Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My 1955 Buick Classic was lot's of fun when I was a teenager


A restored classic blue and white 1956 Buick 4-Door Hardtop owned by Leonard O. of California.

The Photo is By Douglas Wilkinson

                                                      By DAVE STANCLIFF                          

In 1968, I was a senior at Azusa High School, and I bought a 1955 Buick off of my Dad for the whopping sum of $300.00! It was a dark Forest Green. I bussed a lot of tables in restaurants to come up with that much loot. I was going to take it on a cross country trip after graduation with several buddies, but it didn't work out. Instead, just one buddy and I toured Canada and the United States for weeks in a Black VW...which I learned to hate for it's lack of room.

One night in British Columbia we were sleeping outside (we camped whenever possible to save money) and a sudden rainstorm hit. It woke my buddy up who - good friend that he was - didn't bother waking me up and he scrambled into the back seat of the VW. When I did awake slobbering wet, my only option was to sit in the front seat and to fold up my long legs like a crippled cricket! The rest of that night was hell.

But, back to the 1955 Buick Classic, which we didn't take on that trip. Gasoline was 24 cents a gallon in 1968 where we lived, and to go to a Dodger game in Los Angeles four of five of us would toss in a buck and it would fill that Buick up! Everything seems so cheap looking back at it, but at the time we thought it was a lot. I smoked cigarettes and would buy them at service stations for a quarter a pack. I didn't quit that nasty habit until January 2000.

I had to sell the Buick however when we ran out of money in Tulsa, Oklahoma on our way back to California. I called my Dad, who bought the 1955 Buick back from me for $300.00 and then sent the money Western Union. We waited for hours on the hot sidewalk outside of the Western Union office before relief came. We gorged ourselves on a steak dinner and hit the road home. Lucky for me, I still had a 1963 Chevy that ran like a top and was even better than the Buick was on gas mileage. It was a peppy six-cylinder with a three-speed transmission that was purchased second-hand from a fleet of Union 76 company cars (with decals on the doors which I had to spray paint white).

The fate of the Chevy will have to wait until another post. I'm outa here....

images via Google Images

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