I was so excited for the next step which was to go car shopping! I called up my dear friend from Crown Auto world (see post titled the Nutcracker) to see about possibly getting something there. His car lot sold new BMWs and Mercedes. Of course, that was out of my price range! So I would be checking out what was available on the used car lot. My dad went with me as he was the negotiator, and the test driver. They already had a vehicle ready for me to look at when I arrived. It was a 4-door, Metallic Blue, 91 Chevy Cavalier! My dad test drove it while I was sitting in the passengers seat. It drove very nice and smooth. The air conditioner worked really well, and the owners who had it before put in a really nice stereo system. A big thing also is that it did NOT have power steering, which was a great thing! Can you imagine my uncoordinated self trying to go in a straight line with power steering?? Me either:) ! I did not need to look any further. That was the car I wanted. So with little negotiation with the car salesman I got the car! I had been saving my money to be able to put a good down payment on it. I could not believe I had my own car.
I immediately called my voc rehab Counselor to find out what the next that step was to getting my car adapted. My dad took my car down to a place called Beesleys that handled mobility adaptions. They were going to put in the hand controls. They also showed me a device that would allow me to safely transport my wheelchair. It was called a chair topper. It kind of resembled a luggage rack on top of the car. It was a big box on top of the car, and it had a remote control with a wire that would run from the car battery to the box. The remote-control was very simple to operate. It was so easy even a caveman could do it! It had two buttons on it, one that said UP and one that said DOWN. When you pushed the DOWN button the box would slide out from the driver seat side. Dropping a chain down with a medal fork on the end of it, that you would attach to the seat of the wheelchair with. Then push UP on the remote-control, and the chain would start going up while folding the chair. After it got all the way up it would turn to the side with these brackets placing the chair inside the box, and out of the rain. It was a very cool thing. I had never seen one before.
Getting the money for it from the rehab, ordering the part's, not to mention the labor of doing it took close to a year to adapt the whole car. In the meantime my car became very familiar with the driveway. The hand controls were installed about six months later than about four months after that my chair topper was completed. When my hand controls were on I would drive around with my cousin Allen a lot. Having an extra vehicle made it nice for everyone in the household. A lot of my friends and family got a chance to drive the car.
I ended up driving for seven years. I definitely have more stories to share with you about my car and driving. I will do so when I get to it during that post. Now it is your time to share about your first vehicle?
Thanks for taking the time to read, Miss S