Old Blue was my favorite car. We went on lots of adventures together. Two door, sport coupe, stuffed with a five liter V8. I was the second owner. Radio, heater, automatic transmission were the only options. It took strong arms to turn the non-power assisted steering wheel.
Special because it was the first car purchased on my own. Old Blue II came later and wasn’t the same. A four-door sedan with sensible six cylinder, four years newer, choked with smog equipment, purchased for fuel economy.
The original Blue took me to the overlook in Enger Park, Duluth, Minnesota. On snow-covered roads, with a friend, to see frozen waterfalls, Old Blue never missed a lick.
Old Blue wasn’t without faults. Cold natured, balked during starts on Northern Minnesota, sub-zero winter mornings. A warm up for 20-30 minutes, and all was well. Once I forgot and needed a jump start on a narrow country road. I paid for my mistake with a long walk for assistance. My legs felt like they were on fire, when I thawed out.
Mag wheels, dual exhaust, transformed Old Blue’s personality. My mechanical skills failed, when I tinkered with Old Blue’s engine timing. Another mistake. Would never attempt this with today’s computerized cars. A real mechanic came to the rescue.
One summer afternoon, on two-lane RT 108, Old Blue’s passing acceleration was tested to the limits. I pulled out, the engine roared, then went back to idle. What went wrong? From the grassy shoulder, with traffic whizzing by, this amateur mechanic found a broken throttle linkage cable.
Rope, wire, from the trunk–with a bit of jury-rigging, established a crude carburetor linkage. With the hood cracked open, rope passed through the driver’s window, the engine accelerated enough to make it home.
Old Blue fell victim to road salt. Sadly, rusted around the rear wheel wells–discovered during a spring car wash. A proper repair wasn’t in the budget. A decent, from thirty feet away repair, accomplished with body filler putty, and touch up paint.
Whatever happened to that car? No longer pristine, I’m sure it was sent to a car auction somewhere. I traded it for a new ’77 silver 2 door sport coupe with all the popular options. Did Old Blue live a good life from that point on? Was it salvaged for scrap metal? Reincarnated as a toaster, or a Toyota?
There would never be another car quite like Old Blue. Everything was right for the times. I had more patience back then. Nobody cared that much about fuel mileage. If Old Blue were still around, and in good shape, we’d have more fun together.