When I started to drive (way back when), I was crazy about cars. Not particularly out-of-the-showroom cars but cars that you could buy used for not much money and fix them up. And then soup them up.
A mark of teenage success in the town where I lived was a 1954-to-’56 Ford or Mercury with the rear end lowered, bubble skirts covering the rear wheel wells, spinner caps on the front wheels, dual exhausts and a Hollywood muffler that emanated a deep, throaty rumble that stirred the depths of your very soul.
No bucket seats in those days; the front seat was a bench and your girlfriend would sit over in the middle, snuggled right up against you.
I drove cars throughout much of my working career, mostly of the showroom variety. You reach a point in your life and career where spinner caps and Hollywood mufflers don’t fit your upwardly mobile, managerial image.
At some point, children arrived. At about the same time, I outgrew after-midnight rural drag races and moved onto the speedway. And I moved from cars to vans. Not minivans. I’m talking about the full-size ones that had seatbelts for 11 plus room for a spare 467 c.i. big-block Chevy engine in the back.
My all-time favourite was a 1982 Chevrolet Beauville van. I swore it was the greatest vehicle I ever owned.
But then came 2015 and the Ford Motor Co. took one of the great chances in automotive history by being the first major manufacturer to use gobs of aluminum in its F-150. I borrowed one for a road test and my beloved Chevy Beauville went from No. 1 to No. 2. on my list of favourites, just like that.
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