A '63 To Remember

When I was a VERY young child, my Papa had an old English Ford. It ran like a champ and I loved it because it was small enough that I though I could drive it. Even though it was Papa’s daily driver, it was our “huntin & fishin” car. I loved that car and cried for days when he finally got rid of it.

In 1969, my mother and I moved up North for a job she had been offered. We had no kind of mechanized transportation; foot and bicycle were our only modes. In 1970, a friend of our’s acquired another car and gave us her’s. It was a blue 1963 Ford Fairlane 6-cylinder with a 3-speed on the column. It was an awesome little car and one that I quickly learned how to drive… with pillows under me, behind me and blocks on the pedals. That car ran like a top and made the 600+ miles trip (round trip- 1,200+ miles) many times and never left us stranded the first time. There are many memories but one stands out more than anything.

L’il Chappy, as we called her, had a quirk. Concerning gas mileage, she was awesome. Even with today’s technology, there are few vehicles that could touch her. However, she stayed thirsty and drank water/coolant all the time. We had the engine rebuilt a couple of times and not a few mechanics examined her and none could find the “problem”. When others stoipped for gas, we stopped for water. We could make the 600+ miles trip on two tanks of gas and still have gas left when we arrived at our destination.

We continued to drive her for a while after moving back home to Jacksonville, Florida in 1971. The biggest mistake we made was in trading her for a “newer” model. Lord, I wish I could get her (or one like her) back.

I have a lot of fond memories about all of the cars (Fords) we’ve had but none can compare to Chappy! My current vehicle is a 1988 F-150 4X4 that I am restoring and will doubtless make many new memories with her as well. But… like your first time with anything, Chappy will always be the unforgettable one.

Related Tags
Ford Fairlane
gas mileage

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