I have owned seven (and a fraction) cars over 45 years: my first love; my balls out sports car; a piece of a race car; five family haulers. I still have two of them, the sports car and the last family hauler. These two are more than coincidentally the only two cars I have ever bought new.
I have driven around 800K miles to date. I probably won’t make a million. My first two were bright yellow. Then it was bright red, dark blue, pearl white times two, and currently metallic silver. The color seems to be slowly draining from my life.
I have always liked cars. I subscribed to Road & Track for a while and will always go for the car mag in any waiting room. I have gone to many car races and dabbled in amateur racing, as an investor and support crew. I know what the new models are and what they can do. I like to work on my cars.
Being a typical boy, I was fascinated by trucks and tractors. If it had wheels and made noise, I liked it. I cut pictures of tractors and trucks out of the yellow pages and magazines as soon as I was old enough to use scissors. I would sit by the side of the road and watch license plates to see where cars were from, the cars, not so much the people. I loved to make roads, bridges, and tunnels in my sand box for my toy cars. A tractor would come once a year and cut the hay in the field next to our house. Then the hay would be baled. I got to ride on the tractor once, a dream come true. I also got rides on my Aunt and Uncle’s tractor in the summers. Loving the smell of freshly mown hay and grass, I aspired to be the man who drove the tractor along New England roads, mowing the grass on the shoulders. What could be a better life? Well, I’d have to do something about my grass allergies
I learned to drive around age 14 in Nebraska. My father was a traveling salesman at the time and he took me along one summer, turning the car over to me for a couple of stretches, and allowing me to drive through a town. From high school on, I grew up in the car culture of Southern California. I never cruised or owned a hot rod, nor did my friends. But I did my share of drive-in movies and drive-in fast food service in my parents’ cars. I never took behind-the-wheel driver training. I got my license when I was 17 and bought my first car when I was 20.
Not driving will be a hard part of old age for me. I don’t think I have bought my last car yet, but I know that my sports car is the last one of its ilk I will ever own. It’s been with me for 43 years and still rates a spot in the garage. It is my archetype for car.