As Southern girls mature, we learn what qualities are really important in a man (translation: husband). We want someone who will offer us love, kindness, strength, security—you know—someone like Daddy. But in our romantic, drama-queen, teen years, we basically want a cute boy with good hair and a cool car. Or maybe a boss pickup.
When we polled our gal pals across the South, we found that a sweet set of wheels has a way of lingering in the memory. Sometimes we remember the car more fondly than the driver.
Many of us clearly had a weakness for Mustang boys. And Z28s with T-tops. Ditto gold Camaros with T-tops (and 8-tracks). Our dream dates drove Chevy pickups, Jeeps, and turquoise Trans Ams; Malibus, Ramblers, Monte Carlos, and Galaxy 500s; ’67 Dodge Chargers and ’55 Fords; Chevelles, Firebirds, and the occasional red Corvette.
But we’re generalizing here. Let the ladies (and a couple of gents) speak for themselves:
“Seems like all the boys I had a crush on in south Texas drove pickup trucks or Suburbans. They just barely fit into the parking spots at Sonic—The Meeting Spot.”
“’58 Fairlane. Married him, too!”
“When we were dating, my husband had a small brown truck with dragon-themed covers on the seat and steering wheel. They had originally been black and red, but the red had faded to pink. I’m sure pink dragons weren’t quite what he was going for.”
“The one I married drove a baby blue VW bug . . . but one crush drove a Camaro and the other one drove a navy blue farm truck . . . and then there was the young and single, handsome principal who drove a Monte Carlo that was the same color as his eyes—we all had a crush on him.”
“Can you take comments from a male? I didn’t have a car in high school or even college. I ‘drove’ a bicycle. But I dated a girl in college who had a 1968 Firebird 400 convertible. When she traded it in for a Pinto, things just weren’t the same.”
“His parents’ station wagon with the wood on the side . . . retro but not romantic!”
“A black and yellow ’79 Rally Sport Camaro!”
“A Malibu named Mighty—can’t believe I remember that.”
“I’m not a Southern gal, but it was a Corvette! Not sure of the year, but it was red and very pretty.”
“Lux red VW Bug named Jinx.”
“Butter-cream-colored 442 and a blue Corvette convertible . . . not the same guy, though.”
“Showing my age. A Grand Torino and a Monte Carlo.”
“Oldsmobile 442—fire engine red!”
“1974 grey Capri—I married the driver.”
“’56 Ford Crown Vic.”
“1973 Red Ford Torino. Still love him. He has been my husband 35 years, but the car’s long gone!”
“His dad’s 1963 Coup Deville.”
“Please call my wife and get her to tell you the story about a high school date she went on. He drove a truck, and the passenger seat was bucket turned upside down . . .”