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Tuesday, May 5, 2015
My first carPosted Friday, March 23, 2012, at 9:23 PM
A recent series by one of our columnists brought to mind my first car -- a Renault Alliance.
Remember those? They were endorsed by George C. Scott.
My dad purchased it for me (I paid the loan off) when I got my first newspaper job in Laredo, Texas. It was fine for the first few months, but when I moved to East Texas, a more humid climate, it was like the Johnny Cash song "One Piece at a Time" -- in reverse.
When I moved from East Texas to the Texas Panhandle, the police chief in the town I was working in told me Renault's were a piece of crap. I took offense. But his pithy analysis rang true.
Piece by piece over the years it fell apart. I kept having it put back together because I was poor and couldn't afford a downpayment on a car. When I was in Florida, I had what seemed to be my own personal mechanic and tow truck driver. I could call the tow truck driver and he would take it to the mechanic's shop.
I had everything from blown head gaskets to computers going out to smoke coming out of the dash board. Finally one day when I was driving to work on Gasparilla Island -- just before I made it to the entrance of the toll bridge, white smoke started coming out of the engine compartment.
That was the end. I had it towed back to the mechanic. It turned out I had thrown a rod.
The car is now a metal cube somewhere. May it rest in peace.
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