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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tuesdays with Gindy: The Swamp Buggy

When I was growing up, my family owned a Western Auto Store in Iva, South Carolina. One Saturday morning, my father sent me to pick up some tires from Allgood’s Tire in Liberty, South Carolina.

He told me that Mr. Potter (the same Mr. Potter that tried to buy everything before my father did when he was looking to build the store) had a red sporty car out at his used car lot and that I should stop by and take a look at it.

I stopped by and looked at the cars he had, but did not see a single thing I liked.  Mr. Potter asked me how I liked the red one. I told him that I would keep looking.

I went to Liberty, South Carolina, and, when I got back, I found my very happy father beaming from ear-to-ear. He handed me the keys to my red 1972 Plymouth Duster.

He told me that Mr. Potter drove it to the store and told him how much I loved the car. I told my father what really happened and it took the wind out of his sails.

My father had paid $1,200 for that car. He figured I would pay him $500 of it back.  When I told him I did not tell Mr. Potter I wanted the car, he told me to keep my money.

He sent the car to Tommy Drennon, who did car pin striping. He told Tommy to customize it up really well.
The car had vinyl interior, including the floor covers.  This was good because the car leaked.  Most of the time the car had water standing in the floor boards. My friends and I named the car, “The Swamp Buggy”.

Almost every day after school, I would have to get my father to send one of the mechanics from the store to get the car started.  Finally, he came out and he saw all the people standing around making jokes about the car.
My father sprayed some ether into the carburetor.  This was called starter fluid because it usually gave a car enough octane to start when you sprayed it in the carburetor.

When I tried to start it, a flame shot from the carburetor to about even with the roof of the school.  Of course, the kids standing around got a great laugh at his expense.

We got back to the store and he told me to clean out the car and give him my keys.  He called Claude Ray of Claude Ray Ford in Elberton and told him to deliver a new Ford LTD II to the store. He gave it to my mother and he gave me her 1976 Cadillac Sedan Deville. 

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