’53 Chevy, AKA Bill the Car
For several years I drifted through a fog of marijuana smoke. I lived on a steady diet of sex, beer and leftover food scavanged from neighborhood restaurants at closing time. I rarely drew a sober breath. What better vehicle to take me through at least part of that journey than a 1953 Chevy, which I dubbed Bill the Car — in honor of Berke Breathed’s Bill the Cat.
Like Breathed’s Bloom County comic strip character, Bill the Car wore his ugliness with pride. The car projected an I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude, something all three of us had in common at the time. Which was the early to mid ’80s, as far as I can remember.
The car had no floor boards to speak of and no upholstery on the driver’s side of the front seat. If you pulled back the blanket that covered the wire mesh seat frame, you could see the ground below. The seat bolts were rusted to the frame, which probably helped hold the car together. The gas tank was mounted on 2X4s in the trunk, moss grew in the seam along the top of the trunk lid and one of the tail light lenses had been replaced with one from a ’54 Chevy. The rusted hull of a body bore the scars of run-ins with a bread truck, a bus and God knows what else.
But, with it’s three-on-the-tree manual shift and 218 cubic inch six, it ran like a flat-assed ape. And sounded like Bill the Cat — Ack!
Coming soon(er or later) – the further adventures of Bill the Car.
Other stories in this series: