I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying some rather iconic rides – classic cars taught me a lot along the way, but oddly perhaps the most important lesson would be in how driving something that you identify with and relish is a very personal and satisfying thing. I am painfully aware of how it is a blessing few enjoy or allow themselves, and that more than a few family or friends would resent how I’ve had the pleasure. I wasn’t always good about taking pictures along the way and several memorable sets of wheels are now only in my memory and not in a scrap book, or an unread blog post.
Still I think it is worth an occasional fond remembrance by me. I recall blown tires, near misses dodging a cur dog running in front of me on the interstate, old days long gone of applying turtle wax while wearing cutoff jeans that now I would be embarrassed to be seen in, specs of black paint on the pickup after a friend and I blasted a old spray can with a shot gun before realizing it still had enough air in it to emit some paint after all, hauling my stuff to and from college during summer breaks pulling a uhaul full of now long gone junk, learning the hard way a time or two about brakes, coolant, blown header gaskets, etc.
It is sad to contemplate how many of these old life rafts are likely now in a junk yard. And sad but true it is hard for me to get too excited about modern automobiles of any kind. Sure I see a pretty mustang once every now and again, or a modern Challenger with a shaker hood scoop and more horsepower than anything I ever rode in … maybe 🙂 … But upon closer inspection I find plastic and control sway arms that look like pencils where once 1″ thick steel was not enough. I see pickup trucks with their rear ends lowered and low profile street tires on them with undercarriage fluorescent lighting beneath and sounding like roaring tennis ball cans carrying soda-pop and mostly I’m repulsed.
My daily driver is a 1969 Ford Bronco with 3 on the tree (look it up) and an old 302 I can largely understand, and I sometimes still miss an old 1922 Ford Model T I used to drive to work for a while. It wouldn’t go over 45 or so, and you had to manually swing the wiper blade if it was raining, but the old chitty chitty bang bang still makes me smile when I’m remembering.
I guess all in all, I’m just getting old.