Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mobile Auto Parts

In 1985 I owned a blue 1972 Dodge Dart, it was a sweet car. Low miles, all original with A/C and a nice black vinyl roof. It was probably near the end of the line for cars that had a bench seat in the front. The car drove well and I really enjoyed it. One day I was driving on Route 13 in New Castle, turning into Pep Boys and a woman who was behind me darted onto the shoulder and tried to pass me on the right as I was turning. She slammed right into the passenger side door and spun my car about 90 degrees. The old Dodge was built tough and other than the passenger door being bent there was no other damage.

She was at fault and got a ticket for passing on the shoulder. Her driving was so reckless that a man stopped and told the policeman that he did not witness the accident but she was weaving in and out of traffic and passing on the shoulder miles back. She outright lied and said I was in the middle lane and she was forced off to the shoulder because I just shot over across two lanes. This did not hold up with the policeman.

With no real damage I continued to drive the car thinking I just would not open the dented in door. It turns out that I decided to try it and the door actually worked. I was fine driving a dented car. One day I was on my way to my job at the Wilmington & Western RR and a Dodge Dart pulled up behind me beeping the horn and flashing his lights. I pulled off and got out and the other guy got out and explained to me that he noticed my dented door and wanted to help. He opened his truck and there inside was a door that was the exact color blue. He wanted $20 or 30 dollars for it and I just happened to have enough money in my pocket. I gave him the cash and we transferred the door to my trunk. We shook hands and both of us drove off.

It turns out he was some sort of relation to my best friend, Raymond Harrington. The guys family owned a hub cap place on Newport Gap Pike in the vicinity of the railroad crossing in Marshallton. That business is long gone. Back in those days there were a few places around that dealt in hub caps. Cars all had them and upgrading hubcaps was one of the ways you could accessories your car. Fast forward a decade later in the late 1990s. I was driving down the road past the hub cap place which was on it last legs. They had a 1960 Studebaker Lark Wagon sitting outside with a for sale sign. It was $3,000 and looked really cool. I had enough money in my bank account so I bought it. It  was the same guy! The way paths cross in life is sometimes really strange. I kept it for about 10 years and it was a fun car to own. I'll write more about it another time.

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