In the summer of 1980 I turned 16 and had managed to save $500.00 for my first car. I was way beyond excited when my dad told me his sister had a 1969 camaro that didn't run and would sell it to me for $350.00. We gathered some tools together and went to see if we could get it running so we could get it home. Imagine my excitement when I saw it for the first time. It looked like my Hot wheels cars I grew up playing with. Bright red with white stripes a little jacked up in the rear with chrome wheels. It was a school boys dream car.
My excitement was off the charts and continued with every passing minute as we looked it over, checked for oil leaks, checked the battery and looked for any outward signs of the problem. Eventually we decided new battery was in order and once we returned and installed it we tried to crank it up.
My dad was under the hood and I was inside sitting in MY drivers seat dreaming of what it was going to be like driving this car to high school everyday. There was no doubt I was going to have the coolest car at my school. My dad would say "try it now" and I would crank it to sounds of the starter turning over but no fire. After a couple of times to no avail I happened to look at the gas gauge. Empty... Hmmm... "Hey dad" I said, "Do you think the car has any gas?"
"Why?" he asked, "What does the gas gauge say?"
After putting 5 gallons of gas in the Camaro we cranked it again but this time it came alive and boy did I have a smile on my face. My car was running and it only cost me $350 and a can of gas!
Now the interesting part of this story is what happened next. My dad decided to drive the car somewhere, I don't remember exactly where but when he got home he said I couldn't keep it and had to sell it.
"But why dad?" I asked almost crying in disappointment.
"Son" he said, "If I got a ticket in it you will get a ticket in it and that won't do."
And with that my dream car was gone.