The “uppermost Chevrolet”
It’s sort of interesting to consider the factors that might affect a person’s predisposition or outright fanaticism for a particular brand of vehicle. One such factor that I think often plays a role in adulthood perceptions is childhood experiences.

For me it did. Please allow me to share a little personal background to explain.

While it’s hard to pinpoint which car I’d consider most influential in my life, there’s no denying that the car I spent most of my youth being shuttled around in ranks near the top.

It’s hard to separate trips to the mountains and beaches, to school and out for pizza from the car those events routinely took place in. Being a part of some of my greatest memories, that soulless machine seemed almost a member of the family at times. It carried our Christmas trees home and took us on trips across state lines. It hauled mounds of laboriously collected newspapers to recycle centers for summer money then to the arcades and toy stores to spend it. My parents even took us to a drive-in movie in it, with the seats folded down and the rear window and gate wide open. (We saw The Muppet Movie, in 1979.)

Between the familiar roar of its massive engine and cozy interior nooks I’d staked out on hours-long trips, that wagon really did seem a part of the family.

Getting back to my original point, my family, including aunts and uncles, pretty much bought GM. That, combined with good experiences, no doubt created a soft spot in me for its brands. When I was born, my dad was driving a 1965 Pontiac LeMans that he’d bought new. My mom, had a 1967 Chevelle 396 SS. I remember the LeMans but barely the SS. That’s because, around 1978, when I was six, my parents decided to trade the SS 396 in for the Caprice Estate station wagon. It wasn’t a total loss, they kept the LeMans.

By the early 1980s, however, they were ready to trade in the LeMans for something more efficient. My dad asked my older brother and me if either was interested in it, for a first car. After snickering we made it clear–thanks, but no. One word: oi.

In my defense, at the time it was just another 15 year old car that represented old styles and outdated ideas, at least to a ten year old. Unfortunately, I was too starry-eyed over what was coming from Japan and, to a lesser extent, Europe. I failed to see the LeMans as an heirloom with the potential to be a classic. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a series of pictures of the SS or LeMans, but I did of the Caprice Estate wagon.

The pictures aren’t the greatest quality but most of that is attributable to the equipment I was using and the fact I was a complete novice. I was a kid.

But, you can see my interest in cars was there. What other ten year old would have photographed the details of the family’s Brady-style wagon? (Okay, so you probably have to be from my generation to understand that last comment.)

Click on the thumbnails below to see larger versions.

1975 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon front1975 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon rear1975 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon right rear1975 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon profile left1975 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon int - front left1975 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon int - IP left1975 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon int - IP center1975 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon int - IP right1975 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon int - rear left1975 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon int - rear right

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