag raced for pink slips I just drove it. That said, so many of the guys I went to school were very mechanically inclined; they could fix flats (this was in the day when you put a patch on the inner tube), the changed oil, did tune ups gapping spark plugs and points, some of them took shop in school learning how to rebuild an entire motor or transmission. Leaky radiator, no problem, burst hose, dead battery, replace wires or distributor cap.





Yes these guys were serious “motor heads”, many grew up to be successful mechanics, owning classic old cars they restored to original condition and drive only on sunny days to car shows hoping to win prizes. Some of them were NASCAR minded and on Sundays they would drive over the “double nickel” bridge to race their cars at ATCO Raceway, in New Jersey. I did go over one Sunday when a friend of mine was going to run his car on the track and get a time. I rode along with him, while he signed in and made arrangements to test his car on the ATCO track I sought out hot dogs and soda. It was a long day, cars running, racing, and owners bragging about their cars and motors; horse power, RPM’s, engine sizes. I was lost in these conversations, but I understood their passion for cars, it was their thing.



Now, after 63 years of engines revving, tires screeching, exhaust fumes, white and checkered flags signaling start and win, ATCO is closing, for good. No I never raced but I was able, that day, to see and share the passion they had for cars and speed. I understand how they feel, 63 years of a place that special is coming to an end and I get it despite being mechanically declined.