Our next set of wheels was a Ford Granada purchased from my Uncle Stephen. Stephen and his husband Allan were often assumed by us kids to be well-off, having both retired early in life to travel the world. They always had nice cars and kept them in immaculate condition.
In my mid-teens I became fascinated with exotic European cars due in part to my close friend Derick who would play a heavy role in influencing my life. Derick was once a serious car aficionado and the only one of my friends with an interest in European automobiles. I think he even had a subscription to Road & Track magazine and that said something. Through him I gained a love for music, beer, and humor as well as an appreciation for foreign cars.
After witnessing a regular turn-over in Stephen and Allan’s vehicles of choice, and thinking that they could afford just about anything they wanted (this was before I had much understanding of finances), I decided to do my best to persuade them to purchase a fine set of European wheels. Specifically, something from Germany.
BMWs, Mercedes, Porches and Audis had become somewhat of an obsession for me and I recall taking great pride in my ability to spot them and list their stats for anyone who would listen. I talked cars regularly with my uncles and would often suggest they look into purchasing a nice BMW 535, stressing the fact that if they could, why wouldn’t they.
“Germany makes the best cars,” I’d say. “Why not invest in a fine German automobile? Those Germans, they really know what they’re doing. I can’t believe you guys haven’t bought a Mercedes yet. I mean, they’re right up your alley. Wow, Germany really have their shit together, huh?”
But the topic would quickly drift elsewhere and their seeming reluctance to share in my praise for all things German would eventually make sense to me. Years later, when sharing my enthusiasm with Dad about how cool it would be if Stephen and Allan had a BMW, he reminded me that this would most likely never happen as Allan was Jewish and lost the majority of his immediate family in the Holocaust. Open mouth – insert foot.
It seems to me we didn’t keep the Granada around for too long as it was no bigger than the Aspen and wasn’t really in the best of shape when we bought it. In fact, all I can remember about it was that the back floor had rusted through in one place and I could see the ground skipping past as we drove. It wasn’t long after we made this discovery that we retired the old girl and bought a brand new, top of the line Dodge Aries, also known as a K-Car.