It's December of 1977. I'm 17, and my Dad is helping me look for a car to buy - my first car! After looking at some junkers, we come across this 64 LeMans. We look it over, and decide to take it for a test drive. Dad says it's in good mechanical condition. He steps on it and says "this has some power!" I'm sold! I offer the asking price of $250. I'm now a car owner!
My Dad had noticed that the heater core was bypassed because of a leak, so that was my first project. I pulled the heater core, took it to a radiator repair shop, and it was good as new.
Two months later I doubled my investment, spending $250 on new tires and wheels. Now she's looking sweet! In August of 1978 Jim Hall, a family friend, helps me pull the engine and I took it in to be rebuilt. Now it's running as good as it looks! It was only a 326, but it was pretty hot to me. I picked up a 4 barrel carb (a Carter AFB) and intake manifold at a junkyard. The carb is looking pretty rough so I rebuilt it. I installed it on the engine and it ran!
In the fall of 1978 I replaced my 2-speed automatic with a 3-speed (Turbo 350).
The morning of January 13, 1979 is cold and frosty. I'm driving to pick up my sister. The roads are very icy. I hit a patch of ice, but I easily corrected it without missing a beat. This only added to my hubris! After picking up my sister, we are heading to our Dad's house for a visit. The guy in front of me is driving like a granny. What a wimp. He obviously doesn't know how to drive, so I pass him. As I'm passing him by, my trans downshifts for me, breaking my tires loose, and I'm heading for the ditch! AWWWW!! After getting towed back home, I am bummed out. I take a nap. When I wake up, I look out the window, hoping it was just a dream. No such luck.
The front end damage was pretty bad. Fixing it would cost more than buying another car, so I bought a '67 LeMans (with a 4-speed), put my rebuilt engine in it, and parted-out the '64.
I didn't have any reason to report the accident to my insurance company (liability coverage only) and, ironically, a week later they sent me a Pemco Safe Driver sticker to put in my window!