Classic Car

Contributor: Krysta ViPond

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Andy pulled the car over to the side of the road. He had just returned from the gas station. He wanted the tank to be full for the next potential owner. It was something his father always taught him.

“Always make sure there’s fuel in the tank for the next person. Nothing worse than getting in the car and finding it on E.”

Andy smiled as he heard his father’s voice in his head. It still did not seem real. It was only a month ago that his father was doting over the old vehicle. Andy’s father, Rick Marley loved the car, and had spent most of his weekends taking care of it.

The car had been in the family since Andy was ten years old. Much of his allowance was earned by washing the car’s exterior with an old sponge and a blue bucket full of soap water. As Andy grew older, awaiting the day when he would turn sixteen, his father taught him all there was to know about cars. He knew how to change the oil, give it a tune-up, replace the brakes, and just about whatever else it took to keep the car running like a top. His first driving lesson had been in his father’s prized possession. He could still remember how nervous he looked when he’d given Andy the keys for his first solo trip to the store.

It’d been many years since then. When his father suddenly passed away the car became Andy’s inheritance. Andy already had his own car; a modern Japanese mid-size, plus the minivan his wife drove. He did not need three cars. Besides, the old thing was now registered as a classic, and was more for show. It was not the kind of car you drove down to the supermarket. Maintaining it would have been more trouble than it was worth. He would have to keep it out of the weather, regularly tend to it, and drive it around the block now and then to keep the engine alive. Selling it seemed to be the only logical thing to do.

Andy pulled out the folded silver sunshade from the back seat, and spread it out across the front window. He opened the car door and stepped outside. After pushing the door shut, he circled around the car as he inspected it. There was not a single dent or scratch on the metallic blue paint.

“It’s perfect. Just the way it should be. The way he always kept it.”

As Andy gazed at the car, he thought of the long nights he and his father had spent together in the garage. Growing up, Andy did not share much in common with his father, but they both enjoyed working on cars. Rick was a mechanic, and sometimes brought his work home with him. He would let Andy work alongside him. It had become their way of bonding.

Andy’s cellphone rang, snapping him out of his trance. He checked the screen. On it was a number he did not recognize.

“Hello, Andy Marley speaking.”

“Hi, Mr. Marley. My name is Fred Harper. I’m calling about your ad I saw in the paper. It says you’re selling a 1965 Rambler Classic ”

“Ah, actually...”

Andy returned his stare towards the car again, but his eyes were seeing more than just an automobile. He was staring at his past, and the memories of his father. He suddenly realized that the car that had meant so much to his dad meant just as much to himself.

“I’m sorry. The car has already found its owner.”

“Oh, that’s too bad. Sounded like a nice one too. Hope whoever bought it takes good care of it.”

“Don’t worry, he will. He said it’d be like a member of the family. Thank you for calling. Goodbye.”

Andy pressed the red button on the screen. He turned toward the house and called to his eight-year-old son.

“Brad, can you come out here for minute? I have something I want to show you.”

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