Personal website of Jack Marvin

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1969 Pontiac Tempest

1969 Pontiac Tempest

1969 Pontiac Tempest

The girl I was living with had a 1969 Pontiac Tempest that I drove often. That thing was beat to hell. One rainy night I slid into a big deep ditch but just powered through the mud and water, sliding up and down the sides.

When I saw the "end of the line" approaching, I punched it and powered up the muddy bank and back onto the road. I took shelter at a quiet convenience store and pulled twenty feet of hazard flags out from under the car. When we tore that engine apart, it had three broken pushrods and a missing lifter but it got you there. Later I found out what a Pontiac GTO was, and that a Tempest was basically the same car. That made it a little cool. Ultimately, the demise of that car was to salvage parts and push it down to the nearest fire hydrant. We were positive the city would tow it within hours or days but it sat there for weeks. Eventually some young teenagers showed up and asked if they could have it. The keys and title were in the glovebox I told them. About twenty minutes later I saw them pushing it down the road.

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We are all but recent leaves on the same old tree of life and if this life has adapted itself to new functions and conditions, it uses the same old basic principles over and over again. There is no real difference between the grass and the man who mows it. ~Albert Szent-Gyorgyi