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1963 Buick Skylark

Golden Gate Vista
March 1998

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I spotted the '63 Buick in the parking lot of the McDonald's on Mission. I was giving it the eye, like I always do with those old 60s coupes. Jen walked up and took in the eggplant color. "If you're ever going to get one, this is the one."

That night, the owner and I took it for a spin. He was maybe in his 70s. I was nursing it through the side-streets of Rincon Valley, cruising at about 25. No way to tell, since the speedometer doesn't work.

"Go ahead, step on it. She can take it."

I leaned a little heavier on the accelerator, taking it up to maybe 30 or 35.

"No, I mean, really step on it. This car's pussy!"

I didn't know what he meant by that; still don't. But a half hour later, I owned it.