Archive for June 19th, 2009

Pick a car, any car….

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Since I was a young boy I liked cars. I have some very vivid memories of my life that are tied to cars. This isn’t so uncommon among Regular Guys and I know this because I have witnessed many men in my life who adored cars.

I understand the love affair we have with cars. There is something that draws us to them. They become an extension of our personality. I don’t know too many people, men and women alike, who don’t believe that a car is a status symbol.

Most men can’t wait to get behind the wheel of a car. How many of us had our fathers put us in the drivers seat in an empty parking lot to show us how to operate the gas and brake. Was that one of the best experiences I ever shared with my father? You know damn well it was.It’s like an unwritten code among fathers that they have to pass their love for cars onto their sons. I can recall asking my father how he drives the car. I watched for years until that day when I could finally see out the windshield with out propping up on the dash pad. That was the day I would sit behind the wheel and give it a go. Turns out, driving that car was  just as easy as he made it look.

I don’t have a son, but I did my best to pass that moment on to my daughter. And it made her day!  She couldn’t stop talking about how she rolled the car and hit the brake so hard we all jerked forward. It took her a few times but she finally figured out that the brakes are very sensitive. Probably a memory, not so unlike mine, that she will remember forever.

Most of today’s cars just don’t impress me much. Growing up right after the Muscle Car days spoiled me. Seeing all that Detroit steel rolling down the street, cruising the boulevard, made me appreciate all the different body styles and models from the big three cars companies. Even though I favored Chevy’s, I still admired some of the classic lines that separated each car company from the other. All that chrome and power, was hard not to like.

If someone five years ago asked me to pick any car I wanted, I would have had a hard time doing so. Everything looked and sounded the same. All that old Detroit metal was now Japanese molded plastic. Honda’s, Nissan’s, and Toyota’s were everywhere and Detroit’s finest were no longer a reliable option. All that chrome that was once the envy of every foreign car company was now just a piece of history. America’s cars were now just also ran’s in an industry where they were once leaders. So I couldn’t pick a car that stood out in my mind as one that would be a part of my personality. Heck I still haven’t gotten the Muscle Car thing out of my blood so how can I drive a plastic shoebox.

Today there is a glimmer of hope for all of us Regular Guys. The big three have pulled up their pants, put on their thinking caps and came up with some old fashioned Detroit muscle. Don’t kid yourself, its the same guys who wanted or owned these cars back in the sixties and seventies that are buying them today. Just check out the Challenger, Mustang and now the new Camaro.  For years my friends and I would say that Detroit should take the old body styles and use todays technologies to build some exciting cars. All those old body styles that went by the wayside when we had to become more aerodynamic. I hated those stupid wind tunnel commercials because I knew the great looking body styles were going to disappear. Bringing back the old body style idea wasn’t so far off after all. And now, they’re back baby and even better than before. Just as fast and three times as safe and comfortable.

So today if someone asks me to pick a car, any car….I would have a tough time deciding. Not like five years ago, but now, because I have some really great cars to pick from.

The Regular Guy