Sunday, December 14, 2014

What's With the Whole Car Thing?

I'm occasionally asked, "What is it about cars, why do you care about them so much?" Usually the person asking is a friend or acquaintance with a history of minivans or beige Camrys, so I know my answer, no matter how concise and insightful, will no doubt fall on somewhat deaf ears.

Recognizing that simple enthusiasm for cool, fast cars is perhaps a bit of a lightweight explanation, my standard reply is something like, "cars are a fascinating expression of individual choice and personality," or "we devote such a large amount of our hard-earned money to cars (for most people, car expenditure is third behind the mortgage and feeding/clothing/schooling the kids) they deserve real thought and passion."

It's a good answer, a passable answer.

Today I found a great answer.
"Our cars are our partners, our sidekicks, our modern take on a cowboy’s trusty steed; they’re our sanctuaries, love nests and music halls. They are the setting for adventures, dramas and conversations that stay with us for lifetimes. We imbue our cars with personalities, with sentient quirks, and our bonds with them mimic all too many human affairs of the heart, passing through a chain of predictable stages—lust, abiding love, companionable reliance and, finally, heartache."
Earl Swift penned this thought as part of  a recent Wall Street Journal review of Neil Young's new car-centric biography, "Special Deluxe." Turns out Old Neil is quite the enthusiast himself, with a fondness for '40s and '50 American iron. One of his first cars was a 1953 Pontiac hearse owned during the early Buffalo Springfield days in LA.

I don't have much else to add. Mr. Swift said it all. What drives your passion for cars?

Oh, it turns out that a bunch of Neil Young songs are about cars, including this one...

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