Goodbye, Old Friend

Some things are important to a family, and some things are important because of family. My family has always been a car family–my father and grandfather worked for General Motors. Because of this, I’ve always been a little attached to cars. One car, however, has a longer history than most in the family.

When my mom was 15 and getting ready to start driving she and her father came across a slightly used car on the local lot that my mom fell in love with. A 1970 Chevrolet Camaro.

camaro-cindy

Mom chillin’ on the hood in 1978.

The Camaro, or Rhonda as she became affectionately known, stuck with her. She threw us boys in the car and off we’d go. There was a brief stint with a van (shudder), and then back to the Camaro. Finally, Mom got herself a real-life soccer mom SUV, and the Camaro became a special occasion car. Until…

My brother turned 16 and needed a car to drive. Brother drove it through high school, and then around graduation gave it a new paint job.

camaro-john

Little red … Camaro.

At some point, it went from a tasteful 307 to the most monstrous 350 you’ve ever seen.

This car is fast. And fun.

Anyway, brother kept the car with him for years. Finally, without the time to take care of it or places to put it, he sends it to me for safekeeping. Hence the dollies. After some immediate triaging, the Camaro was up and running.

Until the transmission decided it didn’t need no stinking fluid.

Relegated to the garage until time and money to fix it, the Camaro sat. Longing to run the road and rumble the eardrums of those within a 10 mile radius.

As these things happen, it sat for a while. But brother and I (and wives of course) came up with a solution–the cousin. The biggest car guy I know, cousin jumped at the chance. So this week he came up, got the car, and took it straight to the transmission shop. I’m sad to see Rhonda go, but I can’t wait to see her running again.

photo 1

And she’s still in the family. Always in the family.

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