There are tons of car enthusiasts you there who inherited their auto obsession from their folks, learning to wrench in the garage or going to races as a kid. Then there are the rest of us who are the first car nerds of a family, and things can get confusing.
I just called my parents to ask. I'm going to have to get a list of cars they had before I became aware of them. Both parents were on the phone when I called, and they're both in their late 80s.
Me: I'm trying to find out what car you brought me home from the hospital in.
Dad: Why do you want to know?
Me: I'm replying to an article on an Internet blog. That's sort of an Internet Magazine.
Dad: (laughs) OK. We brought you home in a Pontiac.
Me: Do you know what model and year?
Dad: It was cheap. And it was a four door.
Me: Any idea what year?
Dad: I think 1950. It was an old piece of junk.
Me: 8 years old was a piece of junk? Mom's Celica is 30 years old and your Avalon is at least 10.
Dad: Older than that. Cars in those days weren't made to last. Some did, but most became rusty junk in a few years.
Me: So was it a Chieftain or a Streamliner?
Dad: Who remembers such things? Who cared? I bought it used and it was cheap. I remember it had a stick shift.
Mom: It didn't have a stick shift. I couldn't have driven it if it had a stick shift.
Dad: You learned on a stick shift.
Mom: Not very well. I remember it had an automatic.
Me: If it was a manual, was it a column shift or floor shift.
Dad: Those days it would have been a column shift.
Mom: It wasn't a stick shift. I know that for sure.
Dad: I just remember we bought it because it was cheap. I'm sure it had a stick shift.
Mom: It didn't have a stick shift.
I'm guessing it was a Chieftain. I think my dad would remember if he had something as different as a Streamliner.
Hey, that went better than the time when I tried to explain why Citroëns are cool.
Photo Credit: Pontiac via OldCarAdvertising