The 65 Imperial first published @

Dad purchased a used 1965 Imperial in the summer of 1974. Did he take it to the Body Shop to be repainted a nice sleek tan color? Of course not! He had four children; ages 12 to 19 that could help him strip and paint it.

They stripped the “yuck” off using fine sandpaper and a tone ribbed sandpaper to smooth out the top layer. It took a lot to get the ugly heavy dark black color off.

After all the paint was taken removed, two primer coats had to be gotten off too. The final layer of smooth Earth Dirt Shade was brushed on carefully. If there were any bubbles or brush marks noticed, Dad made us re-sand and re-do the paint job in that area. After a couple of times, one learned how to do it correctly.



It seemed like hard work at the time painting the car, but I will always remember that Earth Dirt Shade. My brother Keith liked the term Russet but I like the term Earth Dirt Shade. Along with the painting lessons, we took away the enjoyment of team dynamics. We cemented our family-hood of sibling-hood through by working together to achieve a goal on a pre-vacation task. We understood that if we did not do the painting of the car, there would be no vacation. All of this from painting a car the color of dirt.

Then came the long awaited vacation. By painting the Imperial and buying a 65, we saved enough to go to Mount Rushmore and the South Dakota Black Hills. We stopped at grocery stores to get things to make our dinners and used an ice chest. These few corners cut allowed us to have a vacation and form familial bonds along with special memories most of my friends missed. I remember sanding the Imperial, but right along with it goes the summer vacation where all my cousins envied me for having a father that let us do neat things they never got to do. I really see how much of a sacrifice our parents made for us. They could have bought new cars, left us with grandma and gone on vacation without us, like most of our friends did.

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