* Story by Fire Chief Steve Moody
The year was 1977. It’s funny how old memories sometimes pop into your head for no particular reason.
My meager savings was nearly exhausted after attending two years of college. This was back when running up a tab wasn’t part of the college attendance formula. Not only was my college fund exhausted, so was my 1965 Ford Mustang.
I needed some wheels. I checked out the periodicals and there it was: “The Shopper’s Guide” “1966 4-door Plymouth Belvedere II – low mileage – one-owner – $500 or best offer.”
I called the number listed and arranged a time to look at the car – immediately. The owner turned out to be a female senior citizen. Even though the car was immaculate, it was definitely a little old lady car.
The slant 6 cylinder engine was so quiet you couldn’t even tell it was running – not a hot rod.
It was a living room wall beige color – not too striking. And it did indeed have four doors – not exactly a chick magnet. But it was perfect in another way – price. SOLD!
So, why did the Belvedere memory spring forth? I knew the answer after just a moment – it was the lessons.
Belvedere’s reliability was one lesson. Even though he wasn’t the flashiest fellow on the block, he never failed me – even on the coldest Kansas morning. There are few things as important in life as reliability.
The immaculate condition of the car was another lesson. Belvedere was eleven years old and looked like he just came off the show room floor. A little old lady could keep a car pristine – shouldn’t any young person be able to do the same?
Economy was a third lesson. Fuel consumption wasn’t a big concern in the ‘70’s but Belvedere was different – he was ahead of his time. Is my ultra conservative nature tied to Belvedere’s lesson?
But the most important lesson of all was trust. There’s something that’s certain when a woman chooses a man that drives a four door Belvedere – she doesn’t love him for his money or his status. Belvedere gave me and my high school sweetheart a ride to the cathedral for our marriage vows.
Memories of a 4-Door Plymouth Belvedere II wasn’t really all that strange after all.
*P.S. I got a speeding ticket once in the Belvedere. I told the officer that I didn’t even think it would go that fast.