My Dependable First Best Friend

Emotions. They can hit you anytime, anyplace and for a myriad of reasons. A song, a smell, a person, etc, it really doesn’t matter. For me, it was a stretch of road. Well, an interstate to be exact. I-65 south, from Nashville to Birmingham, brings back a ton of memories of my first year at Samford, driving up and down the interstate.

It also makes me miss an old friend. A friend who never, ever, let me down.

This guy below.   datsun310gx

Yep, a car. But not just any car. My car. A Datsun 310 GX. My first car. My first best friend. (That’s not it in the picture but it looked exactly like that). My mother bought the car for me in the fall of 1984 when I turned 16. For $3100. 5 Speed. No AC. No problem.

I took the car with me to junior college and it made many a trip up 40 to 75 and over to Sweetwater, where I was in school. Then the following year, heading south to Samford University in Birmingham. Loaded down with everything I owned, we made many a drive in the middle of the night back and forth from home.

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I put that car through hell and back. Yet, it never quit on me. I don’t think I ever changed the oil in the car. Yet, it never quit on me.

 

It held tears, it held laughs, and other things better left for the imagination. Yet, it never quit on me. It played my Poison and Def Leppard tapes non-stop, without ever eating them in the deck. The muffler one time fell off just outside of Decatur on the interstate and I had to drive to Birmingham, sounding like a NASCAR race. That is the closest that car ever came to quitting on me. I ran over curbs, hit trash cans, mailboxes, (not on purpose) and other stupid stuff. It just got stronger and stronger.

 

That car also makes me think of a time when everything was perfect. My mom was not sick, friends who have since passed, were alive, I was driving back and forth to summer jobs, where I was making $3.90 an hour, but making a million bucks in memories and on and on and on. A damn 1981 Datsun 310 GX did all of this for me.

People talk about the house that built them. That car built me. Damn emotions.

8 Comments

  1. Steve July 16, 2013 8:40 pm  Reply

    There’s a 1980 model Buick Regal at the bottom of some junk pile somewhere that rings with all these same sorts of memories for me. To this very day, still, the smoothest ride I ever felt.

    • Joe Dubin July 16, 2013 9:22 pm  Reply

      I pray my friend, I pray, my kids have that same memory years down the line.

  2. Julie DuPont-Hoffman July 16, 2013 8:54 pm  Reply

    Damn Emotions. Now you you got me all teary eyed! I lived my 1st and college car too-an old thunderbird. I didn’t hit anything with it but I wore it out on mileage I always have been a road warrior!

    • Joe Dubin July 16, 2013 9:21 pm  Reply

      Thank you Julie. The ole Thunderbid. Badass!!

  3. John Pugh July 16, 2013 9:16 pm  Reply

    yep. Mine was a ’72 2-door gold Caprice Classic that was about as long as a school bus with a trunk even bigger, a brown landau roof (which is fancy talk for “a roof that curls up from being in the direct sun too long”). Took her to Lipscomb and stood out among the rich kids like a poor country kid, but I didn’t care…I loved her…she was worth 10 times more than every single one of the $500 benjamins that I handed over to my high school science teacher in exchange. Man, I miss her. Thanks for the memories.

    • Joe Dubin July 16, 2013 9:20 pm  Reply

      Nice One John. Thank you!

  4. KB July 16, 2013 9:51 pm  Reply

    I love your perspective Joe Joe. So strange though. I hated my first car and it brings up bad memories. It was a Ford Maverick, looked like an egg, and always smelled like burnning vinyl. My mom named it Edgar and even put a license plate on the front of it that spelled EDGAR in sparkly glittery letters (I removed it when she wasn’t looking). Edgar broke down all of the time. I had to carry a can of Quick Start with me everywhere to spray on the carbueretor. It’s okay though, I got a brand new car my second year of college……………. a reward for my sucky time spent with Edgar……….. Maybe husbands are like cars too. Damn emotions indeed.

  5. Ric Eller July 16, 2013 11:22 pm  Reply

    Didn’t you kill that car by running the oil out of it?

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