True stories with a twist!

MY FIRST CAR

 

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It was finally time that I had my own means of transportation, and Mom and Dad generously gave me the joyful gift of my own car. My parents made the decisions and choices, and that is how I wound up with a stick shift little Red Renault Dauphine. It was a step or two away from a toy car.

It was adorable; a car with fun features: the most notable one being its twin horns. Push the lever up, and the car made a high pitched “beep, beep,” and push it down and the horn , in a grown up low register sound, said, “beep beep.”

When one Renault passed another on the road we would greet each other; the first car beeped in the high pitched beep and the passing responder beeped back in the lower pitch. What fun that was: instant connections with strangers!

The car had all of a seventeen horsepower, four cylinder engine. It couldn’t go too fast, which was a built in safety feature that my parents no doubt took into account when they chose this little car for me.

It was said that the car’s finish wasn’t of the highest quality. Time magazine wrote an article about the Renault in which it sarcastically mentioned, “It could actually be heard rusting!”

The company was formed by Louis Renault in the late 1940s. By the 1950s it became a new sensation; foreign cars were new in the United States. Renault became a novelty that people wanted to know more about. The cars were reasonably priced and suited city drivers very comfortably. They were easy to park, needed very little space, and rewarded Renault drivers with good mileage. 

A strong memory that I have is of a repair that was needed. The problem occurred when I was parked next to a truck delivering cases of soda. One case slipped off the truck and landed on top of my little car. Nobody was hurt, but the dent the case of soda left was enormous. We all thought that the repair bill would be huge. Maybe they would have to replace the roof with a brand new one to replace the dented one.

We drove to the nearest bodyshop to get an estimate, expecting the worse. Imagine our surprise when the car mechanic took a look at the damage and immediately went inside of the station. He proceeded directly to the Men’s room and came out a second later holding a plumber’s plunger. Then he put the plunger on top of the enormous dent and pulled it right out with the plunger. The car was as good as new, although seeing how easily the car’s finish could be rearranged was a bit of a surprise, making us a little less confident about our safety driving in that little vehicle.

The sad end of my story of the Renault Dauphine was the one of the man who took over the company from the founder, Louis Renault. Pierre Lefaucheux, the new head of the company, was killed in a Renault Dauphine when the model he was driving turned over on a sharp curve in the road. A large carton in the back seat careened forward to the front of the car and smacked him in the head. And that was Au Revoir for Monsieur Lefaucheux.

They said that soprano and bass toned beeping sounds could be heard across the country in tribute.

It was adorable; a car with fun features: the most notable one being its twin horns. Push the lever up, and the car made a high pitched “beep, beep,” and push it down and the horn , in a grown up low register sound, said, “beep beep.”

When one Renault passed another on the road we would greet each other; the first car beeped in the high pitched beep and the passing responder beeped back in the lower pitch. What fun that was: instant connections with strangers!

The car had all of a seventeen horsepower, four cylinder engine. It couldn’t go too fast, which was a built in safety feature that my parents no doubt took into account when they chose this little car for me.

It was said that the car’s finish wasn’t of the highest quality. Time magazine wrote an article about the Renault in which it sarcastically mentioned, “It could actually be heard rusting!”

The company was formed by Louis Renault in the late 1940s. By the 1950s it became a new sensation; foreign cars were new in the United States. Renault became a novelty that people wanted to know more about. The cars were reasonably priced and suited city drivers very comfortably. They were easy to park, needed very little space, and rewarded Renault drivers with good mileage. 

A strong memory that I have is of a repair that was needed. The problem occurred when I was parked next to a truck delivering cases of soda. One case slipped off the truck and landed on top of my little car. Nobody was hurt, but the dent the case of soda left was enormous. We all thought that the repair bill would be huge. Maybe they would have to replace the roof with a brand new one to replace the dented one.

We drove to the nearest bodyshop to get an estimate, expecting the worse. Imagine our surprise when the car mechanic took a look at the damage and immediately went inside of the station. He proceeded directly to the Men’s room and came out a second later holding a plumber’s plunger. Then he put the plunger on top of the enormous dent and pulled it right out with the plunger. The car was as good as new, although seeing how easily the car’s finish could be rearranged was a bit of a surprise, making us a little less confident about our safety driving in that little vehicle.

The sad end of my story of the Renault Dauphine was the one of the man who took over the company from the founder, Louis Renault. Pierre Lefaucheux, the new head of the company, was killed in a Renault Dauphine when the model he was driving turned over on a sharp curve in the road. A large carton in the back seat careened forward to the front of the car and smacked him in the head. And that was Au Revoir for Monsieur Lefaucheux.

They said that soprano and bass toned beeping sounds could be heard across the country in tribute.

Comments on: "MY FIRST CAR" (16)

  1. That was a fun car for a first. Thanks for the story, Ronnie.

  2. I well remember the Renault and will avow that you truly could hear them rusting!!! They were cute little cars though, Ronnie 🤗

  3. Our first car is something we always remember. What a cute car that would have been and the fun with the horns would have been special. My first car was a new light blue 1960 Chevy Impala with that white stripe down the side.

    I am able to go into my WordPress articles and hit edit and update whatever I want. Many times someone I write about will want something eliminated or added so I can do this with ease. Wonder why you can’t.

  4. That’s a cute story about your first car. People talking about their very first car is as American as mom and apple pie. We all have a love affair with those first wheels. My was a used 53′ Ford with a 3 -speed column stick shift.

    FYI you should be able to edit a post after publishing. There should be an edit button at the bottom of the post that only appears on your computer, not your readers computers. If not, go to your Admin section, click all posts and then edit this one. Delete the repeat and click update over on the right.

  5. gayefulton@aol.com said:

    ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS ONE.  One of your very best.  This is for the NYT.   Coincidently, I am looking for a red car right now.  The time has finally come. Gaye

  6. Gaye Fulton said:

    ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS ONE. One of your very best. This is for the NYT. Gaye

  7. You certainly have strong memories of your first car. (There is a good chunk of repetition in this post)

  8. Anonymous said:

    I remember the car well. It got stuck in a puddle during a heavy rain. Totally stalled!
    We simply got out and pushed the car to dry land where it restarted after fifteen miutes. We drove
    away honking our 2 horns in triumph.

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