I think we as enthusiasts often take cars for granted. Especially here in the US.
The cost of entry for some running, driving automobile is often fairly low. so much so that only the very bottom rung of our society has little or no access to them. for several hundred dollar bills and some taxes you can have your very own Plymouth Acclaim that starts, stops, and steers, even if it doesn't do any of them particularly well.
As someone who comes from a privileged background I can tell you personally that I take cars and the act of driving for granted, and that one day when I either manage to have the privileged revoked/limited in some manner, or even when i age to the point that I'm no longer capable of it, my heart will break in a way I will never truly recover from. Only then will I realize what I've lost.
There are occasions now where I catch a glimpse, catch my breath, and remember. When I think back to the time before I could drive, for instance. The loneliness of being trapped in the type of suburb where walking on the road can only lead to death, The countless hours spent merely driving around in games like Grand Theft Auto, just exploring, operating, thinking forward to how wonderful it will be when I can do it for real. I think of the time I stole my father's Escape, and the liberation i felt when the wind streaming through my hair was at the command of my right foot for the first time. The wail of a Duratec three liter and the swaying of a top heavy vehicle as I learned the correlations between my inputs and the speed I could maintain through a corner. I remember the truly humbling moment that was me entering an interstate for the first time.
I think the instances in which i can truly appreciate driving and the machines that make it happen are moments of weakness. They are the times when a thought occurs or an event happens that you can't cope with just standing still. Its the moments when you're driving on a mostly empty highway, harsh LED streetlamps carving repeating shadows into your interior as you pass under them. I feel the little imperfections of the road as i travel it, too fast to note them but too slowly to tear my mind from whatever its pondering. I watch the trees pass through my peripheral vision and feel the gentle buzz of the Kizashi's engine as it pulls me from where I was to where I will be. In these moments I thank God or the universe for cars.
They are the place I feel the most comfortable. I seek them out to feel safe and in control. The man hours and creativity put in to designing interiors shows the more you look at them, whether its the cheapest beater or the most expensive luxury car, someone put their time and effort in to make you feel something, It has been said that art can't have function to truly be art but architecture and the act of designing a space for people to occupy convinces me otherwise. How often do you spend time in a space designed around an individual, maybe two to four? Outside of a car, not often.
I express myself through them with my feet and hands. Every shift, every on ramp acceleration run, every apex I brake for, whether I hit it or miss, it's my effect on the world around me. The tire tracks I leave in the snow. The rubber marks I leave around a tight bend. the sonorous propulsion whose evidence I impose in varying degrees on the local population and wildlife may lack the rhythm of a song but It carries passion all the same,
I wear them like clothes. I present my existence to the world in my cars. My position in life lets me have a few kicking around with plates and insurance, If I am afraid I get in my truck. If I am confident I get in my Benz. Th Kizashi was designed to appeal to young professionals making good financial decisions. When I am in that car I feel it, I look it, and i try to own it,
They facilitate the things I want to do in my life. I have never owned a car I felt wasn't doing its absolute best for me. It feels good to have a mechanical companion in the fight against poverty or misery. I remember when Phillip gave me the 323, I was in such a rebuilding phase in my life. It felt like me and this little car against the world.
Love your cars, people. Remember how lucky we are to have them, to experience speeds and g-forces the human body was not meant to achieve in a natural way.