Sunday, April 12, 2009

Oh to cruise again in style

In my formative years watching car commercials and looking at various cars on the road was fun. It fueled the drive for my brothers to learn to drive and hopefully have cars of our own, Sainted Mother and Esteemed Father permitting. I however was the only one permitted to actually own my own vehicle before moving from the family abode. I can only assume the others were jealous.

I was the proud owner of a 1971 Torino. Not a pumped up Gran Torino, but a true two-door Torino. It was candy-apple red with a black vinyl top with black vinyl seats that burnt the hair off your legs in the summer. Graybeard at one point owned an orange fastback Torino. After a few years mine turned into a rust bucket. I had repaired the body and it looked good but the underpinnings were rotting away. Unfortunately that was the way cars were made back then and they only got worse as the decade progressed and cheap gas went buy-buy. The decade of the eighties brought us some of the worst automobiles ever to come out of Detroit. It was sad. Baby Sis was relegated to a Dodge Polaris. I was never sure how it ever got her to the land of fruits and nuts, although it was the size of a WWII destroyer and probably got as good gas mileage. I have no idea what her husband drove in his day. (Sorry, I have yet to endow him with a suitable moniker. It shall come in time).

Sadder still was the lack of imagination of names. We had some clunkers in my early days like Edsel but gone were great car names. Nothing has replaced Cougar, Torino, Charger, El Dorado and El Camino. I have never been sure how Spanish made it's way into that culture. But they were cool names none-the-less. Also disappearing were Stingray, Corvair, Chevelle, Impala and Bel Air. I had always hope GM would revive the Bel Air name but that has not come to pass. The few plates that have been revived have not done justice to the old cars, although I can't figure out what resemblance a hulking '73 four-door family sedan has in relation to a sleek impala.

Instead we are saddled with Camry (what is a camry anyway), Accord, Sportage, Xbox and the like. Euro's seem to like alph-numeric titles; MX320 or RS300. They remind me more of a cell phone than a powerful automobile. Alas, I am riding in a small SUV called an Amigo. It's fun and has been a good truck but it just doesn't have the same thrust as a Torino.

Maybe someday I'll ride in style once again.


  1. I liked my Polara! The trunk was big enough to hide 12 dead bodies on a cold thanksgiving day! Ken has driven various things - El Camino (!), Blazer, Big Chevy K3500 pick-up truck (we still have it) and now a 2009 Chevy Cobalt SS - turbocharged - which we have named KITT. I however, am relegated to observer status as I do not drive a stickshift. I drive the big Chevy Tahoe. You sense a pattern here? He did drive a motorcycle and at one time had a Honda that didn't take much fuel. Don't forget my Nissan Pulsar and the Olds!

  2. How about Turkey for hubby? It's a longstanding family thing from his family.

  3. We (Love of My Life and I) have had numerous cars, from small sedans to mini vans, and currently sport a Hyundai Sonata and a Toyota Camry.

    Both are quite nice.

    I have no idea what "Camry" means, but it beats a Pacer or a Matador.

  4. I recall the lazy summer days I spent sitting on the front porch rail watching the cars pass by the intersection mere feet away, and marking down the vehicle brand; each was easily identifiable.

    Nowadays they look so much alike I don't know a Ford from a Chevy from a Nissan.