Car-Guy at Heart
I really wish some gaming system would launch a racing game that used nothing but classic muscle cars. If they did, I’d get it just for that reason. The Gran Turismo series for Play Station does a fair job of including classic as well as modern cars, but like other games, I feel it favors the newest and fastest, most top of the line. (Though that did give me the chance to use a ’69 Stingray to trounce on my cousin’s ’96 Corvette.) I think what the gaming world needs is something that re-creates the classic circuit races from the ’60s and ’70s. While newer, faster cars are flashy and pretty, they’ll never carry the historical significance of the ’65 Mustang or ’63 Corvette. As I think I’ve mentioned, I enjoy studying almost any area of history. Automotive history is no exception. And unlike my history books on the Punic Wars or the Crusades, my books on automotive history come with full-color photographs and charts and graphs and specifications.
Classic cars are the key thing that makes me wish I had money. I’d love to even be that guy with the old GTO or Firebird or Cougar that he babies–right now I don’t even have a garage to park it in, let alone money to buy it and baby it. While my little ’02 Mustang is a sharp ride, it’s still the base model with the 3.8 liter V-6. It’s black, which is an okay color, but there’re other colors I’d like better. But since the black paint was one of several unauthorized cosmetic alterations by a previous owner, the dealer knocked almost $2,000 off the sticker price. So I’m not really complaining. Unfortunately, as I don’t really have a collector car of any kind I don’t know that I can really call my self a “car-guy.” Maybe a “car-enthusiast” or a “car-dilettante” or even a “nominal car-guy.” (Help me out, somebody. Is there a name for poor bastards like me who enjoy classic cars for aesthetic and historical reasons, but can’t afford to buy one?)
Since I can’t afford real classic cars, I feed my hunger by collecting models of them. Some are plastic 1:25 scale models I built myself, others are 1:18 or 1:24 die cast that came assembled. However, as much fun as I had customizing the ones I built, the die cast look so much nicer than my creations. I have 29 models at last count, my nine Mustangs making up the highest percentage. Sure, there are gaps in my collection: I keep hoping to find a ’67 Cougar and I don’t have any British cars to speak of. And I keep meaning to get an F-Series pickup to pull my 1:24 scale trailer–I mean, obviously I’m not going to use my ’37 and ’56 Ford pickups to haul my Chevelle SS down to the racetrack.
Anyway, maybe someday I’ll win the lottery or save a senator’s life or marry a sugar-momma. But until then, I’ll remain a car-guy at heart.