Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Ramblings of a car guy.

I've always liked cars.

My dad's 1959 Riley One-Point-Five. My first car photo circa 1966 near Reading, UK.

I can remember almost all of the cars my parents had. I remember as a ten year old watching cars drive by the house and trying to name them all. I remember the first time I drove a car; it was a '64 Dodge station wagon with a push button automatic! 

Dad's '64 Dodge wagon circa 1971. Calgary, AB.

 I remember the car I took my driving lessons in and some of the routes taken. I remember the subscriptions to several car magazines that I would read almost the moment they were retrieved from the mailbox. I remember my first car and all the following purchases, most of them anyway, and fortunately the good ones outnumbered the bad ones. I remember buying my first socket set so I could fix the broken rear end in my first car. I remember the first car I bought brand new, where I bought it and how much I paid for it.

My 1959 Beetle. Calgary AB, circa 1974.

59 Beetle interior shot

My first brand new car, a 1976 Honda Civic.

Long before the internet and Facebook and forums I remember hanging out at a favorite speed shop or "cruising the circuit" in downtown Calgary. I remember the first road trip I took on my own driving a '59 Beetle from Calgary to Campbell River BC. I can remember modifications made on most of the vehicles I've owned. There's lots of memories of the cars, and the occasional truck or van, and the pieces and parts that went into them. 

Me and my 1964 Galaxie 500XL convertible. Calgary circa 1975

As I get older I'm beginning to realize that some of my favorite memories center on the people that cars have brought into my life; their friendships, their enthusiasm and their help. 

My '93 Festiva.

If you've followed this blog you will know that I've been a fan and owner of Ford Festivas for many years. Being part of the Festiva community has led me and my family on many adventures and introduced us to many new friends. I often wonder if we would have taken the road trips we have chronicled here on the blog if it weren't for the Festiva. Many people have helped us with ideas, encouragement and sometimes even parts and we have been able to do the same in return. 

Festiva Madness V. October 2011, Raleigh NC

There are certainly a number of people we now call friends that wouldn't be in our lives if it weren't for the connection started through the love of the Festiva. We've met "Festiva friends" in Raleigh, at the Grand Canyon, in Dearborn MI, in Kananaskis Country. "Festiva friends" from Lexington KY, Pasco WA, Macon GA and Vancouver BC have visited us here at home in Calgary!

Westiva, July 2010. Kananaskis Country.

More recently I've started work on a '59 Austin Healey "Bugeye" Sprite. I've already had the chance to meet some great people because of the connection with the car. I've visited a couple of local Bugeye owners to share experiences and exchange parts. In the "old days" your car community was probably limited to your local area. Today's on-line world allows us all to connect with fellow enthusiasts across the country and beyond.


Bringing home the Bugeye, January 2017

These marque specific groups are not the only way to make connections. I've been fortunate to be a part of the general car community here in Calgary. Those I've met may not share my love of the Festiva or the Bugeye, but we do have the love of things automotive that bring us together. Although I may not be a fan of someone's particular marque or style, I can appreciate the end result of their labors. As I sometimes say... "nicely brewed, but not my cup of tea"

Leave us a comment below to share your favorite automotive memories!

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