#Cars August 2

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In 2020 some Coach4aday posts will feature lessons learned by completing, planning, and experiencing 30 day challenges. The challenges include physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional.


This is a post about the first and second CARS I got to drive.


In late 1969 my Uncle Eugene V. Kenney gave my dad a car he wasn’t driving any more. It was a 1961 Black Corvair and it became my first car. There were probably plenty of good reasons why he wasn’t driving it any more.


That car taught me a few things. One that air-cooled engines (located in rear of car) that were in the Corvair were hard on fan belts and oil. My dad’s penchant for being prepared had me traveling with an extra fan belt and a quart of oil at all times. I had to replace the fan belt more than once.

The Corvair also taught me that there was no way I was going to compete with the muscle cars of the late 1960’s when I got on the road. I was dealing with the reality I wasn’t driving a GTO, Chevelle SS, Dodge Charger, or Plymouth Duster. Never the less I was ecstatic to have access to a car and I appreciate what my Uncle Gene did for us.

The Corvair also had one of the least sexy dashboards any teenager could ever imagine.  If you look at photo below you will see a small lever to the right of the ignition keys. Yes my friends that is how you shifted the Corvair with its rocking Corvair Powerglide 2 Speed Transmission


This 2nd photo below gives you a feel for the spartan like instrument panel that the Corvair featured. Please tell me what could distract you driving this car? The lights, wiper, and of course the cigarette lighter! The glove box was bigger than the instrument panel.


In 1965 a book called Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile by Ralph Nader really blasted the Corvair. Many articles list it as one of the 10 most dangerous cars to drive EVER!!

Somehow I survived the dangers of the Corvair and eventually upgraded (if you call it that) to a 1964 Plymouth Valiant WITH NO radio. It was a three speed on the column that my friends called the GLIDER because did I mention the car had no RADIO. It just made no noise while it was going down the road. A car with a radio in the 1960’s was an accessory.  That cost extra and that was not happening in our house.

The Plymouth Valiant-the one I drove was tan.

64 Plymouth Valiant

The Plymouth Valiant Dashboard is shown below. Notice the bench seating with a lap seat belt. This model was like mine including no RADIO. The car had a three speed which was referred to as “Three on the Tree”



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