25 November 2008
Brains by Jesus. Body by Fisher.
Birthmark borne by every native of Detroit.
I did something in public this morning that left me ashamed, yet elated. (No, not that! Get our mind out of the adult aisle!) I was bewitched by a beautiful black Cadillac Deville and followed it about twenty blocks beyond my place of work. I'm in the office now, under the watchful eye of my boss, and safely away from any windows where someone might identify me from the street. Or where I may, God forbid, see another beautiful automobile and lose control of myself.
Look, this does not make me some kinda weirdo. Or a stalker. (Well, yeah actually by definition it does. -Ed.) I just have to come to grips with the fact that I really love cars and start feeling okay about it.
I also have to pay attention to who I'm following. That Deville could've been driven by a very strong man with a very large gun and a very small sense of humor. If I'd've pissed him off a little too much by following him too far, I could be writing this blog post through a straw right now. (Practice this line in the event that the driver exits the vehicle and approaches you: "That's a sweet ride you got there...sir." -Ed.)
But first, can I take just a moment to address the current issue with The Big Three automakers flying to Washington on their private jets to look for a handout from Congress? For the record: fuck those guys. And furthermore, fuck those guys. They need to give up their fat-ass salaries and spend a week on the swing shift at GM with the shop rats and bloody their knuckles on a goddamn wrench before they'll get my respect or my money. Take their bonuses and distribute them between the good people working the line. As a matter of fact, let one of the folks who work in the plant go to Congress, pick up the check, and make up their minds about what oughtta be done about the situation.
Now, moving on...
At present, I'm conflicted. While I'm not 100% "green", I consider myself at the very least "green curious". On one hand, cars burn gas which creates carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and cigarette fumes, all which lead to a global condition which will eventually parboil us all out of existence. Or so Wikipedia tells me.
On the other hand, cars - the well-designed ones at least - are a moving art form, a perfect marriage of technology and design that makes the ten-year-old in me go vroom vroom vroom! Yay! Vroom! I swear, every once in a while I see something like, say, the brilliantly designed, well-powered, gracefully accelerating - obsidian-black haunches...glistening I tell you! - Deville in question that makes me practically gob on my shirt. Seriously.
Is it because we grew up near the auto center of the world? Or is it because our dad has ethyl for blood? Or is it because it is a universal and unimpeachable truth that CARS ARE OSSUM! VROOM VROOM VROOM! YAY! VROOM! YAY?
I make my case for the assertions above with the examples below:
1969 Pontiac GTO
Remember when we lived on Chippewa Street in Pontiac? (Remember how they name everything in Michigan after Indians? -Ed.) Remember Ruth McLay's mom? They lived on Navajo. (I rest my case. -Ed.) She had one of these. Even though it wasn't tricked out (it was the "mom" edition), you could tell that it was Blood of Champion. That friggin' thing ROARED from the front door to the Kroger and back in no time flat. I always wanted to steal it. I had a slim jim and I was good to go, but I was six and I couldn't reach the pedals. PS: The tach is on the hood! I don't know if that's good, bad, smart, dumb or what - but it's COOL!
1973 BMW 2002
I had one back in the '90s and wept when I let it go. It had all the torque of a wee mountain goat and a full metal dash that would turn your brain to mayonnaise in the event of a low-speed collision. Fun mandatory. Seatbelts optional.
2007 Dodge Charger Super Bee
I can feel you judging me already. "Greaser!" you spit with scorn. "Spawn of hillbillies! Trash blanc! " But before you cast the first stone - hold, I say unto thee! Who among you gathered here present experienced the monumental, face-bleaching thrust and vertiginous acceleration of the soon-to-be-legendary 368HP Dodge hemi? (Wait - You in the back. You have? And you didn't care for it? Well fuck you, hippie.)
2008 Toyota Tacoma w/Sport Package.
1947 Chrysler Town and Country Woody Four Door Hard Top
Of course I had to mention the family car. From a purely technical standpoint, it was underpowered. But from a design standpoint - shit, it was so curvy it almost had bosoms! Maple beams and mahogany veneer - must've been a Steinway Grand in a previous life. I remember no greater joy of my childhood than road trips and camping excursions taken in this car.
Shit. Here comes my boss. Gotta mop up some spit.
Cheers, and back on the freeway which is already in progress.
Posted by Thaddeus Gunn at 10:19 AM