We had our share of cars growing up, but most of them were fuel efficient four cylinder cars that did very little in terms of excitement. This was the nineteen seventies and gas lines were quite common. Then my father bought the 72 Chevy Malibu. I remember how excited my dad was to drive it. When we were in the car together and we had a straight away with no turns or traffic, he would look at me and say “let’s punch it” and then floor it. Tires would spin as we waited for the moment that traction occurred, then like a rocket we shot down the road. My dad would slow down after 80 miles per hour, but was it exhilarating.
That was a great experience to have with my dad, but my Mom and I had those special moments too. She would say “hang on” and then she would floor it. The difference is that my Mom did not look all that comfortable with that kind of raw power, but she liked it every bit as much as my dad did. the only difference was that I felt a whole lot safer driving with dad. But that gave me a new perspective on my mom and women in general. I just assumed that they would not like the adrenaline rush, but when my mom chose the time and was in control, she was all in.
I remember turning 16 and getting to drive it. of course I punched it and I was a little shocked at how the steering controls were not a good marriage with the power. The steering was so much different then the little four cylinders. I assumed that with the power in the Malibu that it would have to have even better steering. It did not and that kept me from pushing the envelope on that car.
I also remember on more than one occasion that the steering fluid had run out. I did not know that at the time, but I could barely turn the wheel to crawl home one night. That did teach me the importance of proper upkeep of vehicles, because neglect can ruin a great car.
The Malibu I would love to drive again, but mostly for the nostalgia of it. it would transport back to a much younger me and that would be a fun little journey.