16 September 2007

Me and my car

People find it down right weird that I enjoy cars so much. Not just any car, but the one I drive and a few others. But there is a bit of method behind this madness.

For starters, my current car. We're a lot alike. Our genealogy is British. We both have British grandfathers. Mine hails from Gloustershire, and my car's from Oxford. My favorite color is blue. My car is Indigo Blue. My car has starred in a couple of films, most well known for The Italian Job. But my fave was The Bourne Identity. My grandfather's name is Bourne. My car emigrated in 2003. My grandfather emigrated in 1916. We still feel a twinge of excitement when we see a curvy road. And we both love to go faster than we should. Neither of us intentionally plans to leave anyone stranded.

That brings me to my affinity for cars in general. While growing up we had nothing but hunks of junk. Inevitably, we were pushing or pulling some lethargic piece of metal down the highway. Or sitting waiting for some stranger to take pity on us and lend a hand. Usually all it took was a gallon or two of water. I remember once when someone stopped to help and let my mom know she had a broken fan belt. She hiked her skirt up, undid her nylon hose, tied a knot in it and replaced the belt temporarily. I never wanted to own a car named Rambler, Ford, Chrysler, Corvair or a plethora of others. These cars had left us stranded. The last straw, being on a deserted highway when I was 14. The car my mom forced us to travel in, was in poor condition. She just knew we'd not have a problem because we were doing church stuff. Well, physics being what they are, church didn't matter to the car. It up and burst into flames. We all, the firemen included, stood and watched its magnesium transmission flame away for at least two hours. Magnesium cannot be put out with water or retardant, it has to just burn out. Well, at least in 1969 it did.

I told myself then, and stuck to it, that I would not get my license until I decided to. I would not be at the mercy of one of my mother's car ever again. My brother, on the other hand, drove us all over in her terrible cars. Finally just before graduation luck came my way. My parents purchased a VW Bug for me. They paid $400 for it. It was the best money the ever spent on a car. (The how they paid for it was a whole other story of which goes down in the famous book of why don't we try this encyclopedia's we've written over the years.) It had its quirks, but it ran! And run I did. Straight out of town, coming back to visit my little sisters on occasion. But my love of cars began then and has continued ever since. Mine looked a lot like this one, minus the sunroof.

I learned what they would do, could do and why you had to keep them stocked with plenty of oil and gas, water came later, as the bug didn't use water. Ever since then I have enjoyed foreign made cars. The old US standards failed me as a child, why would I want to go back to them. After being married a few years, I got talked into buying American and put three stinking transmissions in one, before I went back to foreign. I'll own my little car I have now forever. I may add another to the barn, plus a Vespa and maybe a Smart car, but unless it's a tractor, the US built trucks will have to be purchased by my husband.