I turned 16 on a Sunday in 1959, so the first thing thing I did after school on Monday was get my drivers license.
I didn’t have a car of my own for a while, so would borrow my dad’s 1955 Ford station wagon when it was available. What a thrill it was when I got my own car. It wasn’t new by a long shot, but it was mine.
I think I paid about $100.00 for this nine-year old car. I got it a couple of months after getting my driver’s license. It was nice looking and big. I polished it often and it looked great. I remember it had a switch on the floor that would change radio stations when you pushed it. Pretty neat, huh? I don’t think I strayed out of the San Fernando Valley with this car, but to me it was a great car.
I paid about $250 for this used car and bought it from a guy who owned the gas station I worked at on the weekends. It was the cheapest model they offered in 1953. I put a floor shift kit in it, painted it fire engine red and had black naugahyde tuck-and-roll upholstery installed in Tijuana. It wasn’t fast, but was reliable. I drove this car all over the L.A. area, to Disneyland in Anaheim a couple of times and of course to the beach regularly.
This was the first car I owned that was truly fast. I bought it from a classmate in college for $600.00. It was what we called a “sleeper” back then, because it looked stock. However, it had a powerful police interceptor engine with three two-barrel carburetors and a racing transmission. For it’s day, it was very fast. I really loved that car and drove it all over Los Angeles county, Orange county and lots of trips to beaches along the coast.
The video below shows the streets of L.A. and surrounding areas back then. It is definitely a trip down memory lane as I drove most of them in my youth.