I’ve had a strange craving lately. A strong one. One that clamped onto my psyche and won’t let go. This one’s different though. It’s not my usual springtime affair with the lustful motorcycle or the flirtatious cabin cruiser. This one seems so out-of-place and unfamiliar. It’s for a late 80’s/early 90’s Jeep Grand Wagoneer complete with lots of chrome and fake wood paneling.
I have no idea why I want one, but while I was reading the latest issue of Road Runner magazine and seeing all the pictures of these great roads across the nation, I kept thinking that it would be good to visit these places while driving an old Wagoneer.
It makes no logical sense. The mileage of the thing has got to be horrible. (In fact, I just checked it. 10 mpg city, 12 hwy) Safety features are ancient. It would be 20 years or older and everything would be breaking down or falling off it.
And yet this thing just screams to me. I can’t understand it.
Maybe it’s because my first car was a Dodge Aries station wagon. It was silver with a roof rack and I took the thing everywhere. I drove my brother to his college in Binghamton with it. I bombed around Michigan with it. And I eventually moved to Florida in it. It had a whopping 94 horsepower 4 cylinder engine that was mated to a totally unexpected 4 speed manual transmission. Yes you had to push in the clutch and shift the gears yourself in this wagon. I’ve rendered it in charcoal and built my first website around it. (The official site is no longer in service, but I know a little cheat. Click here if you want to see it.)
Maybe it’s V-8 engine and four-wheel drive make me feel that I am not giving up adventurous dreams if I ever got rid of my Chevy Silverado.
Maybe its a perverted excuse to sadistically torture myself by trying to restore the beast into a daily driving machine. (This would be caused by reading a novel called, “Truck” by John Jerome – A book I will be reviewing in a future post.)
Maybe a romanticized image of taking the wife on cross-country trips while pulling a little 18 foot airstream behind it.
Whatever it is, I hope this craving passes soon. With four dollar a gallon gas, there is no way I could afford to run it. For now I think I’ll stay away from Road Runner magazine and focus more on safer things like motorcycles and cabin cruisers. At least they make sense.