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.