Four lessons about the one that got away

My first car was a 1956 Beetle (with the oval back window, no gas guage - reserve lever and no seat belts in 1967. With it’s 36 hp flat 4 engine I could get it up to 80 mph going down hill. It had a hand throttle which allowed me to get it out of the snow by pushing myself and running like hell to get into the car. For several months it had no starter but as long as I parked on a hill I could start it. When I went to college I gave it to my sister who one day tried to parallel park in Boston, bumped the car behind and with the New England salt the battery fell through the floor in the back seat and started sparking. She left it there and my dad had it towed. I wish I still had it as it was an ancient ancestor to my Porsches.

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The one that got away from me was a 1974 Z28 that I had in high school in 1980, loved that car. Put $2500 into the paint job and $1300 into the motor, looked great and faster than hell. Now the lesson I learned was never trust family. My uncle was my insurance agent and one day I got hit from the side, mashed fender and broken right spindle. Took it to a buddy of mines body shop for repairs and the adjuster from my uncles company tells me that the car is totaled and that they will give me $2000 for the car so I told them bull and that I wanted to keep the car and asked what money I would get that way and was told nothing. With everything that I spent on the car I was broke so I let it go. Got a call from my body shop buddy that my uncle was just there with one of his friends that had been admiring my car handing him the title for cash. So again, never trust family.

In the late 70s a buddy of mine had a 71 Hemi Cuda convert he wanted to sell to fund another car. I test drove it and thought it handled awful. I knew it was an unusual car, but never thought a Chrysler would be worth anything.

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