Saturday, October 04, 2008

Dad's 1965 Chrysler Newport Convertible

The day you brought home that new, black, sleek, '65 Chrysler Newport convertible was a special one. That long machine parked out front under the shade of a walnut tree said something to the whole neighborhood. The hood polished so deep and wide the whole canopy of that huge old tree was reflected back from between the front fenders.

It was fall, the new model year just announced; the street was deep in crisp leaves. They crunched underfoot as we sprinted out to admire the enormous new car. John and I ran our hands over the convertible's long waxed flanks. We breathed deep the new smell. Sunk in the rear seat we looked up and watched as you lowered the top. The deep mechanical groan as the convertible top elegantly descended, folding itself accordion style into the boot behind the rear seat. It was miraculous.
John and I stretched the snaps of the tonneau cover into place. Then scrambled again into the back seat and sunk into luxury. The newness was overwhelming, the smell of the upholstery, the flawless flanks of the black beast gleamed and unmarked. Truck was enormous. We could almost lay down full stretch. The two long doors were heavy, solid, with heft like refrigerator doors.
Why is it that I have no other solid memory of the Chrysler? Must be that I was off to school the next year, and I'm sure I didn't get to drive the thing.

That car lasted. Morphing from a fine mid-sixty's high status Realtor's Ride into a ragged, beat, brick truck. The once pristine interior was now thrashed and coated with a fine red dust. Dad hauled load after load of used brick for one of his Great Chinese Wall building projects in the poor sagging thing.
Still, like Dad, the Chrysler had style. Even at 200 thousand miles, despite the beat down of time, with the rear end sagging low over the tires, it was a ride to remember.


William J. said...

Wonderful essay. I love it....and the car too. Oh those good old days!! Thanks for sharing your memories. Your words put me right there back in time.
Bill R

wiredinstructor said...

Thanks for the kind words Bill. Cars evoke a lot of memories for me. Growing up in Southern California the car was king. My dad always had 'interesting' rolling iron. I recall a 64 Impala silver with a black interior, and a '59 Pink and Black Caddy. (I think there's a story in the blog about that one.) ~ den