Old Car: Betsy

The hubby and I bought a new car this weekend. And that got my sentimental self thinking about all of my previous cars. They all have had some colorful histories. Some were sold and others met their demise in the saddest of ways.

First up, Betsy.

My first car was a used little red Chevette. Remember those? There’s a great set of photos of one of these beauties on motorcarportfolio.com. Mine was similar, except a 2-door and not as nice on the inside.

from motorcarportfolio.com

I named her Betsy. It seemed appropriate for her all-American Chevy-ness. She was my mom’s car and was handed down to me. My first distinct memory of Betsy was when my mom came to pick me up after school and I was in the 7th grade. We had just gotten the car. Mom came in to the school and was rushing me to hurry back to the car. I didn’t understand why until she told me she couldn’t get the keys out of the car so it was unlocked and the keys were still in the ignition! Dad later showed Mom that there was a little lever that had to be pushed while removing the keys. oops.

After a few years of use, we discovered that Betsy’s drivers’ side door had some difficulty closing. While it would shut, you could tell it wasn’t fully locked into place. And the old “push it with your hip” technique wasn’t working. In order to latch properly, we had to lift the door by the handle while swinging it shut.

Betsy didn’t have anything in her when my parents bought her used. And she still didn’t when she made her way to me. No A/C and no FM radio but I was thankful to have some transportation. You see, friends, my sister was away at college and was not allowed to bring her car up there. But she never fulfilled her promise of teaching me how to drive her little red Nissan Pulsar stick-shift sports car that was bought for her when she was 15! (No, I’m not that bitter.) So I got the Chevette and dad drove the Pulsar.

Anyway, I toted a few of my friends around in the car from time to time. The interior walls of the car were dry and easily scratched, so much so that one of my friends decided to etch a message below a side arm rest in the back seat: “Grace smells.” It was a ridiculous inside joke that we had in yearbook that was representative of a time that some people got in trouble because of some mischievous behavior. Grace, in fact, did not smell and she was a good friend to all of us – and continues to be one for me…. I’m pretty sure there were a few smiley faces back there, too.

My most memorable moment with Betsy was one morning on the way to school. I used her to run over a couple of mailboxes… accidentally, of course! It was terrible. I had to knock on the people’s door whose mailboxes I ran over, apologize, and ask to use the phone to call my dad. He had to come and replace the people’s mailboxes that day. Luckily, Betsy still ran after that, but it took years and years for me to live down that incident. My sister even wrote me a letter when she was in school and asked how the “Infamous Mailbox Killer” was doing. I didn’t get it at first and thought she was talking about some serial killer. Not nice. But I showed her! I eventually got my friend Missy to teach me how to drive stick. So there, sister! (Not that bitter. haha.) And I took the Pulsar out for a spin on occasion and would later use it to get to my summer internship.

Next up: Margaret

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One Response to “Old Car: Betsy”

  1. Stephanie of Stopbouncing Says:

    Betsy seems durable… just don’t make ’em like that anymore.


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