1934 Chevy coupe with a Rumble Seat. (953)


When you do the math 952 auto reviews translates into just over 18 years of working in the auto industry. From visiting vehicle manufacturing company production lines to attending auto shows, and participating in “ride and drive” events around the country, I’ve written about 1,000,000 words as an automotive journalist.

But we all review cars from a very young age because it has been a symbol of independence and freedom to travel at the drop of a hat. It has been a passion for young men more than it has for the ladies, but we all make it the second most expensive purchase of our lives. Probably like you I began thinking about cars at age 15 when getting a drivers license was looming in the near future. I began getting ready for the big day when I’d be allowed to drive (legally) on the highways.

Dad’s know what goes through a young man’s mind even if you don’t bug them for a car, they are way ahead of you. So it was dad who would help me buy my first car. It was a 1934 Chevy coupe with a rumble seat. It cost $50.00 and I worked scraping and sanding paint or anything else dad really didn’t want to do, to pay him back.

I would drive it up and down the drive way and if the truth be told I took it on the streets close to home to learn how to drive. I missed a shift and broke a tooth off second gear and learned more about the inside of a transmission than I really wanted to, but at the time I had no choice. Learning is nothing more than a lot of mistakes that have to be fixed. This wasn’t the first fix it and it surely wouldn’t be the last.

So I’ve been learning about cars for a very long time and continue to this day since new developments are introduced to new cars every year. I attended the 2012 LA Auto Show to learn what is new in the auto industry. I have attended them professionally for the past 20 years and early in my youth dad would take the entire family to the show back in the 1950s. Let’s be clear, there weren’t a lot of things to choose from to do back then, and we’d already been to the Rodeo. But the car show was a big deal to us then and everyone was interested in this very new industry.

Today the show renews your interest in the cars you’ve driven, are driving and those you would like to drive or own. Being there got me to reflect on all the cars I’ve owned, driven and tested on and off the race track over the years. Visions of Jay Leno’s garage, that is over the top in car collections, includes many of the cars from the very early days of the industry like the Stanley Steamer. From those early attempts at finding a propulsion system all the way to current technology that has been perfected, we know that a new method of transportation is just around the corner. This is the dream of most guys I’m acquainted with. Yep, it is a Guy thing almost exclusively, but I do know one woman who has a car collection.  It was left to her by her dearly departed husband, but she too is a car enthusiast and keenly aware of all the nuances of those old relics of the past.

And as I get older I realize we all become relics of the past. Each of us is simply a generation away from that accomplishment. But I see the same wide eyed excitement of the youth of today when they are about to own their first car. It is still the symbol of freedom to explore and to experience something right down the highway.

Henry W. Longfellow in the last stanza his poem “A Psalm of Life”  that was what the heart of the young man said to the psalmist, “Let us then be up and doing with a heart for any fate, still achieving, still pursuing, learn to labor and to wait”.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
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