United We TRIBE

From sea to shining sea...

1y ago

I’ve always been a fan of cars. My healthy obsession started at a young age when my folks plopped me in front of the t.v. and put “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” in the VHS player. Growing up, I was rarely allowed to watch television; I had to fill my time with inventing new purposes for remote control cars and reading --brace yourself-- books. I loved books and I thought that Sesame Street was extremely dull and strange. It wasn’t until I saw “Herbie” that I decided television was good for something other than Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. To date myself (as younger than some and older than some others), I was obsessed with “Herbie” at a time when my classmates were occupied with the release of the Tarzan movie. By that point we had moved back to the States after my father had been stationed in Iceland. We had a late 80’s 240D Mercedes that I had driven at two years old (or backed into a pile of woodchips (solo)) which had survived living in Iceland.

My developmental years drove me to my obsession with cars. The 240D suffered electrical damage when we returned to the states and was towed away. I bawled my eyes out. The tow truck drivers even tried to comfort me. My sister and brother held me as I cried and even my dad (whom I’ve never seen cry) choked back tears when he tried to calm me down. It’s a worthy enough argument to say that cars have souls, because if nothing else, true car lovers project a part of themselves into the cars that they love. It doesn’t matter what make or model the car is, what matters is what they mean to us. The ‘98 Dodge Grand Caravan that we took road trips in, the minivan my brother “pimped out” with subwoofers and dvd screens with the help of my tiny hands, the first car that was registered in my name --that old minivan was more important to me than a new Ferrari is some tech guru.

What cars mean to us is different from what they mean to other people. Who knows what your story is. It’s a common bond among our types. Perhaps there’s a deeper lineage, perhaps there’s some deeper neurological link that unites us car lovers. We’re a different breed, certainly. Are we perhaps the better for it? I think so. Car loves are people who appreciate fine art and superior craftsmanship. Regardless of which sect you follow, be it racing, modifications, or preservation, you are involved with the two most important aspects of what makes us human; our ability to manipulate and appreciate form and function. You might be someone who loves to be on the cutting edge of leading technology --and innovator; you might be someone who is expressive --a trend setter and breaker, and artist; you might be an historian --a preservationist. Regardless, you have a higher sense of self.

Cars have souls because we pour ours into them. We respect Ferraris because we know what went into their development; but we can also appreciate Hondas for the same reason. Personally, I’ve always owned American cars --my Bowling Green Corvette, my inherited Dodge, and my Detroit ‘52 Buick. I respect a well built or well maintained car whether its Japanese, British, French or British. I respect car culture in any form. Frankly I’m excited for this coming trend in the Electric car world. If we still have a world in fifty years I will look forward to the day I can pick up a Tesla Roadster or a Model S at an affordable price. Some day, if the day comes, the rumble of a combustion engine will be as outmoded as the chug of a steam engine. Let us not begrudge the future but take a moment of solace and appreciation the next time we’re at the pump.

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