I have always remembered that classic scene from "American Graffiti" where Suzanne Somers got her big break as the mystery blonde in the white convertible....
|Suzanne Somers...."American Graffiti"|
So while living in L.A. back in 2000 when it was time to get a new car I decided on a convertible, a Chrysler Sebring JXI. The reason I am writing about it now is up until earlier this year I was STILL driving that car!
It was paid for in cash so I decided to keep it for as long as possible. I did not grow up with the kind of money where people just bought cars outright. "Paid for" meant no payments for as long as the car lasted. I did keep the car for as long as possible, for 13 years! It was garaged every day (you have to with a ragtop), and very well preserved because of it. As the years went on I would drive by other cars my model and year and every year they looked a little older, but not my Sebring!
Not long after driving my new baby off the lot all of those years ago I registered it with various casting companies because they sometimes like to book actors with certain cars. Convertibles are especially popular. I also registered it with Showmobiles Inc., Hollywood Picture Cars and Picture Vehicles who provide vehicles for film and TV.
|"Three Days In Vegas"....Tropicana Hotel, 2012|
After that me and my Sebring appeared in several TV shows and films together. I never kept track of my car's credits so I don't remember them all, but some of them were "Ocean's Eleven", "Rush Hour II", "Looney Tunes:Back in Action", "Paradise", and a Russian film, "Three Days in Vegas", (which was its last appearance).
|"Paradise"... on the set downtown Las Vegas 2012|
I had planned to keep the convertible and turn it into a classic, storing it after getting my new car, as I expected the time would soon come. One day not long ago, the Sebring blew a gasket, erupting into what looked like bright orange lava spewing from under the hood and forming a 30 foot trail in the driveway.
At that time I decided to let it go. I'm not really much of a tomboy and replacing the engine was not up my alley. So, rather than going that route I sold it to a thrilled mechanic who planned to give the engine an overhaul and sell it to someone else. I have to admit I actually cried a little that day. It was like saying goodbye to an old friend. A friend , however, who at least lives on in cinema history.
After a respectable "grieving period" the Sebring was replaced with a new set of wheels. Now I really am the blonde in the white convertible...and so a new chapter begins...