As I mentioned in my previous post, my first car, a 1969 Mercury Montego MX coupe, was damaged beyond repair when it was broad-sided. That car saved my life. And in return, it was taken from the highway forever. I felt gutted. Not just because I had lost my wonderful automobile, but because I had betrayed a friend.
I bought the car at the Pate Auto Swap Meet on April 29, 1995 (back when Pate was actually at the Pate Museum of Transportation). My dad rode with me as I drove it the 15 miles back home. Then we spent the rest of the day washing, polising, and buffing. The orgininal paint shone like a diamond in the Texas sun. I promised that car I would always keep it that way, inside and out. And so I did. It had been washed, vacuumed, and given an oil change the weekend before it was hit. Then on Wednesday, October 2, 1996, my promise was broken.
The next few weeks saw me nursing lots of bruises and a couple of cracked ribs, but none of that hurt nearly as bad as the loss of the MX. I had let my beloved machine down. After I removed the door, I’d sit in it a lot, or drive it around the pasture. And I made it a new promise: that someday I’d rebuild, using and much of the original car as I could. In February of 1997 I bought the ’67 Galaxie and we logged tens of thousands of miles together over the next five years. But the ’69 MX on cinder blocks along the back fencerow was never forgotten.
College and starting a career took precedence for a while and even the ’67 Galaxie got a few bruises (Hit 3 times actually, all while sitting still. But that’s another story.) and was itself parked to prevent further damage. So my mom’s old ’77 Marquis and then a ’91 Town Car served as daily transportation. I looked at a trio of ’68 Comets and a ’69 Cyclone over the years but they were either already finished, swiss cheese, or beat to a pulp. I’d need a donor car for my donor car.
No, I’d have to hold out for a decent roller…
Please stay tuned for Part 2!