i A Time and a Place...: My Other Bargain Car...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

My Other Bargain Car...

I was sitting in the drivers room at the J H Marks Trucking Company in Pueblo, Colorado, in 1957, playing cards with several other drivers. We were waiting for CFI to call in orders for loads of pipe to go to drilling rigs, and etc.

This was in the winter of '57, the year before I went to work for E L Farmer, and it was snowy and colder than a witches tit around there. We were playing 5 card stud. Jack Settles was in the game and we were talking about our cars and how easily (or hard) they started on cold winter days such as this one.

I had a 1953 Mercury that looked exactly like this one, even the same color, except the paint was good on mine and Jack had a 1937 Chevy. My car had started easily that day for a change. It usually was very hard to start. Jacks Chevy (it was exactly like this one pictured) had not started that day (it usually started up when no one elses' car would start)and he had to bum a ride to work and he was super pissed about it. He ran the battery down very quickly cranking on it.

As I dealt the cards, he said, "I'd sell that damned Chevy for twenty bucks!" -'oops'- I reached into my pocket and pulled out a twenty and tossed it over the table to him. He looked at me and at the twenty and heaved a great big -'I shouldn't have said that'-sigh. I know he wished to himself he hadn't said that but we were Texans and he had committed so there was no complaining and no going back. Bummer! He frowned and then grinned and said, "It's time for a new car anyway." Then he took the title to the Chevy out of his wallet and signed it and threw it over the table to me.

Neither of us worked that day so, when we left that afternoon, I gave Jack a ride home. On the way, we went by my house and got my wife so she could drive the Merc back home and I could drive the Chevy and we went to an auto parts store and I bought a new battery. I put it in the Chevy when we got to his house and I cleaned the terminals and my brand new 1937 Chevrolet kicked right off and started every day on the first try from then until my wife (not this wife; the first one) wrecked it about six or seven months later.

It was the best twenty buck car I ever owned!

Later...

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