Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Call That Thing a Car? Here's a Real Car...

Ah, those were the days.

Americans still made cars in the grand tradition, including the 1941 Cadillac Imperial Sedan my dad picked up for a song in the 1950′s to ferry us seven kids to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Middletown, DE.

Jet black, heavy as a tank with wide whitewall tires, black leather interior in the front, beige fabric in the back. Automatic transmission, a radio, cigarette lighters and electric windows. Jump seats for the little kids, with the baby wedged in the back seat where the center arm rest came down. She couldn’t budge.

And best of all–for my folks at least, a window behind the driver’s seat that Dad rolled so he and Mom could tune out the incessant bickering in the back.

Intial price: around $2,100, but by the time it was fourteen years old, dad picked it up dirt cheap. Restored models today go for about $60,000.

We kids loved it. We looked like a Mafia family, with the older guys in long grey coats and black fedoras, with Mom all dolled up in her Sunday best looking like a gorgeous moll. Dad with greenblack sun glasses, hat rakishly tilted to the side, looking like a real tough guy.

Got lots of stares wherever we went.

Never did know what the mileage was, but nobody cared.

You could never get off with making such a grand car these days.

Here it is, folks:

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