For the first few decades in automotive history, almost without exception, cars were equipped with manual transmissions. Although an automatic transmission was first developed in about 1900 for marine use it wasn’t until almost 40 years later it became available for everyday use in an automobile.
For the millions of us who are old enough to have had our Bar Mitzvahs in the 1950s and 1960s there was nothing more closely auto-related than the sweet sound and brute power of a high-performance V8. Forget that Cadillac produced the first mass-market V8 in 1914, they didn’t produce a 425 horsepower behemoth like Ford did in 1965.
Can you remember far enough back when all cars had full-size spares in their trunk? Maybe you were distracted by the hordes of dinosaurs that roamed the earth and didn’t have the time to see things around you, but trust me, they all had big tires (the cars not the dinosaurs). And one reason they were able to have full-size tires is because practically every vehicle had a full-size trunk. And there was no alternative except not having a spare.
The other day I was stuck waiting for a lengthy train (111 cars to be exact) to pass by. Consequently, I had some time to think, which may never be a good idea where my brain is concerned. I was looking around the vehicle I was driving and thinking about all the things that used to be found in cars that are nevermore. Things like:
DRIVER'S SIDE DIATRIBE By Al Vinikour email@example.com There are many ways to disguise legalized theft, running the gamut from “restocking fee” to “plus shipping and handling.” The most blatant one, however, is a charge that car buyers seem to take in stride – “Destination & Delivery Charges.”
I’m always hearing how “simple” life was in the “good old days.” I wonder if it really was or it just seems that way because most people are not big on change. Take car colors. When we were young, virile and carefree there were choices…and the descriptions made sense. There was always a red, black, white, blue and green.
One of the joys of a lifetime is taking home a brand new car (or even a used one which is new to you). You take the family for a spin, wash it repeatedly and often for the first few weeks…and then like an old mule you put it to use toiling through the seasons.
I think it’s safe to say most people like their cars. It’s probably just as safe to assume most selected them personally. Completing the “hat trick” it’s probably just as realistic to assume purchasing a vehicle is not only a huge financial commitment but the purchaser is probably — at best — hurting for money.
Nothing brings me down faster than seeing a wreath or some other kind of memorial alongside the road that generally indicates somebody was killed at that spot.
Occasionally I wonder how that was possible because the vehicle would have had to have been about as agile as an articulated bus to have wound up in that position from the road itself. But regardless of the positioning, the bottom line is…life ended there for somebody at one time.
I’m always delighted to hear from readers who let me know that I’m not the only one whose life is so filled with hatred it can’t be dealt with during a 24-hour day. I received one the other day from someone who commented that one of his biggest pet peeves is people who leave huge gaps between their vehicle and the one in front of them.