Every day is a car show where you enjoy old cars
John Pearley HuffmanCar and driver
God knows social media sucks. Careers are exploding on Twitter, families are destroying each other on Facebook, and Instagram is a great way to share photos that will one day lead to social ostracism and personal embarrassment. But there is one thing all these platforms can do: share photos of cars.
My particular online drug is Facebook. This is mainly because I’m old, just like most people who care enough about everything I post. When a friend passes by (James Sly and Jim Souza, I miss you guys) I’ll post a keepsake. When my articles go up CD, I share them there because I can only do that as long as people are reading it. I have had political discussions that have lasted for weeks of relatively cordial engagements and a few days of brutal bombing. But what I post most often are photos of cars.
My standards are low enough that my iPhone SE’s camera is acceptable. And when I see something interesting, I don’t hesitate to take a photo, write a little note – one word messages are ideal – and display it. Then some of the squeaky old men among my 3,245 Facebook âfriendsâ will post responses that mostly confirm how oddly old we are all. For someone who works alone in California isolated 2000 miles from myCD colleagues, that’s what passes for human contact in my life.
By the way, if you want to be my Facebook friend, I have room for 1,755 other friends on my personal page. Beat the rush.
The city I live in, Santa Barbara, is full of old cars. Not only is the weather good, the roads are salt free, so the cars last here. But more than that, the automotive culture runs deep. The first “official” drag race was held near the airport in 1949, Oscar Mayer’s Wienermobiles were built here, and dealers like Washburn Chevrolet were in the race in the 1950s and 1960s. Beyond that, while not everyone in Santa Barbara is rich (I’m not), there are enough wealthy people around that some amazing classics and exotics are lurking in plain sight.
Late last night, I took my dog ââBama for a walk, and there was an original Porsche 912 with hubcaps from the ’60s parked at a nearby gym. A few days ago there was a Mazda Bongo Brawny forward cab, RHD / JDM truck parked in my usual cafe. In Santa Barbara, old Jeeps are best presented in decay, classic BMWs and Alfa GTVs are daily drivers, and there are apparently more old Mustangs than new ones. I am totally spoiled.
Every once in a while I take a picture of a new Porsche 911 Turbo S or McLaren, but the old stuff still used as transportation is the best. It’s always so much better to see an old car on the road than to see one parked at a certain show with its owner beside it snoring in a lawn chair.
Auto shows never did much for me. A car is therefore parked on the lawn. Big hop. But seeing an old car that is still in use as a car is still exciting to see. Cars from auto shows are often museum pieces, restored and preserved. Meanwhile, the cars still in use still make history. Their appearance at one point does not mean that they will look the same in a few months with a few thousand kilometers left on the clock.
Instead of vintage cars, I have two children and an income as a writer. So it’s not like I’m tempted to buy a lot of vintage cars. But even if I could, I’m not sure I want it. Maybe one of the first 911S to explore back roads, or something I like for personal reasons like a Mustang GT 94. Instead, I keep my eyes peeled and look for interesting cars and trucks again. nobly used as cars and trucks.
Santa Barbara’s weird old cars and trucks are more important to me than beaches or parks. And while the concentration of ancient metal in this city can be extreme, it is not a big city. I’m sure there are a lot of cars in orbit wherever you are right now. And there is a good chance that you will post pictures of it on the Internet. Because I can’t be alone in this case.
I’ve seen a lot of Hemi ‘Cudas on the lawns, but there’s this 1986 Plymouth Caravelle sedan parking at the mall in front of my house which is just awesome. Because the Caravel was so horrible, you probably forgot that they ever existed. But there is one still alive, right next to my house. So much more interesting than the detailed cylinder head covers or the reproduction of muscle car graphics on fresh paint.
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