Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"He Blinded Me With Science..." 1983 Revisited

My first, and only, brand new car, my 1983 Toyota Celica GT-S notchback coupe. The bra was extra.


Yes, it says GT below the taillight. I had to order the proper GT-S badge after I picked up the car.

R E M EM B R A N C E — Oh, to be a young twenty-something, with my entire future in front of me and very supportive parents behind me, instead of my best years behind me and nothing but uncertainty in front of me!

After showing absolutely zero interest in working for a living after I graduated from college other than working part-time in a clothing store in West Hollywood, California, and various three-day jobs for a temp agency in Manhattan, my dad pulled some strings and got me a full-time job at the local newspaper company in town. No, I wasn't thrilled. The job began at 7 am, about the time I was getting home from the night before most days. To go with my newfound 'independence' my parents decided I needed a 'decent' car since I was driving a '64 Tbird and a '68 Cadillac at the time. They gave me a budget, and I hit the car dealers.

I checked out new domestic cars, which in '83 were none too exciting at my price point—I was never the Camaro or Firebird type. I test drove a new Honda Prelude—nice but a bit too pretty for me and the dealer was sort of rude to me. The VW dealer had nothing but Rabbits at the time, no GTIs or Sciroccos. The Toyota dealers in the area seemed willing to deal with me, and after a couple of weeks I put in an order for a Celica GT. I REALLY wanted the brand new GT-S model, which came with the fender flares, the suspension, 4 wheel disc brakes and the interior of the much-more expensive Supra, but it was about $1500 too much for me, a big amount of money back then. I picked my options, and my three color choices, black, red or white, paid my $500 deposit and sat back waiting for them to locate one exactly the way I wanted it. And sat. And sat. And sat. The dealer kept calling me with models 'close' to what I wanted, maybe a silver one, or one without a sunroof or one without the extra-cost wheels, or one with an automatic transmission. After nearly THREE MONTHS of saying "No, I want one exactly the way I told you I wanted one" they got really mean and told me I'd have to forfeit my deposit since I was unwilling to work with them. Long story short, my dad's lawyer got my money back, but I was without a new car after all that time.

One Sunday afternoon, I went to the beach to get my mind off of everything—it was all too much for me, lol! I went to a state park, rather than the town beaches I could have used, because there were usually better looking strangers there! What did I find as soon as I got out of my car? There before me, with dealer plates, was a bright white, brand new Celica GT-S notchback coupe with a sunroof.  It was REALLY the car I had wanted all the time, but didn't think I could afford. Even though II thought it would be too expensive, I left my name and number under the windshield wiper and asked them to call me with a price. That night the salesman called me—from a different Toyota dealer than I had the bad experience with. Because it had 1,000 miles on it, a demonstrator, and because it was already July and they were expecting new cars in August, they made me an offer I couldn't refuse. YES! I was going to be driving a white GT-S with a 5 speed manual transmission, a power sunroof, pump-up lumbar seats, an AM-FM-Cassette stereo system and the 4 wheel disk brakes and HOT fender flares with 225-60 tires, the widest on any car of the time in that segment. Man, was I stoked!

Yes, the one and only brand new car I've ever owned was bought by my parents, sigh. I drove it home to the brand new apartment my parents had paid my first year's rent for, and I STILL thought I was just about the hottest thing since sliced bread. The important thing though, was that I WAS working full-time, and prescient as my Dad was, he had found me a job in a field I would love, a field I would be great at, and a job that would eventually take me back to New York. Within three months of being hired as an entry-level paste-up person for the newspaper company, I was made Art Director, and within another three months, I was responsible for designing 28 local newspapers every week and 7 classified sections. I had become the golden boy with the new publisher, who had a new Supra, and who insisted I park next to him with my new Celica GT-S. I would eventually be promoted to Fairchild Publications' Women's Wear Daily in Manhattan, a sister company for the publisher I worked for, and the rest as they say, is history. Well, a sordid history... : )

The rest of my life had about 32 hours of drama for every 24 hour period, but y'all will learn about that in due time. James Frey may have broken into a million little pieces, but I blew up into at least a billion pieces eventually. Due time, due time, I promise.

Be good, folks!

14 comments:

  1. I CAN ONLY IMAGINE.

    GRANNY

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  2. I can hardly wait to read the whole of "A Billion Little Pieces" authored by our one and only Casey...we will have known you when!!
    You really do leave your reading audience wanting more...Maybe in due time, but I feel an impatience and can hardly wait!
    mare
    PS...TG, I thought you were up awfully late too!!! :) Hope it's not insomnia and you're just checking in before a goodnight! :)

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  3. DITTO TO WHAT MARE SAID. WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE ABOUT HER. SHE'S COOL.OH THERE ARE NIGHT I STAY UP JUST TO PROVE TO MYSELF THAT I CAN.I LOVE THE DARK CIRCLE IN THE MORNING. IT KEEPS ME FROM PUTTING ON MAKEUP. J/K

    GRANNY

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  4. MY FIRST CAR.
    WHEN I WAS IN MY TEENS I USE TO SNEAK A CIGARETTE NOW AND THEN.THIS IS FUNNY STUFF. ANYWAYS, MY DAD HATED ANYONE THAT SMOKE THEM BUT A GOOD CIGAR WAS OK. HE'D TELL MY BROTHER IF THEY WERE GOING TO SMOKE, SMOKE CIGARS. YUK. ANYWAYS GIRL WERE NOT NICE IF THEY SMOKE BUT I HAD MY REASON FOR SNEAKING A CIGARETTE. ANYWAYS, I WAS OUT OF HIGHSCHOOL AROUND 18 OR 19 AND WORKED FOR A LARGE COMPANY IN UPSTATE N.Y.. I REALLY NEEDED A CAR. I WAS TIRED OF RIDING THE BUS TO WORK. SO MY DAD TOOK ME TO A DEALER AND DECIDED ON THIS CUTE 1957 RENAULT. NOW MIND YOU, DAD DIDN'T KNOW THAT I SMOKED AT THAT TIME. I WASN'T GOING TO TELL HIM EITHER. ONLY BAD GIRLS SMOKE AND I KNEW I WASN'T ONE OF THOSE GIRLS. I JUST WANTED TO GET EVEN WITH SOMEONE AT THE TIME, STUPID, I KNOW. ANYWAYS AGAIN, AFTER SUPPER THAT NIGHT [ THOSE WERE THE DAY WHEN EVERYONE SAT DOWN AND ATE DINNER TOGETHER] I WENT UPSTAIRS AND OPEN UP THE WINDOW AND STARTED SMOKING A SMOKE. I WAS IN THE PROCESS BLOWING THE SMOKE OUT THE WINDOW WHEN BINGO THE BEDROOM DOOR OPEN. WHO WAS THERE? YOUR RIGHT, IT WAS DAD. HE TOOK ONE LOOK AT ME AN NEVER SAID A WORD AND WENT BACK DOWN THE STAIRS. I NEVER WENT DOWNSTAIRS FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT. NOW THE NET MORNING I WAS SUPPOSE TO GO INTO THE CITY WITH DAD HE WAS GOING TO COSIGN FOR THE LOAN.ALSO PICK THE CAR UP. WHEN I GOT COURAGE TO GO DOWNSTAIRS THE NEXT MORNING TO SEE IF I WAS GOING TO BE ABLE TO BUY THE CAR AFTER BEING CAUGHT SMOKING, I ARRIVED AT THE KITCHEN DOOR. MOM SAID NOTHING JUST POINTED TO THE DRIVEWAY AND SAID GET. DAD NEVER SAID A WORD. THAT RIDE INTO THE CITY WAS LIKE RIDING TO A JAIL. WHEN WE ARRIVED WE WALKED INTO THE DEALERS, THE MAN MET US AND DAD SAID, WHERE DO I SIGN MY NAME. HE SIGNED AND JUST WALKED OUT THE DOOR. I LOVED THAT CAR. CIGARETTES NEVER TASTED THE SAME ALTHOUGH I WAS HOOKED FOR LONG WHILE. DAD NEVER MENTION IT TO ME EVER. AT THE TIME I'D RATHER HAD TAKEN A BEATING. BUT DAD NEVER EVER LAID A HAND ON ME. MAYBE THAT'S WHERE THE SAYING SILENT IS GOLDEN CAME FROM, MY DAD.

    GRANNY

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  5. yes, that LOOK that parents can give their kids really says it all, doesn't it! so you had a Renault? pretty forward-thinking for those years! I'm thinking it must have been a Dauphine model. OR maybe a 4CV.

    and yes, I enjoyed your lipstick/WW2 story! I know my mother told me that people took in boarders like that in our neighborhood also. I think they did it during WW1 also.

    Yahoo and Yahoo email seems to be down right now, so my replies might be slow today! I get alerts in my email when someone makes a comment here.

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  6. DAUPHINE, RIGHT ON. I ONLY HAD THAT CAR A SHORT TIME WHEN I GOT ENGAGED TO GRAMPS. HE MADE ME SELL IT. WHICH I DID. I SOLD IT TO ONE OF MY BOSSES.HE BOUGHT IT FOR HIS SON. ONE MONTH TO THE DAY HIS SON TOTALED IT [SPOILED KID]IF HE HAD TO WORK FOR THAT CAR MAYBE HE'S STILL HAVE THAT CAR.
    GRANNY

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  7. I just read an article about the Dauphines a little while ago. I think you probably sold it at about the right time, lol. Apparently they rusted out as quickly as Fiats did, which were made with surplus Russian steel for a while that had to be de-rusted BEFORE Fiat even used it! Dauphines were very cute little cars though, one of the cars that kept Renault afloat for quite a while. I remember seeing them driving around.

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  8. CAsey (and Granny),

    My neighbors that I wrote about a while back (the ones who had all the unusual cars and the hydrangeas) had a black 1957 Dauphine. It was the cutest thing we'd ever seen in the neighborhood -- loved the sunroof and the two-tone (city and country) horn! It got traded quickly for a light blue Panhard -- I'd guess it was a 58. Out of the frying pan and into the fire!

    Paul, New York City

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  9. G'Morning Paul! I still can't believe you knew anyone with a Panhard! From the ones I've seen in magazines, a lot of them came with leopard-printed material seats, from the factory! I'm going to do some reading about them today. I know they were quite avant garde mechanically too.

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  10. Casey,

    They not only had a Panhard, they had two of them -- the first one was light blue with whitewalls and with two-tone blue and white upholstery in a pretty standard format -- blue seating surfaces and white bolsters. The second one was red with blackwalls and tan interior. The first one looked kind of cheerful -- almost as if it was smiling at you! The second one looked kind of sinister. I think the father of the family had ideas of importing Panhards and Citroens -- I think I mentioned previously that they also had a black Traction Avant! They were a family of characters -- some of the stories would by NSFW and not safe for the artandcolour blg!

    I also so, via another blog, that you are big True Blood fan -- me too! It's the highlight of the week!

    Paul, New York City

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  11. Yup, i LOVE True Blood! I didn't watch it the first year. Only watched a few partial episodes the second year, but liked it enough to make sure I watched all the second season on INDeman before the third season started. Now it's the highlight of my TV week! I was a huge Bill Compton fan, but now I think I'd rather have a werewolf, lol. Alcide is winning me over. I think the King of Mississippi is fascinating too. Did you know that Sookie and Bill are dating in real life too? I saw him on the Tonight Show the other night and he said so.

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