A Perfect Fit

90white

It was a long time in coming.  Possibly it should have happened sooner, but at that moment everything was in sync so I went for it.  The tan color went with everything, the brim was crisp, the size was right.  A perfect fit. I turned to my wife to show off the quintessential British driving hat.

“Is that to go with the Miata you bright home” She asked in reply.

I stopped dead in shock.  “You remember the Miata?”

“I remember everything about it.”  She answered.  “It was white, with a black interior and top.  It had a manual transmission and pop-up headlights.”

I couldn’t believe that she remembered that car so well. It was over eighteen years ago and I had the car for a total of twenty-five minutes.  Five of those were spent in the driveway.

“I remember the look of fear when you saw me behind the wheel.” I chuckled at the memory.

“It fit you too well.  A perfect fit.”

This wasn’t the only time a sporty, little, two seat, siren sang out.  Years later, two co-workers rushed to me, rapidly talking about some sports car.

“You gotta see it, Gene!  It’s so you!” They cried with such enthusiasm, they were almost shouting.

“Ok! Ok! I’ll check it out.”  I said, curious as to what was causing such a commotion.

When I reached my destination, an Austin “bug-eye” Sprite greeted me in all its crimson splendor.

b20eye20red2016_

Another time, a friend, Jason, told me about two cars some guy had for sale.  One was a late 60’s Camaro while the other was, “Some British car”.

“You should buy it.” Jason said to me.  “He’s only asking $2,500 and it fits you.”

I didn’t have the funds for a second car and the insurance that goes with it, but I figured I’d check it out.  The “British Car” turned out to be a restored MGB decked out in Cobra Blue with white racing stripes.

MG MGB MkIII

I would be lying if I said I was never tempted.  Who wouldn’t want the romance of a private dance with one of these cars as your partner?  Their power isn’t high, so you can flirt at speed without being (too) illegal.  Their skinny tires and manual transmissions bring an intimacy that most have forgotten.  A decreasing radius curve up ahead? Heel, toe shift.  Heel, toe, shift.  Car and driver together in sounds and motion.  Untied in an intimate road dance.

A car like that would be fun, but I’d miss out on so many other moments that I’ve had with my trucks.

Such as all the animals I’ve brought to the wildlife rescue, or the camping I have done.  Fountains, flower beds, and furniture would not have found their way if not for the trucks I’ve owned.  I would’ve never made it to work during the Tropical Storms and aftermaths of Hurricanes without the clearance a pickup provides. Twenty three hours on the road would not have been as comfortable in either a Miata or MG as they were in the Silverado.  Thirty bags of mulch won’t fit into their trunks as they do in the bed of a Ranger.

Sports cars offer the love of machine and person; pickup trucks offer the ability to share the love with fried and family.

For me, that’s a perfect fit.

Dreams under the tree

Truimph Brown 2

Two cars sit unwanted.  One in the garage, one on the driveway.  Memories of times gone by shone through the wear.  Jaunty stripes, dual pipes, and a wooden wheel recall the carefree days of the sixties while the awkward bumpers, overly large side markers, and plastic wheel are scars born from the imposed commands of the late seventies.

Triumph Blue 1

Triumph Brown 1

Through the age, past the wear, both peer out on the road as an elderly dog in the kennel; silently yearning for someone to take them home and give them a chance to run just one more time.

The roads are full of younger pups now.  Fashion and culture dictate a new king and the Miata is it.  His reign has lasted decades and seemingly will last forever.

The old cars can’t compete.  There times, even when new, were more than double those of the Miata.  Even a Honda Fit would leave them in the dust.  The braking isn’t that much better.  Drums against disks.  Pedal modulation vs. Antilock Systems.  Dark ages against modern times.

Triumph Blue 2

But the gems still shine from underneath.  There are rewards to be had.  Two cars from a time when owning meant more than just driving.  It was a time of familiarity, of courtships and relations.  Understanding the car, knowing what it can do, what it needs, how to take care of it.  A perfect primer for getting married and raising children.  Patience, loyalty, and sometimes, even hardships, would be rewarded with joy, thrills, accomplishment, contentment, and even serenity.  They’ll never be as fast as the newer cars, but no new car will ever be as intimate as these two.

There is soul buried deep within these sheets of metal.

Will someone try to find it?