The car that my brother Jimmy and I learned to drive on was my Dad’s 1966 silver blue Ford Mustang with a 289 engine. We loved that car.

However, we loved even more the 1972 Dodge Challenger which became the first car that Jimmy and I bought. Dad actually got the car, if I remember, but Jimmy and I togethImage may contain: car, sky and outdoorer made the payments during our college days. I think the car sold for $3250. A man had bought it and taken it back to the dealer after a month or so and then we got it. It was practically brand new. It was a tomato-red Challenger with a black vinyl roof and black interior (see picture). We had to put a Sears hang-on air conditioner in it. It was a true man’s car — a muscle car even though it only had a 318 engine which was the smallest they put in Challengers in those days.

A few years later, when Jimmy left to go to seminary, we could no longer share the Challenger so I paid Jimmy $1000 for his half of the car at that point. He bought a huge Pontiac Bonneville. On the day he married Eileen, I put shaving cream all over that Bonneville with messages, sardines on the engine block, a sympathy card under the windshield wiper, and clanking stuff tied to the back of the car. I remember my Mom not being happy with that bit of shenanigans.

I kept the Challenger for 22 years selling it just before I moved from Texas to Pennsylvania in 1994. I put two rebuilt engines in it along the way. It had well over 200,000 miles on it. I sold it to a Charismatic Prosperity Theology guy who drove up in front of my house in a $60,000 Jaguar. I asked him if he wanted to trade. He laughed as he said no. He let me sit in his Jaguar. It was like an F-16 cockpit to my mind. But as he drove off with my Challenger, I stood in the middle of the street and cried just a bit.

Looking back, that Challenger was one more thing that Jimmy and I shared for a few years. It was part of the partnership that God had given to the two of us. I have many pictures of that Challenger. Now, when I look at them, I will always think a little more about Jimmy.