66 Chevy, the Best I Ever Had
Many tout a vehicles kudos by listing its tangible features. Speed, power, fuel efficiency, uniqueness, rarity, and other features are heard at car shows about the vehicle love of their life. For me, its about the fabric of my 1966 Chevy truck.
I don't mean the upholstery of the seat, as it was mostly tattered and torn. Nor the dash or side panels, as there were none. Starting life as a bare bones city work truck, and obtained at auction, its bare metal interior, with rusted floorboards that showed the roadway beneath was my first auto.
It was white with rust spots, dents, and a metal plate for the original wooden slat bed. A side step body with rusted rocker panels were accented with a gnarled front grill and a metal shop rear bumper of solid metal. With the extra metal, gas mileage was calculated figuratively as yards per gallon instead of miles, or so it seemed.
During high school, it spent as much time being repaired as it was on the road, but provided mechanical skills that have been invaluable. The times it needed a jump start, a push, a tow, or a ride for gas, having run out in some strange and adventurous place, are uncountable.
My friends retell those adventures when we gather. Like the night we tried sneaking out. Hoping to make a quiet get away, we put it in neutral and pushed it back into the street. As we started forward the person steering hit the horn causing the entire group to scatter, hiding in the bushes or on the ground, hoping not to be seen - missing the obvious that a truck was "non-suspiciously" sitting in the middle of the road.
Then there's when I moved my first wife cross country, which is a story all its own. Suffice it to say that starter problems began the first few miles, leaving us to count on hills, luck, and the love of strangers to get us through. It was an adventure and many lessons of kindness were learned, but that good old 66 Chevy got us there.
So, the fabric of which I refer is the fabric of memories that were woven from the experiences, the friendships, and the kindness of strangers. Stronger than Kevlar, these will ever be a part of me and the many who rode with my old friend.