Please allow me this opportunity to share some of my thoughts, as well as some tips that may just make your motoring experience more enjoyable and affordable.
Most every young man and young woman anxiously awaits the day when he or she passes the driving exam and receives a driver’s license. With license in hand, they can now experience a new form of independence, no longer restricted to relying on other folks, or public transportation as a means of getting from one place to another.
With the excitement of a newfound freedom, sometimes we overlook important details as it relates to owning and operating our mode of personal transportation. In addition to being a privilege, getting a drivers license also brings along with it awesome responsibilities.
As the driver of any vehicle, we immediately assume responsibility not only for our vehicle and ourselves, but also for our passenger’s personal safety. Additional responsibilities include respecting public property, and of course the rights of other drivers.
In my opinion, we as a society do not place enough emphasis on driver education as it applies the serious nature of what driving is all about, but that’s a subject for another day. Today I’d like to focus on owning a vehicle, (whether it’s a car, truck, or SUV), and the numerous options that it affords us relating directly to our life style.
First and foremost there is the basic function of getting us from point A to point B. Most of us work away from home, and our mode of transportation can be an integral part of our job performance. Things like being at our place of employment or business when we’re supposed to be. Then there’s that quick lunchtime escape as we run an errand or grab some nourishment. A vehicle that is not very dependable may make a difference in how we are perceived by our superiors at work, or by our customers and clients if we are self-employed. An undependable vehicle relates to, and may directly affect our livelihood.
Our next option may be using our vehicles to take advantage of time off, and travel for some well deserved or much needed recreational activities. Another option is having a vehicle that allows us to express who we are. Just look around at the variety of vehicle offerings, and the never-ending array of changes that most people make to personalize their car or truck. Vehicles can be a great form of self-expression.
Cars and trucks are our hobby here at the Memmolo household, as well as our favorite means of travel. We appreciate all types, from antiques or classics, to muscle cars and hot rods, and of course the newest wave of sport compacts. I’m really partial to pick up trucks, and presently own two. My wife and I also own two Street Rods, a sedan, and a motorhome. We love to travel the highways and back roads of this great big beautiful country!
Is there a common denominator in all this? You bet there is. Americans have had a love affair with cars & trucks since the late 1800’s. Almost every wagon and buggy manufacturer jumped right into the “Horseless Carriage” business, and the fire was lit! Demand for the automobile was amazing then, and today millions of new cars are purchased each year.
There has been rapid change in the world of transportation when you think about in terms of the automobile being just slightly over 100 years old. From basic buggies with one-cylinder engines, chain drive, and a tiller for steering, to today’s electronic marvels with more comfort, convenience, and safety features than most people could have ever dreamed of, some things remain the same.
When you need to go, you step into your vehicle and twist the ignition key. You expect to go according to your planned schedule. If it doesn’t start, you are disappointed, and maybe even frustrated.
Trust me, you are no more disappointed today than a driver in 1900 when they turned the crank and the engine would not fire. Like I said, some things remain the same!
What’s the point of all this? The point is simple. Americans need dependable transportation, and most of us work hard to buy and maintain our vehicles. Since the early days, drivers have been striving to maintain their investment, and the same applies today. To most of us, our vehicle represents a major investment, and a large part of our life.
Our goal is to deliver timely, accurate information and opinions that will enable you to get more enjoyment, reliability, and practical use from whatever you drive, while helping to maintain costs. With the large variety of makes and models that we test drive each week, we believe that we can be a resource that may help to answer your questions when faced with the incredible number of vehicle choices offered for sale.
If together we can achieve this goal, maybe we can make some good solid decisions, add some stress free time to our daily routines, and have some fun along the way. We hope you will visit this site often and enjoy the information posted here.
Sam & Diana Memmolo
I first met Roger at the 2013 F-100 Super Nationals and all Ford Show in Pigeon Forge TN. Bill Riel introduced him to me and Roger and I spent some time together as he described his restoration of his 1959 Ford F-100. This year’s F-100 Super Nationals was awesome and well attended with 750 beautiful vehicles. Roger returned again, along with his family including several beautiful grandchildren. He shared his Vietnam military experience with me and I was so moved that I felt compelled to post this on my website in Roger’s own words. He made me even prouder to be an American as I listened to his story. Here it is in Roger’s own words. Sam
I grew up in Southwest Virginia in Russell County on a mountainside farm. My family did not have a vehicle of any kind until I was age 17. Anyone in our community that had a vehicle was thought to be very fortunate.
In September of 1965, I enlisted in the military and went through Army basic training. Then on to more training for approximately a year before being shipped off to Vietnam. I served with the 1st Battalion 40th Field Artillery group up on the DMZ from September 1966 through September of 1967. I saw lots of combat and served alongside the Marines. My job was to keep shelling the enemy positions for our infantry guys.
When I returned from the war I was sent to Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks Alaska. In April of 1968 I purchased a 1959 Ford F-100 as Military salvage for $75.00. This was my first automobile and I was excited to have it. I repaired it and was able to drive it without the threat of road mines, incoming artillery shells, rockets, mortars or snipers. My true definition of Freedom!
When the army discharged me at Fort Wainwright in late 1968, my 1959 pickup was my ride home. We traveled 5,000 miles home without a hitch. In March of 1969, I traded the ’59 for a new 1969 F-100 receiving $800.00 in trade against the ’69 window sticker.
Forty two years later, in May of 2011, I found my old ’59 at the F-100 Super Nationals in Pigeon Forge. I purchased it, took it home to Virginia and did a “Frame-Off” restoration back to original. Keeping the 292 Cu. In. Y-block engine, Ford-O-Matic transmission, 4 wheel drum brakes, a single master cylinder, generator and manual steering.
With the exception of the engine machine shop work and the transmission overhaul, I did all the work myself, including the paint. With the extensive use of Dennis Carpenter reproduction and N.O.S. parts, my truck came back to life.
In May of 2012 and again in 2013, my ’59 won “Best in Class Award” at the F-100 Super Nationals and “Classmates choice” at my trade school class reunion. Nothing delights me more than going for a ride or to a car show in my ’59 with my wife of 44 years. Sharing the interest that family and friends have in my old F-100 pick up is “Priceless”.
Roger Musick Abingdon, VA.