Our cars are our babies and they need protecting from the dirt and grit of the outside world. Especially after a natural disaster. In the wake of the wildfires that ravaged California in October, people are finally starting to rebuild their lives. It won’t be easy, especially for those who lost nearly everything.
As a young gearhead, getting behind the wheel of a car for the first time must have been thrilling. This was certainly the first step toward driving that Lamborghini or Ferrari in the post you had up on your bedroom wall.
We all have to start somewhere, right? Let’s wind the clocks back and get to the beginning of things, where it all started. What was it like, the first time you drove a car?
Ideally, cars are there to make us feel safe. Their metal shells are designed to cocoon us, cloister us from the physical dangers of the outside world while traveling at speed. Sometimes, this doesn’t always happen.
Happy Halloween! We all know there isn’t a shortage of creepy shit in cars—gremlins, inexplicable quirks and happenings—but what about cars that actually tried to kill you?
I love to drive. My car is my happy place. I love taking it places. Often, though, I find myself screaming from behind the wheel at some idiot crap that another driver has pulled. Because driving with other people ruins driving. Because other people are hell.
Last night, I was watching Fight Club with a group and somebody who had never seen it before (I know, disgusting) asked when the movie was released. This was after multiple heavy-CGI scenes, and all of us dumb idiots guessed sometime in the early-to-mid 2000s. Turns out it was 1999, which blew most of our minds.
Last night, I spent three hours freezing my ass off in a rainy, windy department store parking lot because a simple repair job turned into a nightmare.
It’s no secret that New York City is home to some of the rudest and pushiest drivers imaginable. On one hand, yes, driving here teaches you to be more aggressive, defensive and careful overall. But other times, I just wish drivers here were a tad more considerate and logical.
My time with Driver’s Ed and logging those hours with the instructor to get my permit were largely uneventful. Which I guess is sort of the experience that you want. Nobody screamed at me ever because there was nothing to scream at. This wasn’t always the case with you guys.
Driver’s Ed: the gateway through which every driver must pass in order to reach the holy land of driving. You hope that Driver’s Ed will pass by uneventfully, because nothing is worse than prolonging the process of getting your driver’s license.
It’s easy to look back on cars of years past and say, “Wow, things were just better back then,” simply because memory is grounded in perception, which is imperfect. Of course things seem better in the past: we selectively remember the good parts. But what about now?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to a car show or meet and I encounter at least a dozen people gazing at the gleaming, state-of-the-art machines and shaking their heads. They reminisce fondly on days of fewer regulations, leaded gas or massive engine displacement. “They just don’t make them like they used…
To the people who dutifully fill up their tanks as soon as the needle hits a quarter-tank, I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to the adventurers who live dangerously close to the edge, who exist merely to play the great game of chance.
It is a game that every single driver has played at least once: the Oh, Damn My Fuel Light Is On; Let Me See How Far I Get It To The Next Gas Station game. It’s a very fun game with very real consequences!
Car design evolves to fit both the aesthetic of the age and road regulations. Things like safety and aerodynamics play a part in how a car looks. Other times, a car’s layout is what, hopefully, designers think will be most helpful and look the best for customers. Problem is, they don’t always stick the landing.
All cars have to adhere to regulations and be structurally sound, safe and meet a whole host of other checklist items that I can’t even begin to imagine. Then car designers have to take all of those rules, apply them to a car and then also somehow figure out how to make the car pretty. It doesn’t sound easy.
It’s kind of funny how lifeless hunks of metal can become such large parts of our lives. Maybe it’s because we spend so much time around cars, we can’t help but to integrate ourselves with them. And because most of us are social animals, of course some aspects of our relationships have been directly impacted by cars.
Yes, cars are inanimate objects. They are not carbon-based life forms like we are. But that doesn’t change the fact that sometimes we perceive them as being alive. It doesn’t stop us from forming bonds with and through them.
Until personal teleportation devices are invented, rental cars will probably make up a fair chunk of the cars in traffic pretty much everywhere you go. And sometimes they’re vacations in and of themselves.