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These Are Your Favorite Car Moments With Dad

Aug 30, 2023

Dads are certainly of their own breed, but that’s also what makes them so weird and special, right? I say this with even more confidence behind that definition after reading all of your stories this weekend. We appreciate Dad for his knowledge, his ability to tackle anything, and surprising us in ways we didn’t think possible — to cheer us up on some of our worst of days too.

Reminds me of a precious moment, several years ago, when I had moved back in with my father during my divorce, and I was pretty down about most everything. My dad needed to go pick up his 1969 Olds Cutlass that evening, and the plan was to take his ‘17 Chevy SS (which I convinced him to buy, thanks to an article we found here on Jalopnik of all things) to pick it up. His bargaining chip was that I could drive the SS back. Man it had been one shitty week, but as he took off in his Olds, and I held back for a few minutes, knowing I was going to use I-696 as the Michigan Autobahn that it was. Once I caught up with him, I made sure to drop back, so he didn’t realize how much I might have laid into his racy car, but it really turned my shitty week around, and he knew it would.

But you’re not here for my stories — I’m here to share yours and there were some insanely precious memories with Dad. I tried to include many of them, but alas, you don’t want to click through 500 slides. So, if you want to see more, please read through the comments from the original question. Otherwise, here are some good ones you kind folks sent our way.

2 / 24

Several great Dad moments... he taught me how to drive a stick in our 1974 VW when I was 12. His patience was phenomenal!

I helped my Dad replace all the plumbing in our home when I was 10... this was in 1975. I learned how to use the pipe cutter and the flaring tool for the copper pipe. It was a great learning experience.

He also taught me what not to do: I remember helping him change a starter on one of our cars and mentioned to him that we hadn’t unhooked the battery. He said it would be ok because he was being careful. You can guess what happened then: the hot cable contacted his wedding band while it was also grounded on the engine and instantly turned very hot. It was literally the fastest I ever saw my Dad move, getting the hot wedding band off his finger.

I remember seeing a quote that said something to the effect of: When an old man dies a library burns. That was truly the case with my father. It’s been over 30 years and I still miss him.

Submitted by PewPewITGuy

3 / 24

All of the car work! Starting with a Montero and now onto a BMW. We’ve done oil pump, water pump, shocks/struts, brakes, oil, alternator, starter, oil filter housing gasket, ignition system, huh. Come to think of it, just about everything but swapping in a new radiator or a full engine/transmission rebuild.

We haven’t done too much with interiors either. I found out the fun way I wasn’t cut out for structural steel work, the ‘family trade’, so this ended up being our bonding time. Didn’t start until I was in my 30s, weirdly.

Submitted by Markoff8585

4 / 24

I had just finished replacing the rear struts in my Mazda MX-6 LS, and already took it for a shakedown run. I thought it was all right when I drove it, but I wanted someone else to give me an unbiased opinion. My father was the only other person around who could drive a manual, so I asked him. He more-than-happily agreed, and I handed him the key.

I figured he would take the car around the block and declare it fine. When twenty minutes passed, I was starting to wonder if something broke or if I did something wrong and the car was wrecked. Thirty minutes, and I was wondering if his cancer medication was having an ill effect on him. After forty minutes, my thought were “Screw the damned car, is my father all right?”

Of course he was. He rolled in five minutes later with the biggest grin on his face I’d seen on him in a long time. He was never really a car guy, but he had the key to a little black (quasi-) sports car with a stick shift and a sunroof, and he was going to enjoy it! If he had his Doris Day CD with him, he would have thought it perfect.

Submitted by namesakeone

5 / 24

Dad and I were signed up for Bob Bondurant’s School of High Performance Driving out at Sears Point in California. We had to drive from Kansas City to California, and because of my dads work schedule we had to do it in a shortended time frame. The plan was to take off after dinner, drive all night through Kansas and Colorado and end up the next night in Salt Lake City.

I took the first leg of driving, since Dad had worked all day. It was 1980 and we were in his box stock ‘77 911S Targa. In the middle of the night, somewhere on I-70 in western kansas, and with dad asleep, I tried to see what that 911 could do. It ran up to 130 pretty easily but that stock suspension had the thing bouncing up and down like we were in a boat on a lake. Enough so that it woke up dad.

At first he yelled like coming out of a bad dream- so I slowed back down to 70 and we cruised along for a bit, while he was waking up. Then after a bit he said- ‘do that again’ . And we spent the next hour running that car up over a hundred then back down again. What a blast.

Submitted by Stallwart Citizen

6 / 24

My dad always bought old Ford farm trucks (this is in the early 90s)..... a 72 F100 300ci, 3 on the tree.... a 79 F150 351, and he also had 2 56's, as his show trucks.

I learned to do alot of my wrenching by helping him keep them running. 1 time we had to replace a water pump on the 72, and there was SO much room, we had it done in under an hour.

Plus the fact he was an OTR truck driver, and spending time with him in his truck between Chicago and the west coast will forever be in my mind. 1 time we were unloading in San Diego, and this old timer (I was 17, dad was in his early 50s, and the old timer was about 75 or so) was walking by, and stopped and asked my dad “What kinda mills she got?”, asking about my dads 1984 Freightliner FLC, him and my dad spent about 30 minutes talking about trucks....

Or going to the local races with him the night before I got married.

Our wedding was on a Saturday, and he was so surprised when all 3 of his sons, and my wife to be (her 1st race ever), “kidnapped” him so to speak from the hotel him and my mom were staying at. The look on his face when we pulled into the county fairgrounds for the Friday night races was priceless.

Submitted by ToeMotor

7 / 24

My dad was an older one, he was 43 when I was born. He drove “old man” cars, always, but he liked them fast. Real fast. He had a couple of problem plagued T-Birds with 390's in them that had been cammed and other work done on them. They were fast, but totally unreliable, both blew head gaskets before they made it through their first summers. His first car that stuck around to the normal 2 years he kept a car was the ‘64 Caddy he bought. It had the usual engine work done on it, and the idle alone was proof it wasn’t stock. It had dual exhaust on it, but it was super quiet, even at full throttle. Him laying down rubber in the driveway laughing is one of my fondest memories of him.

His ‘68 Imperial was the fastest car he ever had. 440 with a cam, fairly loud dual exhaust, it was plenty quick, and easily the best sounding of all his cars. It would easily melt the rear tires, and it was the first car I actually got to do a burnout in at age 12, in my family’s store parking lot on a Sunday night. Another great memory is us going someplace on the Ohio Turnpike and the speedometer was buried and for a long time, that 120+ MPH is the fastest I ever went in a car.

My first actual driving was in a ‘69 Hurst Olds loaner we had when my dad’s ‘69 Caddy, that replaced the Imp, was getting it’s engine mods done. My dad actually liked that car, but the Caddy stayed until ‘73, when he wrecked it. He died later that year. In Sept he will be gone 50 years. Wow.

He would love my ‘18 Challenger Scat Pack. But I’m sure he wouldn’t want his bright red like mine is, he always picked, IMHO, bad colors. Always. I desperately wanted him to buy a ‘68 Charger instead of the Imp. The neighbor’s bright red R/T just made me drool everytime I saw it. He went with the IMP, in an awful bronze with a black vinyl top. At least the interior was the right color, black.

Submitted by Barry Land

8 / 24

Dad was a Chrysler man.

Went with him to pick up his Nabisco company car (1970 Plymouth Fury) in the early 70s at Bosak Chrysler/Plymouth in Gary, IN. Every dealership in the nation was allotted one Plymouth Super Bird. For some reason this dealership had two, one inexplicably without a wing. All I could think about as I stared slack-jawed at my favorite cartoon character staring back at me holding a racing helmet on the side of the wing was, “Who in the hell has $8000 to spend on this???” At that moment I was hooked for life.

Fortunately, my Dad did know the Lyles brothers whose family owned a local car shop. They bought the one with the wing and painted it a different factory color every year. Here is an old pic of the ‘Bird in Blue Fire Metallic.

Submitted by 900turbo

9 / 24

My father was a wonderful father to my brother and myself. He taught us how to build model planes and trains and how to make bows and arrows. He was a race enthusiast along with my mother. They were both geniuses and would get themselves into difficulties on occasion with money and property. Being a city boy, he was torn between the country and the city. When I was 18, my father invited me to a race to see which one was faster on our back country roads, his brand new MG-B or my mother’s new BMW 750 (car). I was following him about 6 feet behind when he spun out on a curve at 50 mph. He crashed into the guard rail on the right side of the road and bounced off backwards into the dirt embankment on the other side. We stopped and straightened out his fenders and drove home. when we got home my father asked me how I missed him since I was so close. My mother’s remark was, “Well, you didn’t even have it 2 weeks and you bent it”.

Submitted by tedmoss

10 / 24

Growing up, we were lower-middle-income, working class family (of 7 + whatever neighborhood children we were informally fostering at the time so usually between 7-10 people).

Lower-middle-income + large family means we had two cars — not out of luxury but out of necessity. We had a 7 seat Ford Aerostar and my dad had a blue 1981 Camaro.

(Also, my dad was/is the pastor of 2 churches so we ALWAYS went to church as a family every week in 2 cars).

I believe it was a Friday that the transmission on the Camaro went out. But of course, we NEEDED both cars to be able to get to church (and just generally because both of my parents worked and went to school at the time).

Taking it to a shop wasn’t an option because no shop would be able to get it done in time and, looking back, I’m quite sure my parents couldn’t afford to have someone professionally repair it.

Saturday morning we hit every junk yard in town to find a working, compatible transmission. Saturday evening until the wee hours of Sunday morning we laid under that Camaro on sheets of cardboard on our gravel driveway and changed the transmission in time for church. I didn’t know what I was doing so I just passed him the sockets and held the flashlight (I later found out that my dad didn’t really know what he was doing either but he had a chest full of tools and a Haynes repair manual). It was our first time changing a transmission.

My dad took a 3 or 4 hour nap and was up to drive the 1.5 hours to church.

That junk yard transmission and gravel driveway swap job lasted 10 years until the floor boards rusted out and we just never got around to doing anything with it. He sold it a couple of years ago for like $600, sadly.

I was always into cars but it was the first time really spending time with my dad working on cars and it’s the single reason I do all of the work on my cars that I can.

(Also, after years of driving minivans and crossovers to accommodate the family, and spending money on cars for my mom and siblings, he finally got himself a blue C5 Corvette last year. Very glad he finally gets to have a car of his own to enjoy now and have fun in now that all of the kids are grown and he’s semi-retired.)

Submitted by himynameisjaybackagain

11 / 24

My Dad retired and moved to another country, but he had come to visit me in the summer. I live in California where we are sometimes surrounded by brush and forest fires all over the state. We decided to do something stupid and drive out to the fires and take random pictures.

We jumped in the car and drove straight toward one. Now if there was a road that was closed then we simply went around. We never drove through the smoke or did anything blatantly dangerous, though we went around and sort of chased the fires as close as we could.

While I was driving and he in the back seat taking photos, the scene in the car was a combination of drama and hilarity as we went for the best shots without ever getting too close. I know for a fact that if this was just me and a friend then he would have objected that I do this, but we did it, and it was one of the few times that we did anything as friends as well as a dad with his son.

It wasn’t much, but it was also one of the happiest moments of my life.

Submitted by mynameisj

12 / 24

You also remind me of my dad taking me to the Indy 500 when I was 15, so that would have been in 1989. One of my older brothers had won tickets in a contest and gave them to me, and dad agreed to take me. We spent the night before the race a few miles from the track at the house of one of my brother’s former college professors. I remember the drive to the track being so slow with all the traffic. I also remember seeing my first beer bong being used by the college-aged guys behind us in the stands. Lots of other memories, including seeing a late race crash that helped put Emerson Fittipaldi in the lead (he would win a few laps later). Dad passed away a little over 14 years ago. A few years after he died, my mom told me that he hadn’t wanted to go and didn’t really enjoy the race very much. He took me because I wanted to go, and he never let on the whole time or in the twenty years that followed. I’m tearing up now just thinking about that. I still miss him everyday.

Submitted by Hondo

13 / 24

My best memory of my dad and cars could’ve been such a tragedy. I was driving home on New Years eve, 1989. I was 18 and had just dropped my girlfriend off at her house around 2:00am. I made a left turn onto the highway (I absolutely had a green light) and a speeding Toyota Corolla hit my Bronco II at probably 90 km/h. It damn near tore the front end off my vehicle. It looked like a devastating accident. Fortunately nobody was critically injured. The first cop on the scene decided it was a good idea to inform me that if the car had me six inches further back, I’d probably be dead. Because there were injured peple to attend to, EMS and the cops kind of just ignored me and left me to my own devices. As I’m standing in the middle of the intersection trying to piece together what happened, and on the verge of collapsing completely, my dad showed up.

It was like something out of a movie. He just appeared through the haze of broken cars, EMS lights, smoke, and rain; striding toward me like a goddamn hero. He’d grabbed a blanket from home and as he got to me he just opened it, wrapped me in it and said “You’re ok. Everyone’s ok”.

We lived close by, but to this day I have no idea how he got there so fast in a pre-cell-phone era.

Aside from my wife and kids, my dad is my favourite person in the world. He just turned 80 and has no signs or intention of slowing down. He’ll spend father’s day cruising around in his ‘54 Chevy pickup with my mom. They’ll grab some craft IPAs and head to the beach to watch the waves and play with the dog. I’ll call him and tell him I love him. I’m forever grateful for him and for a lifetime of him. But that night on the highway where he was everything I needed at exactly the right time is everything anyone needs to know about him.

Submitted by JohnnyWasASchoolBoy

14 / 24

I started doing track days in 1990. I kept trying to convince my Dad he should come with me. It took three years but he finally relented in 1993, and ended up loving it. He ended up getting the hook worse than me, and got his own car, and next thing you know we had two trailers and were doing events all over.

One Memorial Day weekend we were at Mid-Ohio. It rained the entire first day and since we didn’t have wets we had only done a few laps. Second day it rained all morning and we decided to wait for lunch and if it didn’t clear by then we were just going to cut our loses and leave. Well it cleared up, and we had one session for the ages.

Understand that my car is older and doesn’t have the best gearing, but his has a six-speed and maybe a bit more power. But I’m younger. So on pit out we were in formation, him in front of me. Every lap, it nearly takes me every bit of the twisty back section to make up the advantage he gained on the big straight. I’m throwing everything I have into this car to catch him, and he into his to stay ahead of me. By the time we’re on the pit straight we’re right on each other. This went on for maybe eight laps. Eventually he makes a small mistake and he lets me by, but now he’s chasing me. This goes on for a few more laps and I can’t lose him. Keep in mind at the time he was in his 60's.

Anyway when the session finally gets checkered, we go down the back straight in formation side by side, giving each other thumbs up. We’re both exhausted. When we come into the pits, people on the pit wall are clapping for us. It’s probably the greatest session I’ve ever had individually, but having it with my Dad made it a lifetime memory. And the weekend had nearly been a washout.

Pic below is from Road Atlanta a few years later but that’s Dad in the third-gen and me in the second-gen.

Submitted by Matt Sexton

15 / 24

I remember sitting on his lap and ‘driving’ the car on our frequent trips to the Jersey Shore.

Unfortunately, due to age, rust and 1950s engineering, the Merc had the structural integrity of overcooked linguine, and the passenger door would sometimes fly open when going around a curve.

This happened once while my mother was driving, who then of course called HER mother to complain. My grandmother showed up at our house an hour later to yell at my father and tell him in no uncertain terms to “get rid of that GD car!”

The Mercury gets sold to some friend of a friend of my fathers, a refrigerator white AMC Rambler American takes its place in our driveway and my father’s soul died a little that day.

Years later, my father finds the Merc sitting forlorn and forgotten on the side of a service station near Cape May NJ. The engine, top and interior are long gone, there are weeds growing through the rust holes in the floor and most of the chrome parts have either been scavenged or are too badly pitted to be worth recovering.

My father talks to the manager of the service station, who had pulled the trim parts of the Mercury to sell, but in the dark days before E-bay and the interwebs was never able to find a buyer.

A half-hour of swapping war stories over cigarettes and coffee, and 20 bucks later, my father is now the proud owner of one, slightly pitted but still shiny, 1955 Mercury Montclair hood ornament. It had a place of honor on my father’s dresser until he passed in 2007.

I inherited the hood ornament when my father died, it is sitting in a box on a shelf in a closet, somewhere in my house. I think it’s in the attic. Or maybe the garage...

Damn, now i gotta spend the weekend looking for it.

Submitted by Earthbound Misfit I

16 / 24

I grew up in Elkhart Lake, seeing races at the track every summer as a kid. We saw Mario Andretti lose his shit when he ran out of fuel. We saw Paul Newman race. It was a magical place as a kid.

My dad grew up in Plymouth and was old enough to have been a teenager when the track was built. Back then, there were no gates. He and his friends would drive around it at night until they were chased off of it.

My dad has Parkinson’s now, and he barely remembers who I am. But twice, on magical fall mornings, I got to take him around the track in my own race car. I told him to let me know by waving his hands out in front of him that he had had enough. Instead, he was clapping and waving ‘go faster!’

Blasting through Kettle Bottoms at 130mph, with the leaves falling on the track, is something I hope to never forget.

Submitted by Sissyfoot

17 / 24

I was 15 years old. I had just taken a job at a Baskin Robbins in a mall food court and after just a couple of weeks on the job, I was fired - and in the worst possible way. No warnings, no major indicators about my performance, instead the boss intercepted me when I showed up for my shift and let me know before the shift started, but after my ride had left. This was before cell phones, so I was left stranded at the mall until my shift would have ended, all the time pretty terrified about how my father would react.

When I finally got home, it was an awkward evening and it was definitely hard to sleep given all the tension in the house. The next morning, my father pulled one of his surprising awesome dad moments. He took me out car shopping. It was something we both loved to do together and it was his way of letting me know everything was ok. This was the late 1980's, so we looked at some cars I had on my wish list, including a CRX and one of the cars I really wanted... A 1989 Dodge Daytona.

He had a complete aversion to Chrysler products after a few bad experiences, but he took me to the Dodge dealership anyway, where a new (ish - demo) black Daytona with grey trim was waiting for a test drive. It had the Mitsubishi V6, which I kind of hoped would count in its favor, but true to my dad’s misgivings about Chrysler, it wouldn’t start for the test drive.

We didn’t buy a car for me that day, but that was never really the plan. We shopped, we haggled, we looked at great cars and talked about what we loved about them, and that made everything better after a terrible experience.

My dad always had a great sense for that, even when it seemed like he shouldn’t. Heck, I’m sure he didn’t know I was having a bad day a couple of years later when he surprised me with a 1990 Mustang GT. It just worked out that way whenever it came to us and cars. I lost my father to colon cancer when I was 30 and to this day, I still wonder what cars we would be shopping for together if he was still around.

Submitted by Sid Bridge

18 / 24

There were many, but two come to mind (neither were in the garage, forgive me).

Once was upon the occasion of receiving a “D” grade in freshman (high school) English because of a gust of wind.

This wind gust blew my (& several other’s) final papers off of the teacher’s inbox on his desk & into the enclosed courtyard of the building on the last day of school. And this is where they sat until school opened again in the fall (epilogue: the grade was amended the following year once they realized this, but that’s not the point of the story).

When my dad found out about my grade, he cut a business trip short, flew home and picked me up by surprise from my job at a neighboring farm to take me for an absolute blast of a joyride in a blue NA generation Miata he’d rented.

We laughed & had a great time doing donuts, taking corners on dirt roads way too fast (it was, after all, the fastest car in the world - a rental), going over jumps, banging off the rev limiter etc... we had so much fun I momentarily let my guard down & forgot about my D grade.

Until the ride ended, back at my place of employment. He then said “did you have fun? did you like that?” to which I replied in the affirmative. He then added “great, thats the last fun you’re going to have all summer, you’re grounded until school starts again, bye.”

He promptly dropped me off to walk the 2 miles home, and he drove back to the airport to catch a flight back to wherever he was doing business things at the time.

The other time is after I passed my driver’s license test. He said he wanted to take me out & celebrate. So we went to a restaurant for lunch in the biggest, hilliest city around, with him driving his 5 spd manual XJ Cherokee.

Now, I knew theoretically how to operate a manual transmission after driving countless tractors, mowers & farm trucks so equipped. But I’d never been successful in traffic, in this particular Jeep, with my dad as the co-pilot - constantly nagging at and correcting me. I think he realized he may have been the problem, so after lunch he called a cab for himself, handed me the Jeep key and said “you have until dark to get yourself and the Jeep home successfully, good luck.”

The drive home went great. The cabbie “took a circuitous route*” and I actually beat him to the house. I didn’t stall it once, wasn’t a hazard to myself or others, and from that moment forward, driving a manual transmission has been second nature.

*he followed me the whole way, but far enough back to where my 16 year old self didn’t notice.

Submitted by OldManMcKenna

19 / 24

My Dad had ‘74 Stingray he bought new. Half of my childhood memories involve that car. I even remember the radio stations and music he used to listen too. If I play 70's soft rock on Pandora it takes me RIGHT back to sitting in the passenger seat with my arm stretched out the window pretending its a airplane and flying up and down through the window.

Best memory is washing it though. He’d clean the car, I’d clean the wheels. Then spray the entire car down with the water hose. At that point we *needed* to jump in the car and go dry it off. Which meant fishtailing out the driveway because the tires were wet and doing what felt like a 100mph down the street to ‘blow all the water out the cracks’. Love you Dad. Typing this makes me feel so good. And hopefully next time you are around.. I can wash my car and we can go blow the water out the cracks lol.

Submitted by Daekwan

20 / 24

In late summer 1985 my dad went out for the mail and came back with a Corvette. In truth, he had been looking at it for a few, of course (all Corvettes are red, after all), with saddle interior, sport seats (in cloth!), and the 4+3 transmission. It was the first ‘hot’ car he had owned since his 1965 GTO.

On weekends, we would go for a long ride and then stop at the car wash and hand wash and dry it. It was almost a ritual. The first time I was allowed to drive it was after one of those washes...he mentioned how hard the clutch was, but forgot to mention the throttle took a rather firm, but gentle, shove (it was like squeezing a lemon peel against a brick), so when I went to pull out of the slippery exit of the carwash, I tried to give it some gas but met too much resistance so pushed through...and immediately lit up the tires and careened out of the place sideways. Thankfully, I managed to not kill us and, instead of the expected screaming, he merely said, “Yeah, you’re going to want to modulate that with a bit more....finesse.”

Years later, he bought an off-lease C5 and they only offered him $3k for his ‘85, so I bought it from him. It was supposedly mechanically sound, but needed paint and a carpet (again...he parked it at his office, in the sun, for 15 years and it was a mid-80s GM product, so the glue in the carpet broke down and the paint was more pink than red). I wound up putting in a new steering rack, radiator, brakes, starter, and heads (the supposed ‘Vette expert’ mechanic at the Chevy dealer he brought it to never adjusted the valve lash correctly, so the tops of the valves were aluminum ported heads were cheaper than rebuilding the iron ones). Then it failed inspection for emissions, the alternator went, and the AC compressor it sat. It is slowly sinking into my parents’ driveway.

They’ve had a bunch of offers but I haven’t been able to bring myself to sell. I wanted to fix it up and take HIM for rides in it, but building a career and not having space of my own (or workshop or tools, etc.) has prevented that. I just look at it sitting there so forlornly and think back to when we would hand wash it after a great ride while listening to doo-wop and the Big Chill soundtrack...and the stuff we’d talk about. It wasn’t just the best time together we had in a car, they were our best times together period.

Submitted by Osmodious

21 / 24

My Dad was a dealership owner and didn’t do a ton or work on cars himself. Except for once, we had a 1939 Plymouth truck that had belonged to his Dad for a time. My dad decided we should see if we can get it to run, he unhooked the gas tank and prepared himself with a small can full of gas that he could dump straight into the carburetor. I didn’t know much about cars at all at this point. He had me sit inside and showed me how to turn on the ignition then use the foot pedal to engage the starter.

That straight six proceeded to roar to life! There were no floor boards, and ended up with huge exhaust leak right below me. Dad starter waving his hands and yelling at me to do something. I was engulfed in exhaust, and couldn’t hear anything. So I shut the ignition off.

Dad then yelled, NO, don’t cut if off yet! He was trying to tell me that once it started I had to take my foot OFF of the starter pedal. Young me was almost in tears, thought I had just messed everything up. We settled down and managed to get it to run a bit more. Apparently the engine wasn’t making any bad knocking noises and had good enough compression. Dad pulled the radiator out to see about getting it rebuilt. Then time and life got in the way and the project ended up getting sold a number of years later. Sure was a good early lesson in how old cars work, though!

Submitted by Batphreak

22 / 24

The happiest I ever saw him was when he was wrenching on something for fun.

Plenty of photos from before I was born of him building his ‘65 F-100 with the Police Interceptor 390. Still have the back window his cousin hand-painted for him. Met my mother by selling her his ‘73 Mustang Grande.

He had a spare key for my F-150, so sometimes I’d go into work with it parked in my lot, come out for lunch, and it’s a half-mile away at the other end of the shopping center in the grocery store parking lot. I’d call him and ask where it was and the answer was “in the parking lot”. Technically not wrong.

He and a friend had a garage on some property, so I always had a car to screw around in. 12 years old, big WRC fan, OF COURSE I’m going to channel my inner Colin McRae with this very rotten stickshift Subaru wagon. We took dozens of laps around the fallow cornfield, and each time he’d say “watch that rock on your left”, and I’d avoid it. One day I was alone, and decided to see how much faster I could be if I used 3rd gear too. Now the cornfield has been transformed into a muddy Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and I was going for the pole. I kept pushing and pushing myself, and then I hit the rock. It was large enough to completely remove the entire LF suspension assembly, and roll the car a couple times, landing on the roof. I was unharmed (shockingly) and walked the half mile back to the garage. Dad goes to hand me a gas can, thinking I ran it out again. I calmly tell him that unless we want to set it on fire, gas is not helpful, and just ask him to grab the truck and come up. As we’re pulling up, he sees the car on its roof, missing the wheel and calmly says “Didn’t watch for the rock, I see.”

He died in February of ‘22 after complications from surgery. I miss him so much.

Submitted by Red Devil 5.0

23 / 24

One of my favorite car memories with my dad was him teaching me to drive a stick. I turned 16 in 1989 and had some money saved up from my paper route and washing dished in a restaurant. I saw an ad in the local paper for a ‘65 Valiant at a dealership in the next town for pretty much the same amount of money I had. Dad and I went to look at it a few days later. It turns out it was really a ‘66, and Dad had to drive it on the test drive since it was a 3-on-the-tree. He said it was OK, and helped me with the paperwork. He then drove us both home. Over the next couple of weeks he tried to teach me how to drive it. I lived in a small country town, and we’d go out to a country road for lessons. He’d drive it and tell me what he was doing, then we’d stop and I’d try to do the same. Things weren’t going well for a while. I must have read something about how to do it or seen something somewhere, because what made everything click for me was realizing that what Dad was doing and what he was saying weren’t the same. I somehow figured out what he was actually doing, and I was able to replicate it pretty quickly once I started ignoring what he was saying. It was a culture shock when my next car was am ‘83 Peugeot 505sti, with it’s 5-speed on the floor and all (and power steering and brakes!). Still driving stick to this day. Thanks, Dad. Miss you!

Submitted by Hondo

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