When I was a tyke, we had this obscure Italian car called a Facel Vega. My dad was one of those guys who liked to have everything different and unique, that no other man in town, the the state, in the COUNTRY would have. So we got this car, dubbed "The Batmobile" immediately by the neighborhood kids which chagrined my dad to no end. It was shiny shiny black, had a lovely soft leather and burled wood interior, and smelled fancy.

It also had "suicide doors," which if you don't know the term, were doors that were rear-hinged with no center pillar. This ironically-named feature had an interesting quirk in our car: once it got up to around 50 - 55 mph. the doors would sometimes suddenly FLY OPEN. Of course, I found this fantastic. I can remember my mother screeching for us all to scoot to the middle of the seat (I don't remember if it had seat belts, but we were never asked to wear them ever) while she slowed and pulled over. We would laugh like idiots. I think she tried to tie the doors shut with some twine or something. Ralph Nader would've lost his shit over this car, eh?

So, clearly the ol' Facel Vega was just not going to be able to stick around as a FAMILY CAR. Despite the incredibly obvious problem of a child falling out of the vehicle like a spicy meatball down the highway, my dad still pouted when he had to sell it. I have no idea who he pawned it off too. I'm not sure of the market in Wisconsin then for Batmobiles with exploding doors.

The day he pulled up at home with the coppery brown Ford station wagon that was the Facel Vega's replacement, he was not smiling. My mother was, though.