Jul 102011

My first car was a 1977 Volkswagen Rabbit. It was a 4 door green. It was a car that my dad had bought before when he was living in Denver after he totaled his Ford Pinto. When he moved to Oklahoma it was there and sat in the garage for years. I think that a gasket or rod was blown in the engine or something like that. Anyway, His graduation gift to me was he took the car into Wilsons VW salvage and repair in Lexington. They replaced the engine with an 86 VW Fox 1.8 liter. Wilsons was an icon in Lexington. It was a huge salvage yard for Volkswagens, had a VW bug on top of it’s sign, and Leroy Wilson built a black widow spider and planted it just north of the shop where a now long gone ¼ mile round speedway was. I have fond memories of that place. Leroy Wilson died in 2000. His daughter tried to keep the business alive for a while before she gave up and closed the business down. Sadly a lot of the parts and cars that were in the salvage area got destroyed along with.

After the business closed, a used car dealership sprang up in its place. They kept the VW bug on top of the sign and kept the building intact, so the place was still there. The car dealership lasted for a few years, but it closed down as well. Since then the shell of a building has stood there as a memory of my childhood’s past. A monument of how things were, and the landmark that I was getting close to grandma and grandpas house.

Well, on Friday on my way to work I decided to head on down to the post office to check my mail, and near where the bug sign was I saw big hauler trucks and bulldozers and emptiness where I thought Wilsons once stood. I thought it seemed strange to see emptiness there but wasn’t really paying attention to where I was at, so I didn’t confirm it in my head that is what had happened. Saturday night I drove by the place on my way home from work, and all that remains is the sign.

I hope the sign doesn’t go. It would be sad to see that bug in the sky gone. Luckily the land that the speedway was on was bought by a church and the pastor kept the iconic black widow bug in place and intact.

I had fond memories in that Rabbit. It was my first car. I had a lot of other firsts in that car as well. The big problem was that since it sat around for so long everything around the engine started to fall apart and it was a big money pit. I finally decided to get rid of it when I wore the breaks down so much that it no longer breaked. In order for me to fix it would have cost me $800 or so. I gave up on her. I shouldn’t have. I really should have kept it.

I think I am going to start looking and buy myself another Rabbit and work on rebuilding it and restoring it. It will be Babs II. I really do miss that car. It was a lot of fun to drive.