- A slightly more serious article than my last one

Rust: It Builds Character

To us gear or petrol heads, cars, bikes, tractors, anything with a combustion engine has soul (except for a Prius, f**k those bastards). When we drive a car there is a connection with that car. We feel as if our fingers have been fused to the steering wheel and we have become part of the car, or the car has become part of us. It's hard to explain. We fall in love with these things. To other weirdos they are just inanimate objects that get us from point A to B on a map, and in a sense they are right. That is the purpose of the car. But to some of the more smart people on the planet, they become our friends, like our tools, our favorite hunting rifle, or our dog. We love them, we care for them. We know their kinks and their performance issues in certain areas. You know car drifts to the left, you know your truck sputters when it reaches high revs, you know your car's rear passenger window has finicky electrics and will only work on a hot day.

The best example I can think of a person's bond with a car is Dean and Baby:

"The rules are simple, Sam. You don't take a joint from a guy named Don and no dogs in the car!"-Dean Winchester

For those of you who don't know who that is, that is Baby, Dean Winchester's car in Supernatural (Yes, I watch that show. It's a not-so-guilty pleasure). Baby is a 67' Chevy Impala. It is Dean's car throughout the whole show. Dean loves this car, there's a reason it's called Baby. Dean has rebuilt this car several times throughout the whole series. He has an undeniable bond with this car. If anyone watches the show, they know what I am talking about. Petrol heads have a special bond with cars that no one knows but them (except for the GWiz, that SOB can go to hell).

Ost Neer and Patricia Pedrosa have hit on this idea before I have. In Pat's "On the Go #2" https://drivetribe.com/p/my-boyfriend-fvARm7wlSyqudEVLZ_XSDw?iid=M3TuVMrUQ5CGFYI1_2nSeQ, she describes the fact that our cars can be our boyfriends and girlfriends. They become our bodyguards and pals. John MacD in the comments thread of that describes it as a friend he's shared scars, cuts, and bruises with. We form an emotional attachment to them. Ost also talks about this in his article "From Stockholm With Love" https://drivetribe.com/p/from-stockholm-with-love-UaHkBS_xSlaRGpBKe-iF2Q?commentId=ROP6OBGnTUKRhJPov7HALw&iid=Vlaq6VBVT--6cVOHJn-lew . He describes near the end of his article how a car is a monster that hurts us. It's a painstaking process of fixing it up, repair it. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. But in the end, we still love it. It will eventually kill us but we love it.

Now to the cancerous looking thing called rust. To a car person this is cancer. It will eat away your car, and make it look like crap. It will be a pox to your car. To almost every individual, rust on a car is a disease. I think rust is more like wrinkles and scars.

To illustrate my point, look at an elderly person:

Photo from the inter-webs

Look at the eyes of this old man (we will call him Earl for the sake of giving him a name). Look at the wrinkles and the beard. Look at the nose. This man looks like he has wisdom. He looks like he has been going for a while. He looks like an experienced man. Earl looks as if he has been around the block a few times and then some. Men like Earl can be found everywhere. He looks like the type who won't give in to retirement homes. You'll see men like him shuffling around town going to the store, getting his mail, or just going for a walk with his labrador who also has started to look and behave like him. Old folks like Earl have a fantastic sense of humor and extremely delightful, or they're just plain crotchety. But if they're crotchety, cut away that crusty layer and they'll be some of the best people you'll ever meet and some of the greatest friends you'll ever make. This man has character. It was built over the years and can be seen in those tired eyes, that wrinkly forehead, and that gray beard.

Back to cars now. Cars age like dogs. Now I know how this sounds. 1 year in people years is about 7 in dog years. It sounds like a bit of a stretch, but just listen to what I have to say. Cars age faster than humans do for various reasons. My car is only 17 years old, but compared to some of the cars that are coming out today with massive computers and all these sensors, Francesca is basically a car from the Dark Ages. She doesn't have all the bells a whistles from the brand new Audi TT or a Range Rover. She is essentially outdated, she's in her 60's She's at that age, where some technology is had and somewhat understood, but not really compressible and utilized to its potential.

picture of old dog, cause why not?

Consider the same situation like an old dog. It's kind of set its ways and not really changeable. And sooner or later it'll die and it parts that are still functioning will be used for other dogs that are ending up close to that same situation. OK, maybe that isn't the best analogy, but ya'll kinda understand where I'm going with this.

That dog above looks like the dog version of Earl now look at the car version of both of them:

I thought Mater would work, but this is better. A nice old Shovlay

We've all seen some really ugly old people

-me

The rust is the wrinkles, they show where it has been, what it has done, and frankly how old the car is. My car has some rust on the hood and bumpers, but like any individual in their 50's and 60's they are starting to get wrinkles. Old cars that are immaculate are like Botox-ed women. They look like too much effort and money to stay looking young when they should just embrace the rust and focus on the innards and not the body. Now not every car looks good with rust on it, I'll give you that. Cars like the Ferrari F40 or Lamborghini Countach don't look that great with rust. Some cars when they rust and start getting their wrinkles look very ugly, but then again, we've all seen some really ugly old people. But in the end do you know what those cars are? They are Garage Queens. They are cars in denial of the fact that they are old. While they are classics we must all realize that classics do get old and will need to show it at some point. To quote King Solomon "Gray hair is a crown of splendor." Age is a good thing to show, no matter if it looks good or not. Sure a rusted out F40 may look terrible, but maybe just a few small rust spots and paint chips on the front of the hood or bumpers will give it more life. Rust does bring a look to a car unlike any other. It is a good thing. It shows character.

I'm guessing ya'll think I'm nuts about this stuff as most people do on Drive Tribe. Maybe I am, maybe I'm not, or maybe I'm just a crazy ol' redneck who sees stuff. Ya'll drive fast and take chances. Crank it up, I'm gone.

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