Hey kid, are you going my way?
Car of the Night: The Ford Galaxie 500. Or as Clutch says, Galaxie five oh oh.
I learned how to drive in one of these babies. Same colors, too - fire engine red with a snow white top. The car was old by then, in car years - this was a 68 in 1979 - but still looked factory clean. It drove like a dream - well, when you are 17 and gripping the wheel for the first time even a station wagon would ride like a dream - and I felt immediately comfortable behind the wheel. I was learning to drive in style. The 500 was a beauty of a car; slick, sexy, the kind of car supermodels with white framed sunglasses and deep tans drove.
My father told me that if I passed my driver's test on the first try and kept my license clean for a year, that I could have the car. How kick ass is that? I envisioned myself buying some sunglasses and cruising with my friends down the Wantagh Parkway, cruising past the dunes and the bay and rounding the hairpin circle at the lighthouse just a little too fast, wheels squealing as we pulled into Parking Area 4, stopping just short of the choppy Atlantic Ocean.
Well, things happen. I didn't pass my driver's test. I got into an accident two months after I did get my license and found myself with an open bench warrant about six months later thanks to some unanswered speeding tickets. And my father, bless his misguides soul, gave the car away. Yes, gave it away. Some poor kid he worked with who lost his car in a tragic series of car accidents, job loss, homelesness and maybe there was a hurricane and an orphanage invovled. Really, I don't remember why he gave the car away to this guy, but I'm pretty sure it had something to do with teaching me of those valuable life lessons parents are so fond of.
That's a '66 Chevy Impala. This was the first convertible my parents had, way before the Galaxie. Ours was a deep navy blue, with a matching top. When the top was down on summer days, mom would let us sit on top of the back seat while she drove slowly around the neighborhood. We'd wave to anyone who looked at us and once in a while mom would get daring and hit one of the main roads. She'd drive a little bit faster and we'd hold on to the folded down top and be scared and fearless at the same time.
That car left us in an unfortunate accident involving an insane senior citizen and a missed stop sign in Brooklyn. My parents cried for days. I still miss that Impala.
Dodge Swinger 1973, Galaxy five oh oh
All the way stars' green, gotta go.
Dodge Swinger 1973, top down, chassis low,
Panel dim, light drive, Jesus on the dashboard.
T-minus whenever it feels right, Galaxy five oh oh.
Planets align, a king is born.
Thanks to Jason for this suggestion (lyrics in comments)
Rev. Horton Heat - Galaxie 500