In love with my Lincoln

I’m not exactly sure when my love affair with old luxury cars began. It could have been when Daddy bought the 1955 Cadillac. At the age of 16, I was ready to drive, couldn’t wait, actually, and Daddy put me behind the wheel of that big blue and white Caddie. I loved it. That car practically drove itself and had every convenience known to man at that time. Of course, it wasn’t new. The Nicholses couldn’t afford new cars, but that didn’t bother us. We did like dependable though, and the Cadillac was. The fact that it was nine years old when Daddy bought it mattered little one way or another. The rules of the road for teenagers learning to drive were different back then. I practiced all over the dirt roads along the Bell Telephone Road in Jeff Davis County; Daddy was pleased with my progress, but the Caddie starting acting up: he saw expensive repairs in its near future. One weekend, I was in the hospital with appendicitis, and Daddy traded the best of all cars for a Rambler with a stick shift. I had to learn all over again. No more such cars came my way for many a year but come they did.

Somewhere along about 2002, two deer ran into my Buick Le Sabre over on Highway 23. They crashed headfirst into the front of my car, committing suicide, and totaling my car. My eldest grandson, Stuart, said quite stoically, “Grandma, I think the deer did you a favor in the long run. You’ve been needing a new car for some time now.”

Apparently, he wasn’t old enough at the time to understand the Ellises’ philosophy of car ownership. We were and are still firm believers in getting our money’s worth from any car we buy, and I had planned to drive that Buick for a while more—a long while more.

The next week found us car shopping, which I hate with a passion. We got lucky rather quickly over in Vidalia though. Some state senator had traded in a luxury Mercury Grand Marquis, and it sat waiting in all its glory just for us. We drove that car to about 270,000 miles. Talk about getting our money’s worth. We did. No deer interfered that time. They had hit it once but fortunately not so hard that it couldn’t be repaired. I’d probably still be driving it if Josh hadn’t begged me not to drive it to Virginia with all those miles on it. He was worried. He finally whined so much that I bought another one just like it—same beautiful silver-gray color and easy riding for 600 miles or more. Most of my cronies didn’t even realize I’d changed vehicles, even when they rode with me.

Thank God and Tim Berners-Lee for the internet. You can’t just run out to the local car lot and find a specific old car with low mileage. You can find any new one you want and lots of them, but we were shopping for an old one with fewer miles. They are out there but sometimes hard to find. Our luck and GPS took us to Warner Robins and there it was. I drove it home; Larry drove the one with the high mileage. I’ve been driving it for a while now, but this time it was no deer. It was my dear grandson who totaled my poor Mercury. Thank God, he wasn’t hurt. Again, we went scouring the internet, but no Mercuries appeared to meet our criteria: no accidents, low mileage, and good looking.

This time it appeared in the form of a Lincoln town car up in Gainesville, Georgia. Its mileage was a mere 72,000, its champagne color pristine inside and out, and not one accident ever. It spent most of its life in the garage. There was my car. My dear friend Joy drove us north for hours to get my car but buy it we did, and I love it. So far, it’s everything I expected and more. I hope to drive it for many years, and I can’t think of any reason why I can’t if I can keep it away from the deer and the grandsons. We’ve discussed purchasing a couple of bicycles to keep here for the boys to drive when they visit. Of course, living out in Georgia’s backwoods makes close encounters with deer rather likely at some time or other. All I can do is try, but I sure do enjoy cruising down the highway in my Lincoln. I anticipate many, many miles behind its steering wheel. Besides, these cars aren’t getting any easier to find. I might have to drive to Colorado next time.

You may reach me at maryann@baxnews.com.