I’ve always enjoyed fast cars. It started when I got out of the Navy in 1967. I had owned a red Renault while in the Navy in Norfolk, Va in 1966 but I left that in a filling station in Seaford, DE in October 1966. When I got home, Dad wanted me to buy a 1963 Chevy Belair, four door, from a friend that gave it to him for a good deal. I took it, but was never real excited about it. Eventually, I traded it in for a 1968 Yellow Firebird.  Actually I was going to trade it in but Dad didn’t want to lose it, so he gave me what the dealer was going to give me for it and that 63 chevy ended up in the family for another decade or more. It was an automatic transmission on the column, so it was a really boring car to drive.  I don’t have any pictures of it, but every once in a while you can see it in movies or pictures parked beside the folks house on Pratt street. Here’s half of it. The yellow firebird was a 6cyl sprint. It had a 4.2 litre slant six, (I think) with a three speed transmission on the floor. I liked it a lot but it was slow – relatively speaking! I wish I had taken some pictures of it, but the only clips I have of this firebird is from some 8mm movies that Dad took one day when I pulled up in front of the Lake Street house. So this picture is the best I could come up with.

I traded it in for a 1968 firebird 400. I kept it for about 9 months! Wow! I drove it to California in the winter of 1968. It was a nice car and pretty fast. I would race a lot up and down various streets in Omaha and started getting caught, racing squeeling tires, etc and I was never one of those who got away with anything. Other’s were given warnings, not me! I always got the ticket.  But, it only had 335 horse power out of a 400 cubic inch engine, so I went to a 1968 Corvette Stringray. It was burnt red when I got it and it was pretty stock. It was a 350 cubic inch with 350 horsepower. I think that engine was later designated the LT-1. I really liked the firebird vedoro green color so I paid to get the corvette repainted. The pain job wasn’t all that great, but it still looked good.  I got rid of the stock wheels and put mags on it also. I always liked to do that.  I transferred from Omaha to South Carolina primarily because I was losing my Nebraska Driver’s license and I got a fresh start in South Carolina. I traded in the corvette in 1969 for a 1970 Nova. It was the Nova that Kathy and I eloped in at the end of 1969. It was a simple car. It had a 350, 8 cylinder, but compared to the vett it was slow. But it kept me from getting into any more trouble. It served us well for many, many years. We even had this Nova shipped to Hawaii with us for a couple years. It became the family car and I didn’t take too good of care of it and it died an early death I would think. I didn’t change the oil nearly as much as I should have and it only got serviced when something broke and it wouldn’t drive anymore. I drove it from SC to California and back. We took numerous trips to Omaha from South Carolina in it and we drove it to Corpus Christi, and fished off of it for a couple years. We drove it to San Francisco and shipped it to hawaii and drove it around the Island for a couple of years. And then drove it from San Diego to Omaha and eventually to Detroit for my recruiting duty. It was there that I bought Kathy a new car. It was a 1978 Malibu classic. It only had two doors. That was stupid, but that’s what I got her. I kept the Nova and was going to drive it and Let KJ have the Malibu. That was not a good car. It was a slow six cylinder and couldn’t drive the mountains for anything. We drove that car back and forth from Michigan to Omaha when Dad was sick and passed away in 1979. It served us well. We moved with it to Dallas and pulled a six foot trailer. That really slowed it down. It would over heat and when we crossed the Texas state line, we had to turn the heat on full blast and open all the windows the keep the car from dying on us. But it got us there and served us well for a couple years. When we arrived in Dallas we stayed with a friend, Isabel Lambert and her father Joe in Garland, Texas until we found our own apartment. That worked out pretty good all in all and I don’t think we every thanked them well. I did buy a 1966 Plymouth from Joe for $600 and it served as a second car for us for a while. Dale Kvale, a neighbor, ended up using it a lot and that was frustrating. It’s that brown, bronze car behind the boys on the sidewalk at Shiloh Village apartments where we lived our first three years in Dallas. It was in pretty good shape for a 1966.  We traded the Malibu in for a 1985 Toyota Corolla. The Malibu died on our way to the dealer and it had to be towed into the lot. Wow, we got rid of it just in time. That was a great little car and it served us well for the rest of our time in Dallas. We drove it to Omaha a couple times and I drove it from East Texas to Seminary two days a week and the most we ever did to that car other than change the oil was to fix a broken lug nut bolt. It just ran and ran and ran. We took it to Michigan with us and Chuck 3 learned to drive on it and he would drive it across town to Bethany Xtian High school for several years which was a long drive. He smashed it up once good, but we got it fixed and moved it to Omaha with us. Also, we liked that Toyota so much that we bought another one for Kathy. She had a blue one and enjoyed it just as much as we enjoyed the bronze one. We stayed with very practical cars from then on. We traded the toyotas in for a matching pair of Mercury Tracers which were the equivalent of a ford Escort. They ran pretty good too and we bought them used and had good luck with them. it wasn’t until 2000 that I began to look at resurrecting my interest in Sport Cars, especially the muscle cars of the 1960s. For Kathy’s 50th birthday, I bought here a 2002 firebird. I was inspired to do that because it was the last year they made them and I thought it would be fun to have one again. I also bought a 2001 Transam.  They were both Dark Blue and for a while we had two cars that looked the same. I only put a picture of one of them here because you couldn’t tell the difference by looking at them. KJ’s was a six cylinder and my was the 5.7 liter v8. It was a six speed on the floor also and I had fun with it. Around this time we got a 1971 Corvette for fun also. I don’t remember the order of these cars. From 2000 to 2009 we played routlette with cars. It was an interesting decade for us of having fun with sports cars. We got the 71 vette from Arizona and drove it back together and enjoyed the trip a lot. It didn’t have a/c but we didn’t eve care. It was a wild ride. I also got a 1968 firebird 400 from Victoria, Canada, Brittish Columbia. I had it shipped to OMaha. It was a lot of fun and ran pretty well. We kept that for a while, but was having trouble finding out where to keep all these cars. We rented storage units and C3 kept the 400 firebird in his garage for a while for us. He drove it on and off and I think he enjoyed it a little bit also, but he decided he didn’t want it. On top of all this, I bought a junk 1967 firebird and rebuilt it from ground up. It wasn’t technically a frame off rebuild, but we did just about everything to it that you could imagine. We ended up putting a 350 crate engine in it and that kept it running pretty good. We had the 1967 and the 2002 firebird at the same time and we thought it was neat to have the first year they were made and the last year they were made. It became too much work keeping up with these old cars so we eventually sold them all. Kathy got rid of her firebird also in a couple years and we went to Impalas. I still have my 2003 blue one. But we kept up our interest in corvettes and traded in one of the firebirds and the 1971 corvette for a 2001 yellow vette. It was the funnest car we owned. We just loved it. It was a little automatic so KJ could drive it and it road smooth and neat, unlike previous vettes that bounced with every bump, the suspension on the c-5 (fifth generation) corvettes was a lot better. However, in 2005 they changed to the 6th generation and I couldn’t resist. We got the first one in five states. It was bright red and an awful lot of fun. It was not as nice in my opinion as the yellow 01 was. It had a performance package and the six speed transmission was hard to manage at times. KJ couldn’t drive it much, so in 2007 we traded up for one we built from scratch and ordered it from the dealer. It was back to our favorite blue color and we really enjoyed it a lot more.  We wrapped up our corvette binge in 2009. We decided we’d go back to being just regular people with regular cars for awhile. I drive the 2003 Impala and Kathy drives a Traverse so she can lug the kids around. We still talk about getting another sports car for fun and we might do that. I’d prefer to get a classic, but they don’t drive well and aren’t as much fun to actually use. I keep thinking we’ll get a new Grand Sport Vette again one day. But not today!