The Best $250 Car Money Could Buy

For an American male, a car with ford tonneau covers is a precious commodity. It is an item whose importance can be compared to that of breathing and opposable thumbs. While all of the cars a man owns will bear remembrance, it is the first vehicle that is forever burned into the psyche of said man.

My very first car was a 1973 Ford Maverick, or at least what was left of it. By the time I had purchased the car in the summer of 1984, the thing was but a rusted-out shell of its former glory. The boy I bought it from had attempted to paint the car...with spray paint. He partially finished giving the original tan color a shade of green that I could never quite identify using a color wheel, but gave up on the project when his budget allowed only the purchase of five cans of paint. The hood, left side and a small portion of the trunk retained the original shade but all the rest was the new fill-in-the-blank green.

However, the aesthetics of the Maverick were to be considered a work of art when the mechanical aspects were taken into consideration. The original 302 engine worked in the sense that the car would generally move in the direction I intended it to go, and the brakes more often than not stopped the car, but the tires, the horn, the lights...oh my.

One evening my girlfriend, my brother and sister and I went to go see a movie together. As we were coming home on the highway, I noticed a state patrolman merging onto the highway from my right. Since I knew I had a tail light missing, I tried to slow down to allow the police car to enter in front of me, but I couldn't accomplish my task. The policeman followed me for a mile or so and then pulled me over.

Without even asking for my license, the officer walked around my car with his flashlight, taking note of my many violations. Finally he came to my car, took my information, and then asked me what the car was worth to me.

I wasn't sure what the intent of the question was, so I asked the officer "do you mean, what did I pay for the car?"

He shook his head. "No, what is the car worth to you, because you are looking at over 500 dollars in fines."

Besides the broken tail light, my head lights were stuck on bright and my four tires were so bald, slivers of metal were showing through the rubber. He didn't even know about the busted horn or that the radio shocked you when you turned it on. He gave me a long list of items to fix and 72 hours in which to fix it. I coughed up the money for the four cheapest tires known to man and my father-in-law helped me with the rest.

Eventually the Maverick died at work to the point that the transmission would not engage into drive. I called my dad and he picked me up at the plant. I called a local junk yard and he charged me $50 to come pick it up. The next day I went to work and the only evidence the Maverick was ever there was the oil leak marking its demise.

For all of its numerous problems, that piece of junk still has a special place in my heart. It took me on the road where my bicycle couldn't. I cruised the streets of my hometown, unaware that I should be embarrassed to be seen driving that car, for freedom comes on four wheels. I went to drive-in movies in that car and learned the fundamentals of car repairs. That car was clearly in the winter of its existence when I purchased it, yet for me my first car was all summer in a day.

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Hi, It's Shohel here, and I have been working with blogging and marketing for over four years. My educational background in family science and journalism has given me a broad base from which to approach many topics, and since then I started working as a freelance writer. I do write about traveling, [...]

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