A few weeks ago, I got curious about the cars of Glen Grosenbach, my dad. So I asked him if he could remember all the cars he ever owned, and he said he thought so and proceeded to list them. It was like rolling back the years. Thanks, Dad!
My dad (Glen) bought his FIRST car in 1946. It was a 1931 Graham Paige 4-door, bright blue with white sidewall tires and wheels with yellow spokes. It had separate headlamps mounted on the fenders. He found it at a used car lot and paid $100. He was 19 years old. Looks like it would be fun to drive, doesn’t it?
A year later, he traded it in for his SECOND car, a 1935 Ford Coupe, which was a black 2-door, and he put in a 1946 Mercury V-8 engine. He got married that same year. Within three years he had a family that included me and my younger brother Blake. I don’t remember the Ford Coupe.
In 1952, Glen got orders to Guam with the Navy, so he bought his THIRD car, a 1941 Chevrolet that was a 4-door family car with a 6-cylinder engine.
I remember the car before and after it was painted: it started out maroon on Guam, and my dad had it painted green, which made it look brand new. The big event for our family on Guam was that my brother Doug was born.
After we sailed back to the States and went to Idaho to see family, Glen bought his FOURTH car from his father-in-law Olin Myers. It was a gray 1946 (or ‘47) Packard that had 8 cylinders in a straight line instead of a V. Glen drove the Packard with the family to his next duty station, Long Beach, California, where my sister Marla was born. Two years later, he got orders to St. Louis, Missouri.
In January of 1958, the month that my youngest brother Dan was born, Glen toured the Chevrolet auto plant in St. Louis and purchased a 1957 Chevrolet, his FIFTH car, with part of his re-enlistment bonus. (Another part went to his amateur radio. He’s had several call signs – his current one is K7MIY.) The Chevy was two-toned coral and ivory, with 4 doors and plenty of room for the family, which now had five kids. From St. Louis, he moved us to Bainbridge, Maryland, where he was stationed for only a few months.
In 1960, Glen drove the family to Waukegan, Illinois, where he was attached to the Great Lakes Naval Station. I remember the ’57 Chevy well because it was the car I drove when I got my driver’s license.
In 1965, Glen got orders to Mobile, Alabama, where he was attached to the USS Arlington. I think he and my mom decided it was time to let the family live near our grandparents, so he drove us to Caldwell, Idaho, and left us the Chevy. In Mobile, he bought his SIXTH car, a 1946 junker for getting to and from work.
While in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1967, Glen bought a his SEVENTH car, another 1957 Chevrolet, this one a V8 Impala the same color as the first one. The next year, while stationed for the third time at Great Lakes, Illinois, he bought his EIGHTH car, his third 1957 Chevy. I can’t remember ever seeing a photo of the three ’57s together.
In 1969, Glen got orders to duty in Taiwan, so he sold the three Chevys. In Waukegan, he bought his NINTH car, a blue 1964 Chevy 2-door, which he had shipped to Taiwan.
Glen retired from the Navy in 1971 and bought his TENTH car, a blue-and-white 1964 Chevy, this one a 4-door which he later sold to his son Dan. Glen started his second career driving tour buses and bought his ELEVENTH vehicle, a 1961 Chevy pickup for commuting to work at the charter bus company in Seattle.
Glen continued his driving career in 1972 after he and the family moved to Idaho, where he bought his TWELFTH vehicle, a new 1972 Chevy truck, a 2-ton travel trailer transport. He sold it two years later.
In 1975, he bought his THIRTEENTH CAR, a big, brownish 1969 Plymouth with automatic transmission.
The next year, he bought his FOURTEENTH car, a 1978 Chevy van that seated 8 people and had an extra-long baggage area. He later sold it to his granddaughter Jana and her husband Nate. (Jana is pictured below with her brother Geoff.)
The Eighties to Present
Glen bought his FIFTEENTH car, a white 1989 Celebrity, in 1993 and later sold it to his grandson Andrew. In 2005, he bought his SIXTEENTH CAR, a silver Chevy Impala, which he still drives.
At one time, he also had a camper and a boat trailer, but I didn’t get the dates.
Happy 90th Birthday, Dad!
Readers, thanks for taking time to stop by today. Which of your dad’s cars stands out in your mind?
Posted on December 13, 2016