Jim B 1966 Pontiac GTO 2dr Convertible

Yesterday, or so it seems.

Imagine, living in Western Pennsylvania and turning sixteen, finally legally getting behind the wheel. Those were the days, lots of our parents had hot cars, even my dad's 62 Chrysler's 361 HEMI would flat out get it. That's not the story though. I turned 16 on April 23rd, sharing that birthday with Will Shakespeare and my girlfriend's at the time, little sister. It happened to be a Saturday, so I was invited over for cake and ice cream, but the real present that night was being there when her older brother, who had just gotten out of the Air Force, pulled up in his brand new 66 GTO which he had just picked up at Walker Pontiac in Mt. Lebonan, just south of Pittsburgh. We all got a ride that night, and from there on out, I was hooked on cars. A couple of week's later, I passed my driver's test and life seemed to change fairly rapidly after that. In the middle of May my girlfriend's father passed on the news that the family would be relocating to LA, leaving Mobay Chemical and going to work for the Monsanto Corporation. This was to happen as soon as school was out, but there was a little glitch. Johnnie, the older brother with the GTO, had two weeks of summer camp with the Air Force, and wouldn't be able to join the family until later that summer. Much to my surprise, I was asked if I would like to help him drive his Goat out to California? Well, the parents didn't have a problem with that, so the next best thing after getting my license, was learning how to drive a stick (Hurst) on John's 66 GTO, still my favorite year. Well, needless to say, I won't bore you with the stories of driving the Northern Route out to the West Coast, but the memories of having the top down, driving through the plains, the badlands, the Black Hills, Yosemite National Park, Las Vegas (when it was really cool), and then California was a trip that is actually on my bucket list to do again. I had the pleasure of speaking with my long lost girlfriend a couple of years ago, we had lost touch during our college years, and we spoke of yesterday. I told her that the Summer of 1966 was definitely the best of my life. Every time I see a GTO, which I did just this past Tuesday, I can do nothing but smile and think upon those days. I've owned 53 cars over the years, starting with a 60 VW Bug with the canvas sunroof in 69. I've owned several that I should never had left go of, but one that sits in my garage this very day, albeit not the original 68 390GT, but Ford's 2008 Mustang Bullitt. When I semi retired in 2008, I gave myself a retirement present, #4653 out of less than 7000 produced. I just had to do it, I saw the original movie Bullitt as a sneak preview the summer of 1968, it wasn't released till October of that year. Needless to say, I named her Nancy, after the young lady I took to the movie that night. That summer of 2008, I took the Mustang by Nancy's home in Virginia, for another look at yesterday. My classic that Hagerty insures is my 77 Thunderbird, white with a red interior, all original with 69,890 miles on her. What can I say, although my first love was a GTO, I'm a FORD guy. I think the Beatles got it right as well, it's good to remember Yesterday.

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