– Ben Martens

Childhood Cars

I’ve been spending a lot of time dreaming and learning about my potential next vehicle purchase (TRUCK!) and it got me to thinking about all the vehicles I’ve owned over the years and the cars that Mom and Dad have owned. I asked Mom to dig up photos of all the cars they owned together (until I left the house) and here’s the list:

1973 Ford Gran Torino Sport
Dad loved this car. He actually kept it until probably the late 80s though it didn’t run at that point. He gave it to a neighbor who restored it.
momdad_torino1978 Ford Mustang II
I don’t remember this car. The only thing I remember about this car is a story Mom and Dad tell about driving through Nevada (?) and it was so hot that it felt like being in an oven.
momdad_mustang1979 Ford LTD
This is the first car that I remember. Dad used to hold me on his lap and let me drive down our quarter-mile long driveway in this car. I didn’t know it until Mom sent over the info for this post, but this is the only car that they purchased from a used car lot. A couple others were used cars as well, but those were purchased from friends and relatives.
momdad_ltd1981 Mercury Grand Marquis
This car belonged to Great Grandpa Hinkle. Mom and Dad bought it from Great Grandma after Great Grandpa passed away. The only thing that I remember about this car was that a bottle of acid for the pool accidentally spilled on the floor behind the drivers seat and ate through the floor mat. Oops.
1989 Ford Taurus
I have a ton of memories about this car. For one thing, it’s the first car that I remember them purchasing. I was so excited about how “small” it was. I remember doodling the dashboard layout while sitting in Miss Loescher’s class. And this was the car that I drove to high school. By the time I got it, some of the paint was starting to flake off the gray part on the bottom and there was a little rust on the maroon parts. I tried to grind off the rust and repaint both parts. It wasn’t a great idea.
momdad_taurus1991 Ford Probe
Dad and Mom bought this from Uncle Mark who works for Ford (which explains all the Fords…) and what a cool car it was! It came with a stain on the floor in the backseat from where cousin Ryan had accidentally spilled an orange pop. I spent a ton of time in this car as well. In the photo you can see me driving it to prom. I took this to college for about three of my years at Purdue and drove it during my internships at John Deere. I got over 40mpg from it! It was also the start of my love for manual transmissions. I started driving this around 1999 and drove a manual from the until now.
momdad_probe1995 Ford Taurus
Dad and Mom liked the first maroon Taurus so well that they bought another one six years later.
momdad_taurus951999 Mercury Sable
And last but not least (while I was living there) is the Mercury Sable. This one was extra fancy. It had leather seats and a six disc CD changer in the trunk.
momdad_sableMom, thank you for finding all this information!

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