1940 Ford business coupe
A ford coupe gets RECRUITED into the moonshine business. A short story narrated by the car itself.
Old New Car
I was born in 1940, my sir name is Ford but most just call me the Coupe. I sat at the dealership for nearly a year until I was purchased at a lower price by a man who mentioned he was a professor at a university; by then it was 1941. My first owner was a gentleman. He was tall, well dressed, but without exhibiting a sense of wealth, and had a pacifist demeanor.
I wasn't a speed machine and he knew it so I was never asked to go above and beyond my factory limitations. My days were an unbroken pattern of early commutes to the university and quiet drives back home with every little in forms of excitement in between. Sometimes I would see people gather to rally support for some kind of conflict that was happening in the world, but other than that my life reflected my owner. Calm, quiet, and worry free... for me.
I wasn't until 1945 that I was passed on to a new owner. A younger, strong looking man who had just return from overseas and starting a career as a salesman. Going from state to state with a trunk filled of whatever he was selling, from vacuums to sun dress material. We traveled all over the East coast from New York to Florida. I loved seeing the country and being on the road.
That was until I broke down in 1949 and my owner dumped me at a junkyard somewhere in North Carolina. I was angry then, forced into an early retirement just because I had a little trouble holding my water and kept overheating. He had done well as a salesman and wanted a newer, faster car. I forget how many years I stayed there, must have been at least five winters. Just sitting there with only mice and the gutted remains of my fellow Ford siblings to keep me company.
One day a man came up to me. A young looking man with Vaseline soaked hair and wearing a torn jean jacket. He bought me for $35 dollars and towed me away to his garage. I was so looking forward to feeling my wheels turn again, but instead he quickly began taking me apart by pulling out my suspension and engine. That first night I sat feeling depressed and a little worried. I had nightmares that he was only going to strip me for parts and send me off to meet my fate with a crusher.
A few days later he opened up the garage door and his friends helped to unload this huge V8 engine off the back of a truck. It was painted gold with red valve covers that read Cadillac. It felt heavy when it was dropped inside my bay, but it didn’t compare to the weight that had been lifted off my leaf springs knowing I was going to run again - soon.
Illegal Business, Coupe
I never thought about going fast until this owner. The idea of looking like one of those rebellious Hot-rods began to intoxicate me. I would stare at the cover of magazines my owner had on the garage floor to get an idea of how I was going to look like.
My owner spent every night with me, making sure all my news parts were fitted right before he repainted me in my original black paint. I remember the first day he turned the key and I heard my new voice. I sounded like a dog that had been locked up in its cage too long - anxious and aggressive. It took a few test runs for me to get used to my new strength and agility, but thankfully my new owner was very good behind the wheel. I felt better than the day I rolled off the assembly line.
I was ecstatic during that whole week of test runs, until the real test came one Saturday night in 1954. I remember him whispering, “don’t let me down”, before he turned the ignition. I didn't want to let him down, but was a little concerned about driving off in the middle of the night on roads I didn't know.
He took me to this old farm shed out in the middle of nowhere and loaded me up with cases of mason jars that smelled like I could run off it. The new horsepower certainly made it easier to carry around the extra weight, but I couldn’t help but wonder why my new owner insisted on driving with no lights on through these narrow dirt roads. Nevertheless, I had a blast running all night at the hands of my new owner. Breaking traction always made me feel weightless as I slid around corners along the mountain roads, probably the closest I ever got to actually dancing to the music playing on the small transistor radio he carried in the passenger seat.
Hauling those mason jars up and down the mountain were some of the best years of my life, but sooner or later the merry-go-round has to stop. And it stopped abruptly in the winter of 1957. We had just set off after picking up a fresh batch of mason jars and traveling like white lighting through the mountain roads. I was feeling unstoppable while listening to this new fast paced music blaring from the transistor radio. The mason jars jiggering side to side with each maneuver as I climbed to 80 mph. There were times when I could only feel road on three tires. Running way ahead of schedule.
I was coming out of turn sideways when I noticed strange shadowy figures up ahead in the distance. The moonlight was our source of light, so I could not see what they were but they looked big and were blocking the whole road. i wasn't slowing down, instead I found myself going faster! My V8 using every rev it could turn out on full throttle. The shadows were not moving and coming up quick.
My owner switched my headlights so we could see what the shadows were. I only saw them for a second, but it felt like time had stopped. The light exposed the shadows as two 4-door Chevy sedans parked sideways across the road with men carrying guns. The cannon boom of a 12 gauge being fired echoed off the mountain and carried the sound waves through the valley. I saw the blaze of light coming from the gun before I heard the noise, but then I couldn’t see anything at all. My headlights were shot-out as the men opened fired on us.
For a moment I thought I felt something wet splash across the bench seat of my interior, it felt warm and thick. I was blind but I wasn’t slowing down because my owner kept his foot glued down on the throttle. All I could do was brace for the moment of impact when I rammed into the roadblock head-on. Punching a path through the cars, causing me to roll over and tumbled down the side of the road and into a ditch.
I felt numb as my engine wheezed its last compression breathe in the darkness while I laid in a crumpled mess. My owner crawled out and started limping away, leaving me behind with the smell of broken mason jars starting to spill all over me. All I could hear in the distance was men shouting, “Halt! Police”, followed by the sound of more gunfire.
An Owner That Will Never Leave
Nobody came for me. I was left to rot once again, beaten and smashed. The depression was too great to bare, so I decided to just go to sleep. During my slumber Mother Nature came in and took ownership of me. She gave me a new paint, and covered me with her blanket of green. I made my peace knowing I won’t run again, because my new owner is always by my side and will never leave me.