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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Toyota Cubs Van, Circa 1987

I just took my oldest son to get his drivers’ permit.  So I feel old.  I let him pull into the driveway and, quite frankly, I have never been so nervous about a car ride that covered less than 75 feet.  Good for him though, as I thought back wistfully to that bundle of freedom and responsibility that accompanied becoming a licensed driver.

I was on the verge of getting my license way back in 1987.  According to my drivers’ education instructor, driving was privilege, not a right.  Bah.  Not only was I destined to drive, I already had my car picked out.  It was beautiful and I had no doubt I would be THE coolest kid in high school when I pulled up. 

I had a frank discussion with my parents that a new car for the family was going to be necessary and a minivan was the perfect choice.  “Just think about how much easier your lives will be letting me drive all over and run errands for you!” 

My dad scoffed, “Buick does not make any of those new-fangled minivans.  Nice try.”  So I subtly suggested Toyota.  I am not sure that I remember my dad ever laughing so hard. 

Ace up my sleeve, I casually whipped out my Cubs gift catalog and directed his attention to the back cover.  Featured there was not just any Toyota van; it was THE COOLEST VAN EVER. 


“That’s not a Buick!” he just howled.  “Could you even fit a sheet of drywall in that thing?”  Wow, that did not go down like I had expected.  But it's a Super Van!  It's the rage of the auto industy!

So when it came time to trade in the LeSabre, you’ll never guess what we got.  This mad sexy beast:


In retrospect, the maroon and wood-paneled Buick Electra Estate Wagon was probably a better choice for the family.  I can’t help but wonder, though, if anyone bought the Cubs van and how much better their lives were because of it.    

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