I think that all of us have had that one family car that sticks out in our minds. Some of us grew up in big sedans, others in SUV’s and yet others, like myself, grew-up in station wagons. If you were a kid growing up in the 1970’s and early 1980’s than you either had one of two things in the driveway. It was either a big four door sedan or coupe, or a station wagon. Remember, SUV’s and mini-vans hadn’t been invented yet. At my house we had a 1979 Ford Country Squire station wagon, similar to the one you see here. It was green, with fake wood paneling on the side, and a green vinyl interior and my mom drove that sucker like a rented mule.
My Mother was in a constant state of war with this car, as truth be told it was a lemon from day one. Being green with wood paneling meant that all the neighborhood birds thought the big green Ford was a tree, so they were constantly flying into it. We’d be sitting in the family room and hear that familiar “THUNK”, only to go outside and find that another bird had bit the dust at the expense of the Ford. Then there was the time when my Mother was driving myself and a few friends home from someplace and the rear window just exploded for no apparent reason. Like any good Mother would, my Mom hit the gas because she thought we were being attacked by a sniper. Turns out it was just a crappy rear defroster.
We drove that sucker on road trips, back and fourth to school and everyplace in between, and with every problem it had, I swear my Mom fought back with the tenacity of a lioness defending her cubs. Dammit if this car was going to beat her down… no flippin’ way. The big Ford was also the car I learned how to drive in, as she’d let me lean over from the passenger seat and steer from time to time. It wasn’t exactly drivers ed, but it did the job. We had that car up until the mid-1980’s when I sold it to a guy at a local boat yard that I was working at for a whopping $300.00. It had around 120,000 miles on it, and was pretty clapped out. Even though it tried to kill us on multiple occasions, I’ve actually got some good memories of that old Ford. Hell, even now, every time I hear a loud “THUNK” come from outside I simply can’t resist the urge to go over to the window, just to see if that old Ford has claimed another victim.