Most Beloved Family Vehicle Of Your Childhood?

Illustration for article titled Most Beloved Family Vehicle Of Your Childhood?

Car geeks of a certain age- say, old enough to have had a childhood free of child seats and three-point harnesses on family road trips- often reminisce fondly of sibling wrestling matches in the cargo areas of lead-spewing station wagons hauling ass to some sweaty bug-ridden vacation destination, the tantalizing danger of power windows that would cut your snitching little brother's head clean off if you but touched the "UP" button, and so on. Then, of course, the talk turns to the cars themselves. Naturally, you win coolness points if your parents had the wisdom to buy, say, a Country Squire with 428 and Toploader (hell, if your parents did that you should call them up right now and tell them you are not worthy of being their child), but everyone's got a childhood car they remember fondly. In my case, it was my mom's green '49 Cadillac, named "Dillinger" because it seemed so bank-robber-esque. Dillinger was a beautiful but aging and unreliable car by the time it rumbled into my family's life in the late 60s (among other idiosyncrasies, it had a bizarre 6V/12V electrical system that featured a tap into the middle battery cell of a 12 volt battery, so as to produce 6 volts for the accessories and 12 volts for the later-model engine), and let's just say a '49 Cadillac was a sub-optimal vehicle choice for Minneapolis in the wintertime and leave it at that (RRRR... RRrrrr... rrrr... rr.. click-click-click). But still, I loved that car, with its vast kid-friendly back seat and bad-guy looks, and was heartbroken when my mom traded it for (brace yourself) an Opel Kadett. So what's your favorite childhood family vehicle? It's Friday, so feel free to neglect your job while you write a lengthy essay for our enjoyment!


What's In Your Painful Reality Garage? [internal]



I had my mother to thank for having the one truly cool car during my childhood. My dad went through a very odd and unhealthy fixation with 80's thru early 90's Caddy's. A used bustle back Seville that reeked of rotten eggs because of a bad catalytic converter, a new, but very underwhelming Eldorado with occasional AC, and an endless parade of Devilles. DEVILLES damnit! Thank god he leased them. It was all up to mom to save me from this.

First was the kinda cool '85 Nissan 300ZX. For me at the time, it was just short of bitchin', but waaayy better than dad's Caddy of the time.

Then, against all logic came the 1990 300ZX. I remember the adverts for this car and they were excellent. It was the first time I ever saw my mother take notice of a car commercial. She was transfixed. My usually reasonable folks shunned all reason and bought one of the first ones in the area. Aztec Red, coupe (not the 2+2), but, an automatic. 2 out of 3 arent't bad when the other car in the fleet is an '89 Deville (DEVILLE damnit!!) All of this red glory parked in the garage whilst I was turning 16. The insurance company was sent a letter stating I would never drive it so they wouldn't drop it from their coverage. I drove the car a total of 3 times while she owned it. I died a little the day they sold it, but they probably kept me alive through my teens by keeping me out of that car.

Her next car after that? A GMC Jimmy. I'm not kidding. I'm still saying "what the hell?..."