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Adventures in Mom’s ’57 Ford Fairlane 500 “Thunderbird Special”

Why is that car behind me flashing its brights? Flash, flash, flash! I’m cruising in the third lane (of four) on my side of an eight-lane suburban highway. Should I move over? There’s plenty of room to pass. Flash, flash, flash! What does he want?


Is he a cop? Is he pulling me over? This could mean jail! And no driving ‘till I’m 21… my dad’s dire warning if he ever caught me driving before I was legal. I had my own keys to Mom’s super-cool ’57 Ford Fairlane 500 convertible, and he knew that I knew how to drive it. Read the full article on

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I too was a year behind my friends getting my driver's license.  Not being nearly as adventurous as Gary, my Dad drove me and my girlfriend throughout my sophomore year and half my junior year, when I finally got my license.  It was thus a treat to double-date with my friend Tom, who drove his folks' '60 T-bird.  The back seat was very cozy for us, but Tom hated it due to the enormous console that separated the two front seats; he referred to it as "the sex divider" as he couldn't even put his arm around his date.  Parking and necking?  Impossible.  Meanwhile, Carol and I (we married  in college) were nicely ensconced in the back seat... 

Actually it wasn't too bad not having a license--growing up in Ft Lauderdale it was easier to get to my girlfriend's house by boat than by car--so long as the tide wasn't too high (low bridge).  We went on many "boat dates"--water skiing or just cruising around all the waterways in Ft Lauderdale or even out in the ocean if it was calm.  However, we did not cut class (as did many of our classmates) to be extras when they were filming "Where the Boys Are."