My first car was from Britain (Austin-Healey). The second was American (Ford). The third was built in Canada (Ford). The fourth was from Germany (VW). The fifth was another Ford, built in Dearborn. The sixth was Japanese (Toyota). The seventh was Detroit iron (Dodge). The eighth was Japanese (Nissan). The ninth was built in Australia (a Ford, but sold here in the U.S. as a Mercury Capri). The tenth was a GM, made in America (a Saturn SC, for our older daughter). The eleventh was from Korea (a Kia Sportage, for our younger daughter). My wife now drives a 2007 Taurus SE (another U.S.-built Ford). My daily driver, a pickup, is a Ford Ranger XLT made in America. And my latest fun ride is from Brazil (see photo). I think I have most of the world's continents covered now. If anyone has a spare, not-too-rusty Fiat 124 Spider looking for a good home, though, drop it by anytime.
It was a faded red 1962 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk II that my dad heard about on a radio call-in show in the summer of 1969. It turned out to be in a barn outside Shiner, Texas. We drove out there with a trailer, just in case, and with a little gas in the carb and a jump start, it cranked right up. Paid $450 for it, and it came with three tops -- soft, tonneau and hard. I had to replace the right rear axle and the exhaust system, found a boat builder to remake the side curtains, and bought a new shift knob. That little jewel took me all over Texas for the next three years and only stranded me once (the generator died about 4 a.m. six miles north of Comanche on an overnight trip from Houston to Abilene). Got rid of it a few months before I got married three years later, and still regret it -- the car, not the wife.
That old Sprite.
A 1981 Lafer TI.
MP Lafer Clube USA (the car is from Brazil, so we go with the Brazilian Portuguese spelling)
TD Replica Car Club (tdreplica.com)
— Profile last updated: Jan 14, 2017