Tom's Cars 1966 to 1972 ...
Here's a look at all of the cars I've owned, since the first one
I got at age 13.  My father and I spent many an evening at the
kitchen table, talking about cars we were going to get and
restore, with many a "No you're not !" coming from my mother,
with her radar-like hearing, many rooms away.

1960 Plymouth Valiant
I was 13 when I got this in 1966.  It was only 6 years old, but had 127,000 miles on it.  It had a "3 on the floor"
and a broken windshield. It was given to me free, by someone the mailman knew.  I fixed it up with parts from
J.C.Whitney and the junkyard, and sold it for $ 175.  We bought a console stereo system with the money,
and it's still in my mother's living room ... and still works.  Kind of.

1956 Dodge Coronet
I got this when I was 15.  I paid $ 25 for it.  It had a cool pushbutton automatic transmission.  The engine was
shot, and after putting a lot of J.C.Whitney parts into it, I sold it to the junkyard for $ 5.  We drove it over !
Shown here in it's final resting place.

1961 Renault 4CV
Another junkyard find ... paid $ 15 for this one. It was probably the cheesiest car ever built.
The front and rear doors share one set of hinges, so the front doors open backwards.  The front
windows slide, and the back ones don't open at all.  My brother Jim and I had a near death
experience in this car when it rolled backward into a big hole while we were sitting in it.  We looked
up and saw sky, looked out the side windows and saw dirt on one side and water on the other.
I made a profit - sold this beaut for $ 40 !  The people looking at it are just a few of the hundreds
that replied to my ad in the Burlington County Times.

1961 Renault Caravelle
I moved into the high priced cars with this one ... paid $ 125 for it.  It was a lift-off
hardtop, with convertible top underneath, and boot to cover that up.  I got it when
I was 16 ... spent a lot of time fixing it up ... body work, paint, etc.  This picture
shows it by Woolman's Lake in Mt. Holly, on our way to the Senior Prom.
I later drove it into a tree, and it looked crummy, but still drove OK.  Next ...

1963 Chevrolet Corvair
Regardless of what Ralph Nader says, this was a cool
car.  I bought it in Florida, and drove it home.  I didn't
care for the yellow, so wound up painting it dark metallic
blue, with a light blue top.  It was a "3 on the floor" and
had about 4 engines in it during the 4 months that I had it.
I traded it for a 289 engine for the Falcon coming up.

1956 Jaguar XK-120 Roadster
This was a pretty cool car for a high school kid, I must admit.  Since the original Jaguar engine was so crummy,
I put a nice reliable Chevy 265 with Powerglide transmission in it.  I later pulled the 265 out and put in a 283
that I got out of the next car on the list.  We won't talk about how much this car would be worth if I still had it.

1958 Chevrolet Belair
I only had this junker for a day.  I got it in a trade deal so I could use the engine in my Jaguar.
It had a 1964 283 in it.  The transmission was shot - it would only go forward in low.
The day this picture was taken, we drove it to Long Beach Island, came back,
dropped the babes off, went home, and pulled the engine out, and took the car to the junkyard.
I think they charged me $ 5 to take it.

1963 1/2  Ford Falcon Sprint
This was a cool car.  The Sprint was really the prototype for the Mustang. The interior was almost identical.
This came with a 260 engine, which I replaced with a 289 gotten by trading away the Corvair.  That made my
mother very happy, as the Corvair leaked every petroleum product it used all over the garage floor.
I think I paid $ 100 for the Falcon and sold it for $ 100 after about 6 months.

1970 Ford Ranchero GT
This was my first new car.  I bought it as a "leftover" for $ 2950 !  It had a 351C 300 hp engine, white
high-back bucket seats, and (yecch) automatic transmission, but it was on the floor, so my mother didn't
know how to drive it.  I put 45,000 miles on it, and sold it for $ 2650.  Of course, now it's worth $ 9000.

1965 Renault R-10
I bought this stupid thing for $ 175 to drive for work, so I wouldn't put too many miles on the Ranchero (yeah, right)
It was OK, had cool leather upholstery and was fun to drive. I rolled it over one time when the front wheel slid in
sand into a hole the gas company had filled with dirt.  My cousin John and I just climbed out, pulled it back on it's
wheels, and drove home.  Had to get a new fender for $ 10 at the junkyard.  It also started itself up one time
and drove over a trashcan at McDonalds !

On to 1972 - 1996 models