Car Song Sinking Sunrise

Socratis at Oannes has been posting songs about cars. I keep commenting: “I had that car! Oh, I had that car, too. You are not going to believe this, but I had one of those cars, also!” From Oannes I was inspired to put together a spreadsheet of all the cars that have been in the family, and I had driven since I got my driver’s license at age 15. We still have some of the old cars that were bought new. The stats break down as follows: 33 cars over 48 years. 25 Model years from 1955 to 2017. 14 different carmakers. 26 different models in 10 different colors with green, yellow, brown, and red the predominant four colors. We’ve had more Mazdas than other cars with six. Volkswagon came in second with five. We still have two Mazdas, a Volkswagon, a Ford pickup, and a Datsun 280ZX on the property.

I was also inspired to write and record a Car Song about some of the cars that stood out over the years. I played the bass lines on my 5-string, multi-scale bass. I played my black Strat I built a few years ago for the rhythm guitar, and I played my 7-string, multi-scale guitar for the guitar solo (the song is above, lyrics at the end of the post).

Marble Sinking

Sunrise

Car Song
By Timothy Price

This is a story about a few of the many cars that graced my life

My dad, he was a Rambler man
1964 classic I learned to drive
Three on the tree with no air
Bench seats without belts

The ’55 Cadillac was a tank with tits
Big silver bumper boobs oh they couldn’t be missed
Slushbox tranny liked to bump and grind
Lumbered down the road in style

1960 Rambler in Pepto Bismol pink
Nearly cost me my life and limbs
A boy driving a pink car in 1975
Was worthy of a beating, so the other boys thought

[Chorus]
Thirty-three cars have graced my life
Over two score and 8 years
From green to pink to yellow to blue
Red sports cars are the final two

’66 American in canary yellow
The cubic inches under the hood wouldn’t do
I cut and bent to retrofit a power plant
I lost traction, tickets, I paid for my sins

’65 Corvair. Yep that’s the one
It was “Unsafe At Any Speed”
That car was fun to drive I never rolled it though
Not to say I didn’t try.

The Volkswagen Thing was a Thing of wonder
As I wandered from here to yonder
Weirdly shaped, like a Jerrycan on wheels
It did nothing for my sex appeal

[Bridge]
Cadillac, Chevrolet, Rambler, and Ford
Volkswagens, Honda, Triumph, were never bored
International, AMC, Renault, and a Datsun
Dodge, Kia, and best of all is always Mazda

Eldorado, Americans, a Classic, and a Bus
Travelalls, beetles, and a Triumph GT6 Plus
A Sun Bug, Pickups, Hornet, and a Le Car
Taurus, Rio Cinco, N600, and a Corvair
Granada, Dart, ZX, Five, RX, and a Thing
323, Speed 3, my Miata is really mean

[Guitar Solo]

’79 Renault Le Car was one of my
All-time favorite cars
Smooth ride, canvas-covered sunroof
That got Swiss-cheesed in a hailstorm

The RX-8 was as exotic as I got
A Wankel whining under the hood
Demanded high revs lots of speed
Suicide door, it seated four

My MX-5 is beautiful to drive
Small, responsive, quick, and sassy
A hot profile and racing stripe
It’s total fun and fantasy

76 thoughts on “Car Song Sinking Sunrise

  1. Now that is a LOT of cars! I learned to drive on a Grand Prix ’73 – why my parents let a 16-year old drive that power was beyond me! Fun song and fab photos!

    • They must of thought you were not too wild. When I changed out the engine in my ’66 Rambler American, it was pretty fast and powerful, but nothing like some of my friends who had 600 HP muscle cars. I mostly drove practical cars, with some weird ones along the way, until I got old. Now we drive fast, sporty cars. Thanks, Dale.

      • A Ford Escape 2015. After Mick died, I had to trade in his beloved Ford F-150. Just too damn expensive and I got this in exchange.

      • The 2015 Escapes are good looking cars. It looks like you could make a great escape in one. My pickup is a 1982 F100. All manual. Points, plugs and condenser. No computers. Nice and simple. It does have power steering.

  2. What an awesome post, Tim. It brought back some awesome memories of my grandparents house in Los Angeles, and the many cars that were always in the driveway and in the street. With my dads 9 brothers and sisters, my grandfather and all the kids (my aunts and uncles) were always working on someone’s car. Got to ride in some cool cars, and some scary ones too. What a fun post. Song was grand, and the pics are awesome too.

    • Thanks, Jeff. Happy to bring back memories. There was a time when we did all our own work on cars and trucks. Vehicles are way too complicated today. But I like a lot of the features in newer cars like backup cameras and good gas mileage. My MX-5 gets 38-39 mpg in the winter and over 40 mpg in the summer.

      • You’re welcome, Tim. As much fun as it was to watch and participate in working on cars, I completely agree with you about cards today. Though, I’ll admit, there are times that I reflect upon having an older car to tinker with….

  3. That’s an impressive list of cars. My first husband was into cars. When we were dating, and a couple of times early in our marriage, he owned a ‘60 Chevy, (his favorite), all bought used, of course. He loved to tinker with them, and was disappointed when cars became computerized.
    Loved your song…for some reason, it put me in mind of Johnny Cash’s “One Piece at a Time.”

    • I know a lot of people who don’t like computerized cars. There is an appeal to simple, do it you self tinkering. I like driving cars and not thinking on them, but I’ve done my share of serious mechanic work. Thanks, KT.

  4. Wow…!! So many cars in your life… I checked my facts: 7 cars in 42 years. But I stopped counting all the synthesizers I bought in my life… 😉

    • Hi Herman. A car ever six years to help come with the answer to life, the inverse and everything. I think we probably drive a lot more out here. New Mexico is 10 times larger than Belgium, but only has 2 million people.Things are spread out in NM. I have driven almost 900,000 (1,448,410 kms) miles in 48 years. I do have to say I have never bought a synthesizer. You really have me beat there. How many motorcycles have you owned? I had 6 from age 9 to 22.

      • You are so right. Everything (shops and stuff) are very concentrated and close to my house. I can walk to many shops and I don’t even live in a city. I sometimes use my car only once in a week…
        I owned only one little motorcycle when I was 16. But I had more mountainbikes. Still got a beautiful red Specialized model.
        I was a bit surprised that there are only 2 million people in NM. Such a waste of space out there… 😉

      • A lot of space and little water. 6.5% of Belgium’s 30,689 km2 is water. Only 0.24% of NM’s 314,917 km2 is water. In the county I live in only 0.1% of the km2 is water.

  5. WOW, this is epic; Totally impressed by the amount of amazing cars you’ve had. But I expected no less. Great words on them too . The best to you and all of yours .

      • Lol I was trying to remember. Personally like as in MINE, just two. The first was brand new one, the car allowance in my then work, more than paid for, the second alas was politely called the rust bucket. Of course between the Mr and I we have had many more including what we called Skitter the Skoda, cos things like the mirror came off in your hand when you tried adjusting it. Right now we have a wee Nissan hybrid and its fine cos we hardly use a car these days and our family have their own family.

      • The Rust Bucket sounds like it had character. You had a Škoda? How cool is that? You don’t need no stinking mirror! I don’t know that we can get Czech cars over here. Wee cars are perfect when the families go out on their own.

  6. Oh, my goodness! That’s many many cars!!! I’m so glad Oannes inspired that song. I love it! It’s a great tribute to all your 4wheel companions.
    Marble sinking beautifully and I’m sinking in the painter’s magic!

    • Thanks, Marina. When they painters busy I try to post her work. She started out good this morning, then it rained and washed all her colors away. I’m happy you liked the song.

  7. (Maj comments) My first car was a 1928 Model A 5 window. It was an early production with left hand brake and red colored steering wheel. It’s one of those “damn wish I still had it” vehicles. Wonderfully clever song Tim. And it’s always a treat to see Marble and your glorious skylines. Merry Christmas my friend.

    • Thanks, Maj & Sher. That’s a rare find for a first car for sure. A mechanic friend had a 1948 Ford pickup that you had to double clutch. Cars have advanced.

      • Double clutching is got to be close to a lost art these days. I doubt many of the younger crowd have even heard of it. Heck, other than fancy sports cars can you even buy a manual tranny vehicle these days?

      • A lot of young people don’t know how to drive a standard. It’s very difficult to get stardard transmissions. I think you cans till get a standard in a Mazda 3, but it’s part of a performance package, which costs a lot extra. It used to be standards were the most basic package. The MX-5 has a 6-speed standard option, but it’s a sports car.

  8. My first car was a ’69 VW Beetle. They were great little cars. My father converted his Beetle into a camper after retirement.

    You got beat up for driving a pink car?

    I enjoyed Marble and the colorful marbled skies, too.

    • You got it. It was rough out here when I was growing up. It was the pink car that was unsafe at any speed. We had it painted blue so I could drive it safely.I recently sold it to one of Tristan’s friends who fell in love with it years ago. He is resotoring it back to the original pink. Marble likes to get in the sink after I wash dishes. Weird kitty. Thanks, Lavinia.

      • I don’t see very many pink cars here, mainly at vintage car shows I’ve happened upon. People have done some great work restoring these old cars.

  9. Fantastic, Tim!!! I haven’t had as many as you, but this is a great list and descriptions of your “friends”! My dad was a huge car guy, he must have had hundreds over the years, he loved the classics!

    • Thanks, Tiffany. You have to love cars when you live in the west and southwest. You can’t get around, otherwise.

  10. I agree with these tributes to the ‘freedom’ which autos represent (from a ‘political’ perspective, of course), your car history and perhaps many of them to soon become history. My favorite was a ’73 silver Roadrunner with red track marks only on the top, sans hemi. I didn’t need all that power. 🙂

    • Roadrunners were cool cars. You should have gone for the hemi and squealed it through all the gears. Thanks, Mary Jo.

  11. A lot of cars. My dad was a Ford, Lincoln Mercury man through the years. His favorite, the 1965 Mustang. It had the best engine ever made, the 287 V-8. Then, he said, Ford had to ruin it all. It was never the same car ever since. He became a GM man with the 1970 Pontiac LeMans with its 454-cubic inch engine. He stayed with GM with his 1978 Buick LeSabre. He had it for 30 years until he traded it for his 2015 Ford Focus in 2018. The 5.25 liter engine on the LeSabre is equal to the size on my Expedition. You won’t find that kind of engine on any vehicle these days, including the Dodge RAM series or Ford Super Duty series. I’m a Ford kind of guy. From a Pinto to Ford F150 truck to two Expeditions. I might be looking at their Super Duty series, maybe not.

    • You had a Pinto? You’re as lucky that you survived that Pinto as much as I am surviving the Corvair. Nader didn’t like either. Big engines are going out. But these days our turbocharged 2.5 L Speed 3 produces as much horsepower as the old 350 ci (5.7 L) engines. Thanks, David.

  12. Still have the Pinto in my garage. The one I have is fairly reliable, around town kind of car, but is in need of an engine rebuild, maybe a transmission rebuild. If you Google search classic Ford Pintos, you’ll find them available for auction/sale fetching a price of $9000 or better. Of those listed, they need serious restoration work of the whole car. My Pinto is not much in need for a new interior. It needs a little body work to take care of the rust spots. I didn’t catch the mistake on the engine size on my dad’s Buick. It was 350 ci (5.7 L), the same on my Expedition. I know Ford has downsized the engine on the Expedition and the Super Duty truck series, going to a turbocharged engine to produce the same pulling power as the older versions, but haven’t changed the transmission gearing to make up for the lost towing power. I think you can special order the 5.7 L engines and the heavy duty transmission if one needs the extra towing power.

    • I guess there might be Pinto collectors. A friend had a Pinto Wagon. We had a lot of adventures in that car. I don’t need to tow anything, but I need to haul stuff now and then so I keep my Ford F100 around.

  13. That had to be a fun spreadsheet to make, bringing a lot of memories. I had forgotten all about the VW Thing. I remember thinking they were so cool when I was a kid, but I can’t remember what it looked like. Can’t resist — must Google. Hugs on the wing.

  14. What a great song, Tim. You were a chick magnet, weren’t you!?!!! My father loved cars and would take me to the car showrooms for our special outings. I remember those extravaganzas where all the new cars would be displayed. Did you see the latest Chevy Christmas commercial. Truly brilliant – brought back many memories: https://youtu.be/c4-oyBnknHk. P.S. I love following your SoundCloud.

    • Thanks, Rebecca. I just watched the youtube. Very touching. I’m happy you liked the song. Many memories are attached to cars.

  15. What an impressive roster. I enjoyed reading all your memories!
    My hubby is a Car Guy. His first restoration was when he was still in High School – a 1952 Dodge Coronet Convertible. That is the one car he still wishes he had. The oldest vehicle, which he still has, is a 1950 Fargo half ton – the truck he learned to drive on the farm. He has a 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A which he and his dad restored. He had only one Chev – a 1980 Corvette he rescued from a family member who really needed the money. Hubby said it was the most difficult to fix engine he had ever seen. In the summer his favorite is a 2002 Mercedes SL500. The only car I like to drive is my 2003 Tangerine PT Cruiser. Enough – I’ll have to do a blog post of all 27 cars he has owned!

    • Hi Margy. You absolutely need to do a post. When I worked as a mechanic at the end of grad school I had to repair a 76 Corvette. It really was a pain to work on. Laurie’s parents had a PT Cruiser with flames on the side. It didn’t fit me well, so I did not like driving it. Those old challengers were big and mean. Bullit immortalized them. My dad learned how to drive on the farm. My grandma told me the first time he drove he backed the car into a well. My dad was a wild driver. My mom used to prefer riding with me on my motorcycle, as she felt it was safer than driving with my dad. Thanks for dropping by.

  16. A wonderful post that brings back fond memories. My grandparents favored Studebakers, my aunt always had to have the newest Pontiac, and my parents liked Fords. My grandfather had an old Model A truck that sat for years in the yard. It leaked oil, and Reggie the dog liked to lie under the truck so that his fur was always slick with oil. He lived to be 19, and I always joked that it was the oil that kept him alive for so long. I remember riding in that old Model A when I was very small, probably no more than 3 years old. I always liked Volkswagens and had a shiny red Volkswagen Bug that I just loved. My husband and I had matching Rabbits at one point. My daughter inherited a love for Volkswagens. My husband always liked muscle cars but had a green Fiat X-19 that we always had a lot of fun in when we lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. I remember him driving down the freeway, naked, in that car, with the top off, on the way to Half Moon Bay, whooping and hollering at the top of his lungs. Why we didn’t get stopped by the cops, I’ll never know. Ah, the careless and carefree pleasures of youth! Merry Christmas, Dear Timothy!

    • Thanks, Dawn. Great memories. Laurie’s parents had Studebakers, and my dad had one before I was born. Laurie’s pen name is Larstudebaker. Driving naked in San Francisco doesn’t seem too strange given it’s San Francisco. We still have a red 66 VW Beetle.

    • Thanks, Socratis. Interesting comparison that I would never have thought of. You have great insights.

  17. “..driving a pink car in 1975” will toughen you up big time ha! Excellent song and a mental reminder of all the cars during those years – sounds a lot like my wife’s list of cars as she basically grew up on the late model racing circuit (her dad built the cars) and had waaaaay too much horsepower under her hoods for those impressionable years – although she never had a pink car hehehe. FYI, I think you slightly altered the last line of the chorus from how it is written.

    • You are probably right. Lyrics are tough with chemo brain. Sounds like your wife grew right. If you don’t have horses it’s nice to have lots of them under the hood. If you are lucky enough to have both that’s like ecstasy. Thanks, Brian.

      • She grew up with horses and taught horseback riding for the Girl Scouts for many years – I can count all my marriage restrictions on one hand and NO HORSES was one of them ha. She has access to horses if she wants to ride, but none we own – hard to pass off taking care of a horse to family/friends when you go out of town for extended periods – we have a multi-million dollar international known equestrian training facility right next to us so she can walk over there when she feels the need for actual horsepower between the knees ha! … now if I can just get that racing streak out of her…

      • She had it all then. I grew up with horses. I road them a lot. Then motorcycles. It’s surprising I survived motorcycles racing, daredevil jumping and crashing. We were talking about my wild motorcycle days yesterday. I brought up a video of Robbie Knievel jumping the Grand Canyon. He landed low on the exit ramp after making a record leap and crashed when his back wheel bounced off a mogul that I have no idea why they hadn’t bladed it down. Brought back crashing memories. You will never get the racer out of her.

  18. Fun song, Tim! I enjoyed that.
    33 cars…crazy. I’ve had 50, but they were all production vehicles. I’ve never owned a car of my own.
    You drive me ………………………………..

    • Now that’s the way to have cars. Saves you a ton of money. I’m happy you liked the song. Thanks, Resa.

      • We drive a lot of our cars for a long time. The problem is we end up putting so many mile on them with everything spread out here. I kept my Renault Le Car going until it had nearly 300k miles on it. After AMC and Renault divorced, parts became impossible to find. I did a lot with baling wire and duct tape to keep it together, but when the ball joints went out and the wheels started falling off, I had to give it. I loved that car.

        We’ve had Laurie’s Mazdaspeed3 for 14 years (it’s starting to show ware and has over 100K miles on it), my old Ford F100 pickup for 39 years (I still drive it), and our 66 VW Beatle has been in both families for 55 years (it’s had many engines in it). We tend to drive cars for a long time, but we’ve had 3 totaled this century, and wore out a few other cars. We’ve only bought 2 brand new cars since we’ve been married going on 40 years.

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