Upon my graduation from college and having the good fortune of obtaining a teaching position, I was able to purchase my very first new vehicle, a 1964 Corvair Spyder Turbo Coupe. What an incredible machine to drive, especially when the turbo kicked in while shifting through the 4 speed Muncie transmission. It was my dream car, and I took care of it as though it was the only vehicle left on earth!
The following Spring, my younger car-less brother, who was a senior in high school, wanted to borrow my cherished vehicle for his final prom. He promised that he would return it in the same pristine condition received and even would go a step beyond by waxing it with Blue Coral and filling the gas tank. I was hesitant, as it was a 4 speed and he had limited driving experience. However, since the prom was at the local high school, and the restaurant also nearby, I consented.
It was a wonderful prom night, although my brother looked a little distraught when my fiancee and I had the opportunity to watch the grand march. The next afternoon, as promised, he returned the car stating, "You don't have to do a thing to it, it's polished, clean inside, filled with gas and ready for the road". He thank me again and turned over the keys.
A week later, while washing my car, I came around to the front and discovered to my dismay, a bent bumper that dug in to the fender and a crumpled headlight rim unit. I thought someone in a parking lot must had backed into the car to cause that kind of damage and sadly, set me back a few hard earned dollars.
Seven years later, I receive a letter from my brother in Viet Nam who was serving as an Army forward observer. It read, "I may not get out of here alive, so I want to get this burden off my chest! When you loaned me your Corvair for my senior prom, I was driving for only a few minutes when I and got the brake and clutch mixed up, banging into a tree while attempting to make a turn into her driveway"!
Thankfully, he did return alive to retell the story to kids and grandkids. There is just one minor problem after all these years. I have restored a beautiful 64 Corvair Spyder in the last decade that is of the same color and options of my original, except that it is a convertible. My brother would like to drive it to his 50th class reunion this summer: What a dilemma!