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  • Writer's pictureDoak Turner

Cars Through the Years

Updated on July 4th, 2019

Turning 16 meant one big thing to a kid – getting your learner’s permit on your birthday, practice driving with your parents and scaring them to death and thoughts of being cool with your friends in the near future. A couple steps I had to take after getting the learner’s permit – learning how to parallel park in the turnaround of the driveway. Jerry had two trash cans. Put a broom in one and a shovel in another so I could see the handle sticking up to know where the trash cans were and going back and forth learning to park the car. Learning how to pull up to the can, when to turn the wheel how hard to back that car in between those cans.

There was also a set of barrels on the street behind the railroad tracks at the old Lance Lumber that has been gone for years. Everyone in town would practice between those barrels.

Jerry taught me how to change a tire. I had to learn how to change a tire before I passed the driving test in South Charleston, written and a driving test on the driving range with a policeman.

Cars that I owned – the first was the 72 gold and black vinyl  roof Monte Carlo – the original design of the car. AM/FM with an 8-track player. Jerry taught me how to change the spark plugs, change the tire, keep it clean and looking good. I bought it and made monthly payments, probably $100.00 a month for maybe 20 months for that car.

I sold the car to jerry’s friend, Frank Boardman a couple years later so I could buy the family’s ’76 brown Camaro – the last year they made that style body – before all the plastic was put on the next year’s model. Jerry ordered that from the factory to his specifications  a thing of the past – from Earl at C&O Motors. Jerry and his dad bought about every car they owned from Earl. Jerry also would not let them put the dealer logo on the car which every car dealer did back in the day.

The Camaro had a 3-speed transmission, which was a learning curve and how to avoid the hills when I could so I would not have to worry about holding the clutch and hoping the car would not roll backwards while stopped at a traffic light or stop sign. I went through a clutch or two. The tailpipes were low and I replaced them a time or two from backing down a steep driveway. Loved the car – installed a cassette player when they came into style and those Jensen 6x9” Triaxial speakers. Sounded great and looked good – they way a man’s car should for his “image”.

Traded the Camaro to C&O Motors a couple years later for a Olds Cutlass Supreme – powder blue with ½ blue vinyl top. I got more business minded I guess that is what I was thinking. Styling and profiling now – “luxury look” maybe? Had it a couple years and sold it to someone to buy the first really styling car, ’82 Riviera beige with a dark beige vinyl roof, cassette AND CB Radio – yea!  Beige leather seats, definitely styling and profiling! Jerry had a cinnamon red Riviera at the time. THAT was a great car! Drove it for a couple good years, had low milage, bought it from a doctor in South Charleston.  Drive that for a couple years.

Traded the Riviera at Bud Young Toyota for a new 1984 Supra – Red with the black louver across the sloped back windshield. Mom bought a brown Supra a couple months earlier and loved it so I bought a Supra. That was a fast car, sporty as could be and I loved the car.

I moved to Charlotte February 1st 1987 and drove that car in Charlotte a years or so and enjoyed it.

Traded the Supra  one after replacing the fuel injectors and driving it for a couple months.

My friend, Cliff Davis worked at Scott Buick and traded the Supra for a 1988 Buick Regal, out of the sports car, more into conservative business car – it was blue.

Traded the Buick Regal after 225,000 miles as it was leaking oil real bad, for a Dodge Intrepid – worst car I ever owed. Dodge means avoid and I should have avoided it. The transmission gave our right after the warranty ran out – so $1,800 later. I was going up I – 77 for Mother’s Day weekend around Statesville, when the car just slowed down to 3 miles per hour. Got the transmission replaced on that green car.

I finally sold the Intrepid to CarMax as I bought Jerry’s 1996 Lexus ES300.  It ran great but the motor blew at about 175,000. $1,500 for a new motor and it ran good until I was at a stop light, looked down and coasted and ran into some girl at the light with a truck and a towing bumper, totaled that car. I cried and was so mad at myself.

That brings me to my 2000 ES 300 Gold that I bought from C&O motors in St Albans as Ryan Walker was good friends with my brother, Jason. Ryan called and said “I think I got what you are looking for” – told me about the 200 Lexus with 60,000 miles on it and this was 2012, The owner had been a teacher with a 5 mile drive to school – I bought it cash for $8,000.

Still driving it as of 2019 and still love the car. Taking car of oil changes and the usual taking care of the car.

There ya go – down memory lane with all my cars over the years. Thankful for every mile, every memory every one of those vehicles through the years. 

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