Vehicles these days don’t seem to have much personality. They all look the same with different names.
There are SUVs, pickup trucks and mini cars that aren’t much bigger than my Radio Flyer wagon from when I was a kid.
I remember greasing the wheel shafts on my wagon and a neighborhood boy would push me down the street. We’d go pretty fast and thankfully I never wrecked. Sometimes I would put one leg in the wagon and use my other to propel me down the street. That was fun!
I don’t know if I would fit in one of those mini cars without getting claustrophobia.
Debbie and I made a stop at the Sam’s Club in Ankeny the other day. We parked next to a new black Chevrolet Blazer. It was a beautiful SUV that seems to be middle of the road between a Equinox and a Traverse.
My uncle on my mom’s side of the family had an old Blazer in the 1970s. That was a rugged vehicle and nothing like what they make today. If my uncle wanted to put the Blazer in four wheel drive, he had to get out and turn the hubs on the wheels. He used it as a farm vehicle to haul feed and hay.
It seems back in the day that cars had more personality. Take for example the muscle cars of the 1960 and 1970s - Chevrolet’s Camaro, Chevelle SS 454 and Corvette; Ford’s Mustang, Gran Torino and Thunderbird; Pontiac‘s Firebird and GTO; Dodge’s Charger and Super Bee and Plymouth’s Road Runner, Barracuda and GTX 440. Olds 442 and Buick Regal are a couple others that come to mind. And I can’t forget about the AMX, Javelin and Rebel by American Motors. Those cars and others like them not only had class, they had personality with big power plants under the hood. I would love to own a 1969 or 1970 Chevelle or 1966 Impala.
Another car that comes to mind is the Studebaker Lark. I don’t consider it a muscle car, but it was built as tough as a tractor. Back in the early 1980s, a cousin who hailed from a Chicago suburb lived with me in Tulsa while attending welding school for a few months. He had an old Studebaker Lark. It wasn’t much to look at, but it had a piece of beef under the hood. I loved cruising in that car with the windows down.
Back in the day, if you had car troubles, it was either electrical or fuel related. You replaced the spark plugs and wires, distributor cap, points, condenser or a fuel pump, all of which could be changed easily with no problems. Nowadays, if you have car trouble, you likely will have to replace a computer sensor or emission component to fix the problem, and you go see a technician at the garage who knows how to use a computer as well as turn a wrench.
My first car was a 1959 Chevrolet two-door hardtop. My dad bought the car off his brother in the early 1960s and drove it to work for many years. The engine turned bad and the car smoked like a hog cooking on the grill on a hot summer day.
One day, an Oklahoma Highway Patrolman pulled my dad over and told him to fix the engine or put the car out of its misery. The old car still had some life in it, so my dad took to a mechanic friend who put new rings in the engine and got it back on the road again. I drove that car in high school and several years afterwords.
It was not fancy. There was no AC, power windows, seatbelts or computer navigation. It was a ton of steel with personality.
I was telling one of my nephews the other day about the car and that it featured a 455 BTU air conditioner – four windows down at 55 miles per hours. If you’ve been around for any time, you might remember when the top speed on the highway was 55 miles per hour. And gas was less than a quarter per gallon!
Now that I am a bit older, I’m looking forward to buying a newer car or 4x4 pickup. They may be a computer on wheels and have no personality, but at least the air conditioner works and it is a lot safer than my Radio Flyer. And I’m sure the ride is smoother, too!
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.