Thursday, November 8, 2012

Love 'em. Always Have. Always Will.

So on Facebook, I've joined in with the crowd posting daily status updates of things for which I am grateful. I figured today's thing deserved it's very own blog post.

Today, I am thankful for cars. There. I said it. Yes, it's a material thing. But anyone who knows me, knows I love cars. Why?

For starters, I used to work on our cars with my dad. He taught me how to change my own oil and check my lug nuts. We replaced the clutch on his '75 MGB. Once, he even had me stand by with a fire extinguisher while he welded the fuel line.

Ah, memories.

And that's the point. My dad and I built a close relationship because we spent so much time together beneath the hood of a car. He told me stories about his 1964 1/2 Mustang. After a day of grease monkey-ing, he'd take me to 7-11 and buy me a Slurpee and a classic auto trader magazine. Man, I spent hours staring at the pages, picturing myself behind the wheel of a '57 Thunderbird or a '55 Bel Air.

Cars are also what launched my writing career. Every writer will tell you that they were always a writer, and I am no different. For me, cars just happened to be the first thing I ever got PAID to write about. Because of it, I have had some pretty amazing adventures. I've driven a Toyota FJ Cruiser along the San Andreas Fault. I've flown on the Ford corporate jet to their proving grounds and spent a day driving the F-150 all over the desert. I got to ride in a Lexus stock car with a professional race car driver, where 210 miles per hour felt like melted butter. Oh, my heart is racing just thinking about it!

Beyond that, a car is a miraculous thing. The internal combustion engine -- a common thing anymore, but what an idea. Add a turbo charger, modify it here and there, bore this, plane that, and pretty soon, you are the envy of every car lunatic in the world. My favorite car lunatic story is that of Hau-Tai Tang, who, as a young Vietnamese boy, fell in love with a Mustang delivered overseas to the army base near his home. After the war, his family immigrated to the U.S. where he continued his love affair for the car. Mr. Tang grew up and became chief engineer of the 2005 Mustang project.

I mean, how cool is that?

Finally, to me, it's all about what the car represents. It's not status or success; it's freedom. It means I can get behind the wheel, pedal to the medal, and go anywhere I choose -- even if it's just to the grocery store.

Tell me this isn't the sexiest car you've ever seen. 
(And people think I love James Bond for the acting).

One Day...

So yes, today, I am thankful for cars.

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