I recognized it from a mile away, sitting in the parking lot of a body shop I drive by.
A 1968 Dodge Coronet 440. The first car I drove, and the last I ever loved.
It was my mother’s car. Hers was a maroon hardtop, black vinyl roof, black vinyl interior, the engine a 318 V-8. I enhanced the entertainment provided by the thumbwheel-operated AM radio by installing an Audiovox 8-track tape player.
When I first came across this rusted survivor, it wasn’t hard to envision my one and only automotive love…from the wheelcovers, which I kept spotless and shining, to the vinyl roof, which I kept highly polished. I loved its low-profile graceful lines, the way the tail lights had a subtle flare.
It’s tempting to ask how much it would cost to buy it and have it restored, but I’ll just stick with the fond memories.
Besides, I eventually learned that cars would eventually break your heart because they break.
I’ve fallen in like, but I never loved again.