Social Networking can bring about some really awkward interactions with parents if they are young enough and/or technologically savvy. In my case, they center around my mother and her opinions on some of the curbside classics I find and post to Facebook from time to time. Due to her direct experience as a fashion conscious (and cautious) teenager in the mid 1970s, a number of classic cars can elicit some pretty strong memories.
“Oh god! That is the same Comet grandma tried to buy for me my junior year” was her robust response to this Split Pea Green Comet I found in the El Cerrito hills. This was the first time I had heard that a Comet was in the running as a potential lightly used car purchase by my great grandmother for my mom. All the stories I had heard about that fraught decision placed a Plymouth Duster and a C3 Corvette at opposing ends of each other. The eventual compromise ended up being a 3rd Generation Mercury Cougar in a slightly less putrid seafoam turquoise shade than our feature car here (with a white vinyl top) .
I jested in return about this particular Comet being long lived, seemingly ready for daily duty. However, I understand her rebuttal and admire her ability to bargain for something better than a re-badged Ford Maverick. I took it as yet another example of how automobiles are one of the most emotional consumer purchases Americans (in particular) make, whether that’s conscious or unconscious.
It shouldn’t have surprised my great grandmother Clara when my mother had a prima donna moment when presented with the prospect of Comet ownership in 1977. She herself only accepted a line of Chrysler New Yorkers and Imperials as her automotive choices and had bred appreciation for the finer things in life in her progeny, not knock-offs of greatness . It shouldn’t surprise me either; I had to get my staunch (sometimes irrational) opinions on the subject of fine automobiles from somewhere. Thanks Mom!