The first year of owning a classic car, it’s going to need more work than any other. So I’m going to end up talking a lot about the various problems I’ve had with my Galaxie, but that’s not all there is to it. If that were the case I would have sold it after the first couple weeks.
Before I go any further I need to explain something about myself. I’ve been in twenty-five car accidents. It’s not that I’m a terrible driver. I was only driving in five of those and none of those were very serious. Statistically you’re safer with me behind the wheel than in the passenger seat. That said, I’ve been in cars that were cut in half, cars that flipped over, cars that sunk, and cars that caught fire and exploded. (Yes, cars can explode. I know people tell you that that only happens in the movies, but I’ve got pictures on my Facebook to prove it.) Now given, this history with vehicles, it probably comes as no surprise that in general I don’t like to be in a car. This is where owning the Galaxie means something different than it might to other people.
The 1965 Ford Galaxie is twenty-two feet long. It’s a big steel box and it’s on the road with a bunch of plastic cars with less steel in them than your average Hot Wheels. The bottom line here is that I feel safe in my Galaxie. A hell of a lot safer than I felt in my ’83 Firebird (wrecked when I was 16), my ’83 Mustang (engine died), my ’73 Volkswagen Bus (engine died), my ’89 Convertible Mustang (hit a truck), my ’94 Toyota Camry (hit a Jeep), or even my ’78 Monte Carlo (caught fire and blew up).
In addition to my feeling safe, the Galaxie has the added bonus of having more style than any car made in the last twenty years. Yes, there may be a whole thing where there are Chevy Guys and Ford Guys, but first, you’re Classic Car guy. When I pass another classic car, I wave and they wave back because we know that while we’re both probably getting less than 15 miles per gallon, we’re still recycling, because our car has been used before. And let’s not forget that unlike new cars, my Galaxie doesn’t assume I’m stupid. It doesn’t tell me when I’ve left my keys in the ignition or left my lights on or my door open. It assumes that if I’m bright enough to drive a car, I can figure out when my lights are on and that just maybe I have a reason for them being on. It’s also not going to remind me to put on my seatbelt or when I’m really low on gas. Yes, it has a gas gauge, but it’s not going to beep at me. In fact my Galaxie is incapable of beeping at me for any reason at all.
Having said all of this, I still haven’t gotten to the best part about driving my Galaxie: It is fun to drive. Driving most modern cars is almost like playing a video game. Most modern cars are so air tight you can’t hear the road. You can’t feel the engine. Hell, you could easily be in some bad car simulator. Whereas when you’re driving a car like the Galaxie, you experience the drive. You can feel the road. You can hear the engine. There aren’t sensors to tell you when something is wrong. YOU are the sensor.
My point here is that while I’m going to talk a lot about all of the problems I’ve had with my car, the only reason I’m talking about them is because I love my car. If it weren’t for that love, it’d just be this machine that needs work all the time. It’s not though. Instead it’s this machine that needs attention from time to time and after giving that attention, it continually rewards me with something more than just a means to get from point A to point B. It rewards me with a good drive.
To Be Continued….