Yankee flu symptoms include “a deep, abiding terror of losing one’s land, family, language, and Spanish culture.”
Jeff Smith 12:30 p.m., Sept. 28
The decision was made to sell my 1952 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe. It was not an easy decision...
My entire life has changed. This year has seen the death of 5 friends. A couple of the guys were like brothers to me. Old friends, cherished friends. I also lost a job that I loved.7 years with the same company, great people, satisfying work.
My marriage ended this summer.
To pay off some debt and simplify my life, the 52 had to go. So many of my hopes and dreams were tied up in that sedan. The 250 inline 6 was just a beautiful boat anchor. A shiny black with finned aluminum gorgeous waste. I had grown to hate the car.
I posted Craigslist ads. I posted it on the HAMB. I paid for an Autotrader ad. Lots of lookers. I even had a couple of guys drive down from San Bernardino to check it out. No buyers.
I dropped the price from the original asking $8,500 a few times. I had originally purchased the car for $6,000. Including the price of the engine, I probably had $14,000 tied up in the damned thing.
A guy called me interested in the car. He seemed excited, but after all the other callers that seemed excited, I was skeptical.
They showed up after the sun had set wanting to see my 52. In a cab. Their cab. 2 Arab guys, cabbies... from Ensenada!
Adidas, flared jeans, polo shirts, chest hair, bad sunglasses. “Joe, my friend...”
They asked all the wrong questions. As I told them about the car, trying to be honest, I told them that it would lose oil pressure after 20 minutes. “So, after 20 minutes, all the oil comes out?”.. “You say that’s its OK to drive for 20 minutes.. how about we drive it for 20 minutes, stop for a while and then drive for another 20 minutes?”.. “What happens if you drive it longer than 20 minutes?”
I had no idea what these guys were doing buying the car. I’m still a little curious if they made it back to Mexico.
I had dropped my price to $6,500. That was my low, final number. They had $6,200 in cash.
“F it, give me the 62.”
(Thinking about it later - that $200 represented alot)
The boys were out playing in the car for the final time. The guys from Mexico and I were in the kitchen counting the cash... I was really stuck in my head over the entire experience, it took me 4 times to get the count right.
They drove off, my sons and I in the driveway, waving goodbye to the Chevy. We went back inside, I found an envelope for the cash and placed it on a shelf. It was hard to believe that it was finally gone, what a huge relief. I opened the garage door and stared at the space that it had occupied.
Joey had curled up in the corner of the couch, pillow over his head and I heard him start sobbing. We talked for a while, I explained that the car had broken my heart, that after all the emotion and dreams that I had invested in that car, at the end it was just not right. That it had gone so wrong and I had fallen out of love with it.
“I really wanted to ride in that car, just once”
I reassured him that there would be other cars, that we still had the Apache, that one day we would build a hot rod together. I pulled him into my arms and I held my son for a while. We both shed a couple of tears, him for the loss of the car, me for the hurt that the loss of the car has caused him.
One day, Joey and I will build a hot rod... and I’m sure that I’ll write about it.