As most people who read my blog already know, I love the automobile. From the smell of a new interior to the feel of a vintage, wooden steering wheel between my fingers, I am simply infatuated with the automobile and still find myself daydreaming like a little child about the next time I can get behind the wheel of “something special.” Spending my high school years in rural Wisconsin with my best friend Tim, who learned his wrench-turning skills from his father, I spent a lot of time looking at cars along the rural roadsides and tucked away in barns.
I will openly admit that in it’s stock form, most Reagan Era GMs served up a big dose of lethargic performance along with styling that was as exciting as Butter Pecan ice cream. After all, I was in rural Wisconsin and finding G, W, or J-body GM were as common as cows in a pasture, so we had to take what we could get. Of the many cars we had the pleasure (or displeasure, in the case of a certain Cadillac Cimarron) of getting our hands on, the sheer anticipation of going on the actual test drive far outweighed any interest I would have had in the vehicle itself.
The fact that Tim and I weren’t much for partying or for getting into (too much) trouble is probably a direct correlation to the time we spent cruising the “back row” of car dealerships or perusing the local newspapers, looking for the next hidden gem of a vehicle that we wanted to drive on that particular day. I know that to a lot of people, this sounds like an utter waste of time, but to us- it was literally a surprise in every door we opened and every engine we attempted to crank over.
Growing older simply sucks. Who the hell has the time to look at pieces of Detroit scrap, with engines better suited to anchor a yacht than to power a vehicle? A similar question to this popped into my head today as I literally spent most of my day behind the wheel, talking with clients over the phone. I mean, how could I actually enjoy the act of driving (one of my favorite activities, by the way) if I had to be bogged down with business; let alone find a moment to cruise a sketchy-looking dealership, seeking my next “surprise” on wheels?
Up until a year and a half ago, I did have time for that and to be honest I miss it… dearly. Yes, I still get the opportunity to test drive new vehicles or thrash around in a friend’s sports car for a half hour, or so, but it is not to the extent that I once did. I mean, getting the opportunity to dart around in a Focus ST is always a welcomed, but a part of me still misses the days of sliding behind the wheel of some random land barge, parked along the side of the road with tall grass caressing the bumpers.
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