Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014
Out and about

McNally: Father, daughter car enthusiasts


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My daughter, Sharon, is a bit of a car enthusiast like me. When she became old enough to get her driver’s license at age 16, she couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel. She was so anxious that she went for her driver’s license test on the day of her birthday and passed on the first attempt.

She had also picked the car she wanted to be her first — a Pontiac Fiero because that seemed to be the “hot” car with the high school set.

Of course, like any good dad whose daughter has him wrapped around her little finger, we started our search together to find a nice Pontiac Fiero. We found one listed for sale in the newspaper and promptly went to see it. It was an 1986 red Fiero with an automatic transmission and high performance V-6 engine.

She instantly fell in love with the car and I must say that I really liked it too. We made a deal for the Fiero and drove it home. Sharon was in her glory — new driver with a hot car — but probably not the wisest decision I have made, considering she was a new driver with a hot car.

The Fiero is a mid-engine sports car that was built by General Motors Pontiac division from 1984 to 1988. It was the first two-seater from Pontiac since the 1926 to 1938 coupes and also the first and only mass-produced mid-engine sports car by a U.S. manufacturer. The unique style of the Fiero compared to other American cars created a bit of a cult following which obviously appealed to high school teenagers and, in particular, my daughter.

Sharon, also like me, is an aggressive driver. Well, with all of the excitement of now driving and all of this performance power at her fingertips, it didn’t take long for her to get a speeding ticket — then another one and another. After three tickets, we told her that if she got one more, we were going to suspend her driving privileges for a month. One evening we came home and, sure enough there were Sharon’s car keys, driver’s license and another ticket on the kitchen counter.

The state also put her on probation for 9 months and, just as she was without a ticket for almost 9 months, she would get another and her probation would be extended for another 9 months. This went on for several cycles until she finally went off probation. After a few years, we sold the Fiero. Sharon owned several cars after that she really liked but none were quite like the Fiero.

Now, more than 20 years later, Sharon still has a passion for cars but she owns a foreign make, which I will not mention. Her husband, Chris, has a Hummer which she loves to drive. Since she is an aggressive driver and doesn’t have a lot of patience when driving, I think one day when she gets in back of a slow-poke driver, she will run right over them in the Hummer.

Upcoming events:

June 20: Friday Night Thunder cruise-in at 5 p.m. in Courthouse Square in downtown Inverness.

Ken McNally is a car enthusiast from Citrus County and his Car Corner columns appear twice each month in the Hernando Today. He can be contacted via email at kenmcnally@tampabay.rr.com or by phone at (352) 341-1165.

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