Monday, May 23, 2011

Our cars

Compared to today, many of my friends didn't even own cars while they were students at Tech.  My home in eastern Virginia was about 6 hours away so I had to have some cheap transportation ..... and here it is in the picture above, a 1970 VW Beetle.  She was a little rough around the edges, black exterior and red inside with self-installed shag carpet and a Craig AM/FM cassette player.  I loved this car and I might still have it if it hadn't died of exhaustion on I-95 in southern Florida.

I remember other autos that cruised the town on a regular basis.  Lots of VW's of course, but it seemed like there were a lot more British cars back then like MGs and MGBs, Triumphs (thought the TR-6 was a beaut), and also a variety of vans, 4-door smoke bombs of many makes and models, and motorcycles galore.

By the way, the photo here was taken at the side parking lot of the old Marriott Hotel on Prices Fork Road, now the Holiday Inn.

So, what were your early car memories?  And if you have a photo I'll gladly post it.


  1. I had a 1959 Renault Dauphine when I finished high school in NOVA, but did not trust it to drive it all the way to Blacksburg. It caught fire summer of my freshman year so I replaced it with a Plymouth Barracuda which lasted until my senior year at VT, serving me well until an 84yo woman in Radford did an illegal U-turn right into me and totalled it. I also had liberal use of friends' motorcycles over the years, it was great roaring around the country roads in those days.

  2. My first car was a 1967 Mercury Marquis my dad bought for $300. Every time I stopped at a light, it would die and I would have to get out of the car and bang on the alternator with a hammer to get it to start. Loved that car. When I was cruising around with my friends, they called me the "Bombadier". Back in those days no one cared what kind of car you drove, they just liked having someone to cruise with.

  3. I recall driving back to Tech from Northern Virginia in my friends Simca. We had just tanked up and obviously got some bad gas as the engine began stuttering. We pulled off at Afton mountain and found a little gas station manned by a couple of rural geezers. We explained the problem and asked if they had a length of hose we could use to siphon out the gas. One of them replied "well we got some hose, but not sure if it'll work on them foreign cars".