Buttercup, born in 1973, languished in a dealership parking lot when her previous owner decided she was a tired old lady not worthy of the time and effort to keep her on the road. When I first saw her picture it was like an “internet dating photo.” She was beautiful and looked full of life with crisp lines, sparkling paint and struck a pose to die for. It was love at first sight and I was determined that she would be mine.
For our first encounter I nervously looked around the lot until I could see a small slither of yellow paint poking out from under a nasty blue tarp covered in moss and mold, her owner slid off the tarp, cursing under his breath, as the stale stinking liquid concealed within it soaked his clean shirt and pants. Looking at her, my heart sank; she was not the lady in the photograph. Not being one to judge a book by its cover, I approached her and with a click and a whir she tried to speak, at first a wheeze and a splutter, then a distinguished murmur of desperation as she ignited the fire in her belly and sang out for a few brief moments, loud and proud were my thoughts. She was begging me, just like a dog at the pound, to take her home and love her. My heart melted, within minutes she was on a trailer and heading for home and the promise of new adventurous times in my life had begun.
The first few months, like any relationship, were hard. We struggled with our efforts to work together. Her stubbornness to release any part of her body, especially her heart, caused many bruises, cuts and grazed knuckles, all I was trying to do was ease her joints and give her new make-up so that we could both enjoy the open road and wind in our hair, this without having to call a tow truck or looking like we had just escaped from the junk yard. Eventually she relented and allowed me to do my best with her; she got new oil, new ignition, new plugs, new brakes, new interior, and new paint. Now I am not the best at this but learnt a lot on the way, especially her reluctance to hold her bodily fluids and her sudden and usually totally unjustified reasons for refusing to sing those glorious notes from her pipes. Using that great tool the internet to seek out information and possible remedies, I have finally decided that that “Buttercup is possessed by The Prince of Darkness” none other than Mr. Lucas himself.
With all her little faults I was still in love with the promise of adventure and the wind in my hair. It was time to make things legal, so with the blessings of the local DMV we finally got to experience the open road. She handled it well, loved the corners, loved the mountains and especially the Blue Ridge park way. Last summer we spent a lot of time cruising along at sedate speeds, but now and again she just wanted to be let free to do what she enjoyed, leaving little rubber trying to recreate the curves of her cute rear, her way of leaving her mark on the world. During these little excursions we were both admirers. I think this attention went to her head, she thought she was a celebrity, often stopping, well breaking down really, making me raise her bonnet so that people could see her innermost secrets and making an exhibition of herself.
During the winter Buttercup needed major surgery, her gear box just refused to select anything, may be too much rubber left on the road, maybe I just treated her a little too roughly, but she still sings like an angel and soon very soon we will be out seeking admirers, anticipating the chase and maybe leaving a little less rubber on the road. Next year Buttercup will be 40 and I am sure that she will be out trying to impress her older cousins with her more modern stylish looks and her younger cousins with her amazing sounds and surprising turn of speed, for her age of course. She makes me smile, and curse at times, but I wouldn’t change a thing, she is the essence of fund and had introduced me to so many good friends, shown me the most beautiful sights but most of all it’s her personality, her cute ways of letting me know if she is happy or sad, raring to go or just wants to cruise, wither way she always gets the looks and reveals in the attention. Now she is that internet photo love at first sight, well it happens sometimes.