A love affair with cars

Published 8:21 am Wednesday, June 7, 2023

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Both Paul and I have always had a love affair—from afar—with cars, mine stemming back to my single-digit years on long trips to Florida during family vacations. 

Tired of playing ‘Eye Spy’ with the windows down, my baby fine hair flying into my eyes and mouth as I sucked on a Stuckey’s pecan log, engaging in the game, ‘Car’ was far more stimulating. ‘Car’ was simply that: choosing a make of car and racking up a point every time that car was spotted in the reverse lane. 

I never went for the Cadillacs, Impalas or other land yachts that ruled the interstates of the 1960s and 70s, but instead was drawn to the slick lines of a Cutlass or Monte Carlo SS 454. Really cool cars that were clearly outnumbered as I routinely lost to the Ford Galaxies and ever-present station wagons.

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Over the years, my automotive tastes morphed into a love for British roadsters and German sports cars and while we lived in Los Angeles, the streets were lousy with them. It never failed to amuse me to be sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 405 in my Isuzu Trooper, window down, so I could say to whatever fella sat in the next lane, revving his Ferrari, Porsche or Maserati, “Wow! I’ll bet you spent a fortune on that thing and yet here we are, both going the same speed!” I’d always get a scowl in return which made me laugh harder.

Truth be told I was jealous and I can remember once remarking as we walked down the sidewalk towards a restaurant and eyeing the 6-figure cars in line for the valet. “How come only old people drive nice cars?” 

“Because only old people are able to afford one,” Paul replied. 

“Well, I’d rather be young and keep driving an Isuzu,” I shrugged. Paul agreed. Adopting this sort of smirking attitude was a balm to our depleted checking accounts. “Besides,” I added self righteously, “they’re an environmental nightmare.”

Paul nodded. “They create their own ozone hole.”

Yet Paul’s lifelong love affair with a particular car, long out of his reach, suddenly became a reality, which he casually brought up while pouring his morning coffee.

“I’m thinking about getting a Morgan,” he said.

I gaped.

“You’re going to get a horse?” I said incredulously, my mind catapulting in the only direction it was capable of going. “You? I thought you never wanted a horse!”

“A Morgan car,” he said slowly, deliberately, as if speaking to someone intellectually challenged. “A 1964 plus four-seater.”