Beauregard (I)

Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.

Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.

Beauregard was a 1971 AMC Javelin SST, in metallic silver-blue. I acquired him (used, of course) for a paltry sum, six or seven hundred bucks, which I borrowed from Pop.

He didn’t have a name, at first. Cars don’t receive names until they demonstrate a personality.

It didn’t take long. In less than a week my brand new (well, new to me) car had an ugly snarl (but not his ugliest snarl–that was still in the future). The first and only time in my life I’ve been front-page news. Please let’s not talk about that though, all right?

Beauregard had acquired a shattered windshield, and a thoroughly crumpled, dented hood. He looked angry, with the snarl where his grill used to be. If I was him, I’d have been angry, too. My beautiful lines!

We got him a new windshield, and pounded out the dents a little bit (well, enough to keep him drive-able, anyway, if not very pretty).

Beauregard settled into “semi-public college buds transport” role fairly readily, and for a while he did behave. But the solenoid went…and Beauregard had to be started with a screwdriver. Watch Dave jump out, pop the hood, short the solenoid to start the car, and jump back in. Fun, right? My buddies seemed to think so, they laughed pretty hard.

He developed slowly-rusting holes in his floorboards. Air-conditioning, in the summer. Even more so (the slush flew up inside) in winter…

Once or twice, Beauregard tried to eject whoever was in the passenger seat during left turns. Didn’t succeed, but he did give it his best try! The passenger door popped open, and we’d grab for whoever the chosen victim du jour was, pull them back inside.

Terrifying. But my friends quickly learned to buckle up! A good habit to have!

Beauregard got his Snarl-Plus Upgrade at the start of a winter break “headed to Chicago” road trip. Icy exit ramp, locked-up breaks, frictionless surface, and a (very expensive, as it turned out) highway sign. But despite the new-and-uglier facelift, we did manage to get everyone home–150 miles north. Somehow.

That epic final road trip was pretty much Beauregard’s Last Hurrah. Too much damage accumulating over time. Too many miles. Too many terrified passengers.

But despite his…eccentricities…I loved that car. Maybe because of his foibles? For every annoyance, every time he didn’t want to start or petulantly demanded more repairs…I had a  lot of good times with some of my best friends, ever, in that car.

Don’t think my college buds loved him quite as much as I did.

RecDave Seal

 Part II: The Mustang

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