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My junkyard treasure

Posted April 3, 2009

As I walked down the aisle of the dirt lot, my heart sank. I was not really expecting to find anything that hot summer day in the middle of July, but I had hoped, more than I had realized before that moment.

I turned and walked down another aisle of the Pick-A-Part sale lot and I saw the back of something that looked promising.

It was old, from the 1960s maybe, and it looked decent.

I walked quickly to a possibly great, car. Maybe. No, never mind. There was nothing worth looking at.

It looked okay from the side, but as I got closer I realized that the front of the car was welded on and it was not the original front of the car.


My search for an old car was not going well.

It technically was not a search, but more of a hope that on the off chance by some miracle a great older car with a great price was out there, I would find it.

I did not have enough money to buy the car of my dreams, a fully restored white 1962 Lincoln Continental convertible with suicide doors with cherry red leather seats.

I was looking for a basic daily driver that needed a little TLC.

After walking around the lot, I was ready to leave when a man in a hard hat came over and asked me what I was looking for.

I explained that I wanted something from the 60s, in decent shape and inexpensive. He said he had something to show me.

He went and retrieved the key and walked to the back of the lot between two of the saddest hunks of rusty metal I had seen that day.

I turned around to look at the other cars some more, not expecting to be impressed by what he wanted to show me.

And then I heard it. It took a couple of tries to start her up, but when I heard the roar of her engine I turned around to see her roll out from between the dust-covered heaps on either side of her.

I fell in love.

She was the prettiest green car I had ever seen.

I started squealing and jumping up and down.

Sal, the man in the hard hat got out of the 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme and waved me over to the driver’s side.

“Go ahead, get in,” he said.

I climbed behind the wheel and started to look around. Green, my favorite color, everywhere.

I was not prepared to fall in love that day, and she was not what I was really looking for, but she stole my heart with her green interior and exterior, power steering and air conditioning.

And of course the purr of her V8 Rocket engine. I was in love.

I was so excited I could hardly speak.

After lifting the hood and giving her a thorough once over, I bought her.

It has been seven months and I could not be happier.

I have started to fix her up little by little and once I get a good job and get the money to fully restore her, she will be the best 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.

There is nothing quite like hearing the roar of her engine and smelling that old car smell.

The road has been a bit bumpy and there were moments of frustration when I could not get her started, and had to call the Automobile Club, but it has been worth it.

Though she is not perfect and she still takes a while to warm up on a cold morning, she just keeps chugging along, one mile at a time.

Susan Acker, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at susan.acker@laverne.edu.