My mom had a '65 4 door, three seat wagon. 327 Powerglide that shifted out of first at 60 mph. I later figured out that the buses in Dallas all had PowerGlides. No wonder they drag raced with that transmission. It was white with a turqoise interior. I never saw another turquoise interior.
Dad bought it off the showroom at Friendly Chevrolet in Dallas. He had to because at the ripe old age of 13 I borrowed my mom’s 1959, no A/C, PB or PS 4 door Dodge Coronet Sedan. That was the first thing I did wrong. The second was to sideswipe a neighbor’s car.
She secretly thanked me almost daily for that. She never let on to my dad she was happy, because he damn sure wasn’t.
It was my privilege to drive it on dates. I finally got my '28 Dodge and things picked up quite a bit, but that is another story.
Here are my memories.
- It chewed through shocks
- It violently bottomed out frequently on the front end, breaking engine mounts in the process. No springs.
- It erased its 14" thin stripe whitewall tires going down the road, literally. No sway bars. She was lucky to get 3,000 miles out of them. And I am serious.
- It used oil for no good reason. About a quart every 1,000 miles. That was “normal” according to the dealer.
- The A/C worked great if you were sitting in the front seat. It was non-existent in the rear-facing third seat.
- It constantly needed front end alignments
- The tailgate power window worked for about 6 months at a time before giving out, invariably in the down position.
- Brakes. How could I forget brakes? They were also replaced about every 5,000 miles. They would immediately fade out to nothing if going 45 mph or higher with the family in it. Mom, dad, brother, and three sisters plus luggage (that was in a luggage carrier strapped to the roof). Going 400 miles from Dallas to Hereford in August. How we survived that I do not know. 14" tires?
- I almost forgot batteries. About two years, then replace.
On a more positive note:
- I will admit that it was a good looking car when clean, which I always washed before taking it on a date. I could drive a SS 396 today, no problem.
- Our local Humble dealer, Al McNutt, and his mechanic Shorty, were like family. Al and Shorty both finally retired comfortably.
- My dad finally bought mom a 1970 Ford LTD 390 wood grain wagon instead of declaring bankruptcy. Now that was a really nice car. It stayed together and could stop.