My mom originally owned my 1962 Mercury Meteor. It was white with red interior and had a “3 on the tree”. We traveled everywhere in that car…to the mountains, to the ocean and up and down the west coast. I was always a little embarrassed about the styling of the car. I mean, I was a teenager in the late 70s and that car’s heyday was 10 to 15 years prior to that. I just wished that we drove something a little more contemporary. It didn’t have to be flashy, just not ancient. The wings on the car were a little annoying as well.
When I turned sixteen and received my driver’s license, that wonderful car became mine. It then formally became known as the party wagon, or to some, just “The Wag”. One wonderful aspect of having that as my first car was the indestructibility of the car. I remember going to junior college and trying to find a parking space. I found one but also hit a steel post in the process. No biggie, that car takes it like a champ.
There were countless times when we packed lots of people into the front, middle and back of The Wag and headed off to Day on the Greens in Oakland. It was definitely a party wagon. I remember going to see Jeff Beck at the Greek Theater and being involved in a four–car pile up. No one was hurt but the other cars were. Not much of a dent in my old car. And we still managed to get to the concert.
Just a couple more things…the recognizability of that car was cool. That was definitely my car and there were no others like it.
And lastly, I would like to believe that we got that car up on its two left tires when we were driving rather quickly around a curve. No way it would roll.
Oh, and very last. The ski trips in that car were memorable. We would pack in the people and lots of beer and wine and head on up that mountain. Chug, chug, chug. It always made it. And how cool was that to cruise up in the wag. It was like a punk statement before punk came out.
I will admit to the one draw back of having the wagon. When going to the drive-in movies, I couldn’t cram people into the trunk because there was no trunk.Oh, well—a small sacrifice. At least we could see well out of all the windows.
And that is my story of my first car. I left it behind when I went to San Francisco State and my mom eventually sold it. I honestly wonder if it is still running today. I’d like to think so even though it probably is not.