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Datsuns in the Eye of the Beholder
by Ernie Williams
Hey everybody! Happy Friday! Friday! Friday! Fri-DAY! Wooop.
Ok, got that out of the way…wait, one more. FRI-DAAAAAAYyy.
Alright. I’m done now.
Before we get into the meat of this week’s story, MLB Opening Day is this Sunday and I need to know which baseball team everybody is going to be rooting for this year. So let me know in the comments.
Me? I’ll be rooting for the NEW YORK YANKEES! That’s right, you know it. I’ll be sporting my puffy, shiny blue Yanks jacket, with the word, ‘Yankees’ scribbled across the front of it in big fancy letters, all around town all season long. Not only that, I’m planning on sleeping with my autographed Derek Jeter baseball under my pillow every night. I just wish he and A-ROD would get along better… Why can’t those two be friends? Oh and one more thing, APRIL FOOLS!! HA HA!
Yeah, I know April Fools is on Sunday, but I’m here on Friday, so I sprung it early on ya. Well? Did I get you? Did I have you thinking I was really a Yankees fan? Ha ha. Yeah, right.
The truth is I am a Boston Red Sox fan. So what baseball team are you rooting for this season? Let us know.
Now, for the story this week: I’ve decided to write a little bit about cars this week, because like everybody else, I miss the car posts here at Faster Than The World and nobody is writing any at this point. So I’ve decided to try and take care of that problem by telling you a little bit about dream cars. Everybody has dream cars. These stories will be about my dream cars and I hope you will tell us all about yours in the comments.
This week, my first dream car, the Datsun 240Z.
When I was 15-16 years old, this was the car I was saving up to buy. I was working as a dishwasher, making about $4.25 an hour and saving every penny for a car.
To me the Datsun 240Z was a super cool car. It was a Japanese import but the body style was very similar to the Ferrari Daytona and the Jaguar XKE. A poor man’s sports car and a teenage dream. I’ll take it.
I was always buying those auto-trader papers and scrounging through them looking for a used 240Z that was in decent shape and not too far out of my price range. There were always a few of them listed every week but the prices were always kind of beyond my means.
Even if I worked every night washing dishes, it was gonna take me probably two or three years to save up for the Datsun. Things were looking a little bleak, but I kept at it.
Eventually I had saved up about $1100.00 and I was starting to get itchy. I had my driver’s license but I had no wheels of my own. My Dad started inquiring among his friends to see if any of them were looking to sell a vehicle. He was not very pleased with the idea of me trying to get a sports car (even though he himself had owned a couple of Triumph’s back in the day, but we won’t get into that..) He was encouraging me to get something more ‘sensible’. In hindsight, I think his main reason for discouraging me from getting a sports car was that he really just did not want to see me wrapped around a phone pole…
The first car we looked at was a Toyota Celica Wagon. It was green and other than the fact that it was a stick and had a good radio, it was lame. Totally lame. I did not want to drive around in a hatchback wagon for crying out loud. Pass.
The next car we looked at was ’77 Chevy Nova coupe. It was gray with a red vinyl top. The interior was red vinyl with a bench seat in the back and a split bench in the front. It had a straight 6 engine that even a mechanical dumb-ass like me could work on. In short, it was not my dream car, but it was a car that I could afford now, not two years from now.
So I settled for the Nova. I nicknamed it the Gray Ghost. It was not a bad car and I had some good times a-plenty in that thing. It got me back and forth to school and took me on several adventures, not to mention the whole sex thing that goes on in teenager’s cars. Plus, I could get it up to almost 80 MPH on the windy twisty back country roads around my house. See, when you’re that age, you’re determined to wrap yourself around a phone pole, no matter what you’re driving.
Even though the Gray Ghost was not a bad car by any means, I’ve always felt a touch of regret that I did not save up for the Datsun 240Z.
A few weeks ago I was driving around with my Wife and Kids in the family van, which is pretty much the antithesis of ‘dream car’, and we drove by a used car lot. Right in front of the lot was a sweet looking Datsun 240Z. It was blue and looked to be in good shape.
‘Check it out! A Datsun 240Z!’ I said to my Wife. ‘That was my dream car when I was a kid.’
‘Really? I think that car’s kind of ugly,’ she said.
I was aghast. ‘What? That’s like one of my favorite cars ever!’ I said.
‘Eh,’ she replied.
I just shook my head. ‘You don’t know what’s cool,’ I said, as she rolled her eyes.