The first one is always the best one, the not to be forgotten one.

Mine was light blue with a dent just above the driver’s side headlight that could light up the tops of trees as you drove – that is if there were trees to see in the neighborhood. Two doors and bucket seats with a chrome shifter in the middle – 327/350 engine, 4-barrel carb, and a Chevy nameplate.

Ten bucks would get you a set of plugs and points and with some borrowed tools and a timing light, you do your best streetside tuneup. After a final twist of a screwdriver at the top of the engine, you grab the linkage with a hooked thumb, pumping the engine revs up and down to make it sound like the carburetor could suck the clouds out of the sky. Knees braced hard against the fender and your head down just under the hood, you listen to its throaty ache and your need to drive.

Folding up a soaked rag, you scrub the engine down to the signature red paint, tap the air filter against the sidewalk to clean it out, then button it all up for a Saturday night. Under the blue fluorescent streetlamp, the chrome strips and waxed paint could easily blind an impatient 17 year old.

Then you get in with your favorite girl in the seat next to you, her brunette hair tied into a whip on the back of her head, the windows down and the humid, summer air fighting its way inside. The look in your girl’s eyes, the feel of the wheel in your hands….

You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere

Anyplace is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we’ll make something
But me myself I got nothing to prove

You got a fast car
And I got a plan to get us out of here
I been working at the convenience store
Managed to save just a little bit of money
We wont have to drive too far
Just cross the border and into the city
You and I can both get jobs
And finally see what it means to be living

You see my old mans got a problem
He live with the bottle thats the way it is
He says his body’s too old for working
I say his body’s too young to look like his
My mama went off and left him
She wanted more from life than he could give
I said somebody’s got to take care of him
So I quit school and that’s what I did

You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so we can fly away
We gotta make a decision
We leave tonight or live and die this way

I remember we were driving driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
And I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
And we go cruising to entertain ourselves
You still aint got a job
And I work in a market as a checkout girl
I know things will get better
You’ll find work and I’ll get promoted
We’ll move out of the shelter
Buy a big house and live in the suburbs

You got a fast car
And I got a job that pays all our bills
You stay out drinking late at the bar
See more of your friends than you do of your kids
I’d always hoped for better
Thought maybe together you and me would find it
I got no plans I ain’t going nowhere
So take your fast car and keep on driving

You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so you can fly away
You gotta make a decision
You leave tonight or live and die this way

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