Thursday, May 21, 2009

When did I catch the Blue Oval bug? Why am I such a Ford Fanatic?

Every now and then I do these personal nostalgia pieces, sue me, I'm just a guy and this is just my blog. It would be cool if I was AutoBlog or Jalopnik, with the latest news and great pictures, but it's just me. So, I was thinking, I do that a lot, about how did I become such a Ford Fanatic?
I was born in 1965, the fifth child of a middle class Irish American Family from New York City. And the very first car I ever rode in was a Ford! My parents bought a 1963 Fairlane the year before I was born and we had that car until I was 5 or 6. I guess that could be part of it. But my dad wasn't a gearhead, he didn't even drive when I was very little. My mom always joked that she was the one that drove away from the church when they got married! By the way, that was in a 1957 Ford ! Being born in Washington Heights it was not that common to have a car in those days, but at one point before we left for the suburbs our family had 2! And of course they were both Fords.
Being a family of 7 with the Fairlane was fine, except when we do our family vacations with all the lugage. So, every summer my dad would swap cars with his brother and we'd take his 66 Country Squire to various places from Plymouth Rock to Gettysburg. And that's when I fell in love with Country Squires. Weird kid huh? Most little boys would be wanting the Mustang or Corvette, I wanted the big woody! Uncle John's was black with the wood of course and blood red inerior. And Uncle John's good friend and neighbor worked for Ford at the Mahwah New Jersey plant! And later my cousin John Jr Worked there. And I'll never forget cousin John's 66 Mustang, he was always working on that. Both my grandfathers were Chevy guys, go figure?

And then in 1972 or 73 my Mom bought our first Pinto! And again I fell in love. And you're thinking I'm crazy now aren't you. Well, I love Pintos and don't care what the world thinks. In the late 70's my dad bought a 73 Pinto wagon used from our neighbor and I was hoping that would be mine someday. But my older brother got it and by the time I was driving it was gone.
My parents had started out Ford owners but over the years drifted, buying GM and Chrysler vehicles. Like many dads, mine got on a Slant-6 phase, buying several Darts/Valiants and even talking both my sisters into Aspen/Volare territory. But back to me, my first Ford was a 1967 Ford Fairlane while I was in High School, by this time we were suburbanites and a multicar family was putting it mildly. Over the years most of my family strayed from the Blue Oval path even I did a couple of times. But I've had at least 9 Ford vehicles, including my own Pinto, a 79 that I learned to drive stick shift on. Lots of fun there.

I became such a hardcore Ford guy it was driving my poor parents mad. At one time I had 4 Ford products in their driveway, 77 Versailes, 78 T-Bird, 88 Festiva and 91 Mustang LX 5.0, not to mention the Chevy Truck I had. And you know how it is, when you have old cars, the hood would be off one of them and my tools were all over the garage. I think the ultimate expression of my Ford fanaticism was in 1998 When I made my personal Hajj to Dearborn and the Ford Motor Company World Headquarters. And while I did go to the Henry Ford Museum and other points of interest, I really mean the Headquarters building. It was a 2 day drive, stopping in Cleveland half way and I dragged one of my best friends, who's not a car guy. And I made sure I actually went into the building, went to the company store and bought a bunch of crap.

So, I guess it's in my DNA to a certain point. I only learned recently that my mom's father worked at a Ford asembly plant when he first came over from Ireland. But it was also environmental, with so many family members driving Fords. Ford has always been part of my life. Ok maybe now it's an obsession, but I haven't elevated to stalker level. I mean it's not like the local Ford dealer has a restraining order against me or anything. But I would explain why just over 4 years ago I started these blogs. Why I started "dreaming" so to speak. For a while I dreamed of an 05 Mustang. But I've always loved all Fords.

With my damaged DNA, this would represent the ultimate Ford, if you stuck an SVO Mustang drivetrain in it that is. It would combine my love of the blue oval, Pintos and Coutry Squires.
How cool would that be? A sleeper Pinto Squire with SVO power!
And so I blog, and hopefully someone reads.

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