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Story ID:3768
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family Memories
Location:Andrews AFB Maryland USA
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By Fred Wickert

During my Air Force career I was stationed at Andrews Air Force base in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. I was in the 89th Security Police Squadron. The 89th had the responsibility of providing security for the White House Aircraft fleet including Air Force One and Air Force Two.

We worked in a restricted area on the flight line of the base. All vehicles had to be parked outside of the restricted area. From where the vehicles were parked, we walked through an entry control point and then to the Central Security Control to report for duty.

On my off duty time, I worked part time for a couple of small contractors on a variety of painting and carpentry jobs, and I also took small jobs on my own. I was in need of a vehicle to carry my tools and materials for the jobs, that was inexpensive to obtain and at the same time not going to be a great loss if it became damaged beyond repair.

I examined the want ad section in all of the area newspapers in search of such a vehicle. I found a Ford station wagon in Alexandria, Virginia advertised for $50 and went to see the vehicle. A friend came with me to see it..

When we checked out the vehicle we found that it had a badly damaged front fender and the battery was dead. I had some jumper cables with me and we were able to start the vehicle and drive it around the block. It needed a muffler and a fender but was otherwise in good condition. I bought the vehicle and drove it to my home in Brandywine, Maryland.

I bought a new battery and muffler for it. The friend that went with me said he knew a man that had a few old cars in a gravel pit. He believed that one of them might have a fender that fit my station wagon.

We went to see the man with the old cars, and took some tools with us. The man allowed us to go take a look. There was a car that the fender on it was the same as my car. I took off the fender. The man said $2 was enough and I gladly paid it. I mounted the fender on my car.

The result was slightly odd looking because the station wagon was a light blue in color and the fender was black. I got it registered on the Air Base and began driving it to work. I endured a considerable amount of good-natured ribbing from the men of the 89th, who were amused by it to say the least.

One night I was working the four to midnight shift. When I got off work that night and went to my car, I discovered some changes in the appearance of my car. In the long rear side windows of my station wagon, persons unknown to me had sprayed the windows with glass wax. After the glass wax dried, they had used their finger to letter the words, “Fred’s Luv Mobile.” Going along with the joke, I left it like that and drove the vehicle for several weeks with the “Luv Mobile” signs in the windows. It brought forth much laughter and many jokes from the men of the 89th, and I endured considerable good-natured ribbing. It was good for the morale of the troops.

Eventually the weather erased the majority of the glass wax and I took a rag and wiped off the rest of it. The jokes had died down as the men found other things to amuse them. They continued to refer to it as the “Luv Mobile” but were no longer making jokes about it.

The vehicle was probably the most cost effective vehicle I ever owned because of all the use I got out of it in addition to the good humor. For the price, it couldn’t be beaten. I used it for nearly a year when the transmission began slipping and I knew it soon had to go. The friend who went with me to get it and led me to the fender for it, had two old blue Ford station wagons of his own and I gave the vehicle to him to use for parts. I believe that he eventually did use the engine in one of the ones he had.

Photo #1 - Air Force One in the hangar. The nose of Air Force Two can also be seen.

Photo #2 - The author guarding Air force Two in the hangar.

Photo #3 - The Luv Mobile. Note the black front fender on thedrivers side.

Photo #4 - Aircraft #58970, back up for Air Force One in the hangar.

Photo #5 - Air force One, (Acft #26000) landing on her last flight at the Air Force Museum.