Rich R

It's A Shore Thing! When's a crown not a crown?

I grew up at the New Jersey Shore, Neptune, Asbury Park area. Single mom, not a lot of extra around to help the youngest buy his first car. It turned into a family affair with aunts, grandparents, mom and my Summer job of cutting grass pulling enough together to buy my 1971 Ford Blue Maverick Grabber. It wasn't the fastest but it looked fast. Racing stripes the works. Brought the car home and washed it five times that night. Couldn't wait for school the next morning so I could pick up my best friend Bruce who lived down the block. When he found out I was getting a car all we talked about was being able to head down to Asbury Park and ride "The Circuit"! Man-o-man, riding the circuit in the 60's and early 70's was other worldly. Girls everywhere and they all wanted to meet the cool guys with the cool cars. Anyway first we had to get through the school day and that started with me driving down the block to pick Bruce up at his house. So I get up that morning and I'm pumped because I'm driving to school. I'm getting a parking spot in the back of the school --- and on and on. I skipped breakfast run out of the house and jump in my Grabber and head down the street, whip into Bruce's driveway and beep the horn. Now there's just one little detail about Bruce's driveway and the street in front of Bruce's house that you need to know. The street was kind of crowned, so the street sloped down toward the house. Anyway I was parked there in the driveway waiting, Bruce comes bopping out, jumps in the car and I throw the Grabber in reverse. Well as I'm backing out the already jacked up Grabber rear is raised because of the crown in the road. I hate crowns in roads! I kept backing up to clear my front so I could make a right and head up the street and we hear a really loud "CRUNCH"! We both look at each other and, well you can imagine what we said. We looked out the back window and because of the crown in the road all we saw was half of the neighbors house across the street from Bruce's house. I pulled forward and there was more crunching and grinding, all bad sounds. We got out of the car and saw what all the crunching was about. I had backed up and because of the crown in the road gone right over our neighbor's son's Triumph Spitfire!!! Yup, crushed it down like a tuna can. My "best friend" Bruce ran back into his house and slammed the door. The neighbor came out and was actually pretty calm. Well let's say the dad was calm, his son who belonged to the car wasn't as understanding. Anyway I drove home, cried a lot told my mom what happened, and then she reminded me, "do you know who's car you crushed"? It was our insurance agent's son's car! Well we circled the wagons and got aunts, grandparents and the rest of my Summer grass cutting money and paid for the damage. We didn't want the claim on the policy my first day with my new car! Oh and by the way not a scratch on my Ford Maverick!

Well once I realized my life wasn't going to end that morning it was time to get back on mission. Called Bruce and said we're still on for Asbury Park and cruising The Circuit that night. We got down there and it was hopping. Now lets remember this was the Stone Pony, Wonder Bar prime time Ocean Ave. Asbury Park and back then the legal age was 18! We cruised, caught plenty of music, chatted up plenty of young lady's and had the first page of what would be one awesome book! That Grabber could tell some stories. That's a Shore Thing!

6 Reader Comments

  • 1
    david davidson 2837 Lago Vista Rockwall,Tx. October 1, 2014 at 21:29
    You should have a contest to see who has the lowest numeral sequence for 1965 mustangs, the coupe, the conv. and the fastback, I have heard ford destroyed the records for 1965 it would be an interesting contest for people that wonder if they have the first, I have the lowest number I have ever seen on a 65 fastback it is 138164 date code is Sept. 64 but some parts are stamped 7-64 and 8-64 so who knows. it would make a good contest.
  • 2
    mike hermon United States October 2, 2014 at 09:46
    I had a maverick grabber back in the 800 and loved it. Wish I could find another.
  • 3
    Dave Middleton Danville GA October 3, 2014 at 10:26
    Rich; When I married my late wife, she had a green two tone Grabber 320 4-barrel, it was a pretty quick car, There was one spark plug on the left bank that could take an hour or more to extract. Enjoy yours, not many real Grabbers left out there. I have a 72 Challenger.
  • 4
    Bill New York October 6, 2014 at 11:51
    How did he miss the car when entering the driveway? Legal age of 18 in N.J. Never happened. Bought a 71 Maverick in early 70' with grass money? must have been a weed dealer. Whole story is a crock of you know what!
  • 5
    kapptaink Colorado October 11, 2014 at 07:44
    I would bet he saw the car, it just did not register. That is why teens are expensive to insure. NJ legal drinking age was 18 in 73 raised to 19 in 80 and 21 in 83. His family members helped with buying to car, probable used. I bought my first car from money saved from mowing grass not selling it. Nobody will buy lawn clippings. 74 would be early 70s, and a used Mav would be very affordable. Sorry you don't like the story. I found it entertaining, but I still like puppy dogs.
  • 6
    Mike North Carolina November 30, 2014 at 13:53
    Kapptaink is correct! In 1980 I was 16 and thought It's OK, I only have to wait 1 extra year to Join my friend who was 19 at the time. Then in January of 1983 NJ raised the drinking age to 21 only 4 months before my 19th Birthday! I thought the state deliberately had it in for me! By the time I was 21, my friend had been going to bars for 6 years already! Great story though, when your a new driver your just not experienced enough to avoid certain things, I've had 2 Mavericks growing up, both 6 cyl, always wanted the Grabber though!

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