Stead Fast; The Formative Years

Recently I’ve been engaged by the possibilities of Electric Vehicles and driving them around in the backcountry of Alberta and across Canada. This afternoon I was thinking about and talking with my wife about all of the vehicles I have ever owned, where I was in my life and what happened to each of them?

List of Vehicles Owned

Ages 16 to 20

I bought my first car for $150.00 USD from a guy whose lawn looked like an antique car show. The rusting vehicles were everywhere, parts laying here and there. It was amongst this family owned junkyard that I would find my first set of wheels. We towed it home behind one of my father’s Volvo’s. After getting it home we pushed it up into the driveway and headed out to get the alternator that was required. With the new part in, we fired up the car and drove it into our garage where we masked it up, and painted the exterior with black paint. After the black coats dried we added two 3-inch pinstripes which ran across the hood, up over the roof and down the trunk.

The Datsun B210 lasted throughout high school until it couldn’t handle the abuse of my teenage driving and landed in the junkyard.

Shortly after the Datsun, I had inherited a bagful of money from my grandfather’s estate and decided to spend a portion of it on buying myself a pickup truck. At the time my older brother was into going to the Auction and buying slightly used motorcycles repairing them and reselling them for a profit. He said he often saw good deals on trucks and offered to assist with purchasing a truck. At the next auction he went to we found a 1989 Ford F150 with a 3-inch rancho suspension lift 33-inch tires and it had a powerful 350 Cleveland engine. My brother and a mechanic friend of his looked it over informing this would be a great buy if you could get it for $5,000.00 or less.

The next Saturday we all attended the auction and I bought the F150 for $3,500.00 USD.

At the time I was 19-years old and using the truck to commute to work, sports and college. Shortly after purchasing the truck, my prep-years of driving the Datsun caught up to me and my license was suspended for exceeding the total limit for a driver under the age of 21-years old.

The system informed that sometimes drivers like myself slip through the cracks during the processing of license suspensions. We were informed I had accumulated 36-demerits on a license that topped out at 10-demerits.

After a lot of discussions with my parents I had to sell the F150, but I still needed wheels to get around. The courts were lenient on my situation and gave me a graduated license which meant I was only able to drive from home to college and/or from college to work and/or home to work. But under no circumstances was I to drive anywhere else for the next twenty-four months. I signed on the dotted line.

In steps my older brother with another brilliant idea you are one lucky guy… and I think I know a way you can get something for less money than you have saved up and still look stylish.” All ears was I. What ride was my brother thinking about? What could I possibly have that would be more “stylish” than a lifted truck?

1982 Kawasaki Z 400 LTD

My older brother found it in the classifieds one Sunday afternoon. We drove across the city to see the motorbike. He took it for a spin as I stood on this random guys driveway and asked a plethora of questions about why he was selling it and learned about its history. As my brother returned a ginormous grimace on his face. “This is a sweet bike. What price are you asking?” The guy informed he was looking for $2,500.00 USD. My brother talked him down seven-hundred and fifty-dollars to $1,750.00 USD. We handed over the cash, received a bill of sale and off we drove. Well my brother drove the motorcycle and I drove his car.

After a couple weeks of owning the motorcycle, I brought a bunch of friends over to the house to show off the new wheels. When I decided to hop on and go for a ride. That was a bad decision. Whilst out for a ride, I slipped on some gravel and laid down the bike. Everyone at my house heard the crash and showed up at the accident. I hand’t pulled on a pair of jeans and laid bleeding on the street my knee cap scrap open to the bone. “What a bloody mess!” was all I remembered before being lifted into the ambulance and driven to the hospital.

Thankfully, my friends lifted the bike and walked it home for me. To make things less terrible the bike only had a few scratches on it. I sold the bike to my brother for the full $2,500.00 USD the following week. He resold it to someone else after tuning it up for $3,500.00 USD talking the guy up on price because he had put the “jet kit” in and repaired the scratches.

After the motorcycle incident I was grounded from having a vehicle and I agreed as I was too reckless and needed to learn my lesson. By the time I reached age 22-years old I started realizing I really needed another vehicle and my driver’s license was reinstated.

My next vehicle my father gave to me. He bought it for $1,200.00 USD from a guy who owned a Volvo repair shop: Dennis Automotive & Repair Shop. He sold us a 1982 white 2-door coupe, 5-speed 242 DL with sunroof. The sunroof was one of those hand crank types, just like the windows.

The 2-door coupe was my daily driver until my father caught me drinking and driving one Saturday night after a bunch of my friends and I went to our college football game followed by an after party. After that night he banned me from the driving the car. I was pissed about being banned from the car and he decided to teach me a lesson then sold it the following weekend. That’s when I decided the next vehicle I was to drive, would be one that I purchased myself with no one else’s assistance.

~ Aaron JacksonCrabb

One Comment

Comments are closed.