Frogs with Drive
Memories of the Hot Wheels TCU Horned Frogs drove back in the day.
I had some hot wheels when I was a student; I rode the 'blue streak,' my blue Honda 750 Nighthawk motorcycle. That wouldn't be so special, but being a woman and a middle-aged 'non-traditional' student, I turned a few heads from time to time. Back in the late '90s finding parking reasonably near my classes was always an issue. Since most of my classes were in Reed Hall, being able to park next to the little guardhouse by the Student Center wasn't so bad. In cold or wet weather, there were better means of transportation, of course, but most of the time it was a blast!
Andie Piehl '98
Very few students had a car in 1938-40. No parking problems! It was still Depression time in Texas. We walked, rode the city bus or hitch-hiked. One classmate had a small blue roadster called "Blue Hawaii." He would give a ride when he had money for gas. We managed to have parties, picnics and many kinds of fun that did not require automotive transportation.
Elisabeth Biser Jay '40
I needed a car to get to clinicals and home visits for nursing school. My daddy let me borrow a 1963 Cadillac that was as big as an ocean liner. It literally floated through the streets of Fort Worth to all the hospitals. I loved driving it, even though some streets were just too narrow for this monster car. One Halloween eight of us went to Dallas to see "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." One person could completely lie down in the back seat.
Dianne deMoville '79
I drove a '39 Chevrolet named Francis. It was a hand-me-down from my family. I had kept it clean and got to use it for dates. I won a bet that I could go faster in first gear than my friend could. I got 30 mph compared to his 27 mph, and won an ice cream float.
Charles Matney '54
When I was a sophomore I purchased a black '65 Olds Cutlass 442. It was quite fast and made more than one pass down Stadium Drive at full throttle. It survived many a weekend at the three drag strips in the Fort Worth area, as well as dates with cute TCU co-eds.
Jim Jones '67
I had a 1957 Opel Rekord, one of the worst cars ever to come out of Germany. I named it Bay-Roo because of the sound it made when you pressed the horn and flipped the switch between city and country horns. Bay-Roo had the audacity to die on the campus parking lot and I left him there for the summer. TCU sent me several threatening letters. When a friend "rescued" the car (towed it to me) it turned over on the Waco traffic circle, caught fire and destroyed itself and his car.
David Digby '68
My freshman year some 10 or 12 of us each pitched in $5 to purchase a 1932 Dodge. It had four wheels but no engine. We took turns inviting our dates to go for a ride. The car was always parked alongside the tennis courts. Once in the car, the breaks were released and it would gently roll down the road to the stadium. After a few hours of courting, we'd walk our dates back to Foster or Waits Hall. The next morning, 10 or 12 of us would push the car back to the tennis courts to await the next adventure. Our sophomore year, someone came up with the idea of renting the car. We each had our investment back within a month.
Richard Roden '55
I had a '77 Chevy Malibu called "The Sponge Mobile." Don't ask. I loved that I installed a booming stereo when they were just starting to be cool. Now I can't stand them.
Jay Nelson '90
I never had a car at TCU, but thankfully, my roommate Sarah did. You could spot that car in the DMC lot from a mile away. It was an old white Toyota with a black bra and a missing hubcap. We went everywhere together in that car. It might not have been the greatest set of wheels, but Sarah was like a human Mapquest íV we never got lost.
Jennifer Santini '04
I drove a 1972 mustard-colored Chevrolet Vega hatchback. I called it Fred. It was my first car, and I loved it because it made me feel "grown up" at last. I also loved its pukey color íV so much more unique than blue or white. My aunt bought it for me and I seem to remember it cost $3,000. Can that be right?
Judy Hammonds Winston '73
I had a 1937 black four-door La Salle sedan. The "Toni Gang Car." Drove to Austin in three hours and 20 minutes before the interstate was opened.
Wm. L. "Bill" Hill '53
I had a 1974 canary yellow Volkswagon bug. It was made the year I was born. I called it the "tweety bug" because it was the same color as Tweety Bird. My bug revved so loud that other cars always tried to race me.
Dionne Adkinson '00
I had a 1953 Chevrolet sport coupe for the first two years at TCU and a 1956 Chevrolet sports sedan the last two years (my father was a Chevrolet dealer). Both were good, fun cars. When Jerry and I started dating during my freshman year, I didn't tell him I had a car for many months. I wanted to be sure he wasn't attracted just to my car!
Duskey Sodders Mallory '58
I had a 1948 white Packard 4-door. It had a GMC truck engine and we called it the "White Bathtub." We could seat four couples and surprise a lot of cars from the stoplight. It was as fast with eight people inside as with one.
Bill Parrish '61
I had a 1973 VW Super Beetle I called it the "Peace Mobile." A peace sign was spray-painted on it.
Ben Harris '84
I drove a '55 Ford pickup. No radio or heater. Had to park on the street because I did not want to spare the money for a parking permit. It would be an antique now, but then it was only six years old.
Charles Ellis '65
I drove a red 1962 Rambler Classic, formerly driven by Mitzi Tade, daughter of Dean George Tade and now wife of Vice Chancellor Don Mills. I still remember being driven to the courthouse by Tade to transfer title in his checker automobile. The car cost $250. It was good, cheap transportation. The right door did not close properly and lost a few passengers. It took a lot of abuse but always ran and was frequently seen in the parking lot at the stadium on Friday and Saturday nights.
Glenn E. Johnson '73
I drove a 1954 Chevy Bel Air two-door. We called her "Old Blue." The most memorable feature of Old Blue was the broken radio antenna, replaced by a potato stuck on the broken-off stem. It really worked, too. I got great reception íV I just had to replace the potato every week. You could always recognize Old Blue and her potato parked outside the Theta house.
Judi Harmount Lane '66
I had the cool caddy, literally. It was a 1984 blue Cadillac sedan DeVille, complete with leather seats and no air conditioning. It was quite the ride down to South Padre Island over spring break.
Catherine Fuss '96
I drove a 1991 Ford Mustang, white with old-school pop-up sunroof and a 4-banger engine that purred like a caged tiger. We called it White Lightning, or just "The Stang." That car was my first love besides my mom. It kinda smelled like Band-Aids.
John Knudsen '03
My TCU "wheels" were a green British racing 1966 Triumph Spitfire MK4 with a black removable hard top, which we called Rhonda. It was tiny and very, very sweet. My wife, Georgia '81, and I wed while at TCU, and we left the church in the Spitfire. Every time we tried to drive away, the groomsmen would pick up the rear of the little car so the tires wouldn't touch the street. While the hard top was off the Triumph it served as our coffee table in our equally tiny El Campo apartment.
Stan Richardson '73
I drove a 1965 white VW bug. Not air-conditioned and a 4-speed floor shift. The car was named Pflash and had class! It was fun to drive and Pflash was a great way to teach dates how to drive a manual transmission. I sold him in 1976 and wish to this day I still had him! My daughter starts TCU this fall and Pflash already would have known the campus.
Pepper Hitchcock '75
I drove a beat-up 1993 Honda Accord with 205,000 miles on it. It also sported a sticker on the back windshield that said "God bless John Wayne."
Mike Miller '05
A 1959 two-door white Chevy Impala named The Wing.
Ken Williams '63
I had a 1966 Mustang that was yellow with a black vinyl roof. I felt very sporty in my car.
Susan Butsch '71
I had a '67 Corvair that was my dad's pride and joy that he loaned me. It was a standard with no AC but I was excited to have wheels. The boys seemed to like it a lot more than my sorority sister, who refused to ride with me. My dad must have loved me to loan me his favorite car.
Nancy (Sumner) Froman '86,'89
A 1967 chevy Camaro convertible. Metallic blue, white top, 4-speed manual, 350cc engine. My roommate, Doug Harbison, had a convertible Olds and we would spend the weekends out on the streets looking for ...
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We would usually end up at the stables with the same crowd playing quarters, go by Spencer's Corner and then back to Hildring Manor after a late run through Jack in the Box. Of course, we would stop at that bar on Bluebonnet Circle just to see what was going on.
Dale Hetzler '76
My dad bought me a brand new 1986 Buick Skyhawk, a great car but looked a little out of place next to a yellow Corvette and a black BMW on move-in day.
LaShaunn Bold '90
A 1966 yellow Mustang sedan with a black vinyl interior. My parents gave it to me in June 1966 as a high school graduation gift. I loved that car. I thought I looked good in it since I'm a blonde. We sold it to a maternal uncle of my husband's in 1987. The uncle passed away, but his widow still has the car.
Susan Bond Butsch '71
An old brown Studebaker. It was borrowed a lot. When I drove it to El Chico on Berry, it sometimes wouldn't start. Had to call my brother and friends on campus to push it down the street. We called it "chew tobacco."
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