We stumbled across an interesting story today on the Hemmings Daily blog.
Peter Doherty, Jr contemplates what it really means to be a ‘car guy‘…
‘Lately I have been wondering if I can still call myself a car enthusiast. I certainly grew up a car guy (kid) in the late 1960’s. I was the one in the family that could identify all the neighbors by make and model of car. I had an extensive collection of die-cast toy cars and several slot car sets (I skipped school to play with one birthday present). I distinctly recall my first ride in a sports car (light blue MGB). I remember getting a high speed run around Lime Rock with a family friend in his ’69 Corvette. At age fourteen, I was trusted to move the family cars in and out of the garage by myself (mom never saw the time I almost put her Maverick through the roll-up door). I got my license the day I turned 16, and immediately started saving for a car of my own. I read Road & Track cover to cover for specs on current cars, and skimmed Automobile Quarterly for stories about machines of the past’
‘now that I have reached that stage in life where I have enough time and money to indulge an interest in things automotive, why am I driving anonymous mid-size sedans? Is it because I can park them anywhere and walk away without worry, and also know that I’ll never have to open the hood for the three years of the lease? Why am I not looking for another Triumph, or similar vintage ride for a second car? Is it I know I will probably be disappointed in the driving experience compared to modern cars (and a nice TR-250 goes for $30K)? Why then, do I not go out and buy a new Corvette or Cayman; “affordable” cars that are faster and better machines than almost anything produced over the last 50 years? Is it because it seems crazy to me to buy a vehicle that can’t be driven for five months of the year because of snow and ice (and salt) on the roads? And why do I rarely take weekend road trips anymore, and never exceed the speed limits when I do go somewhere? Is it because our New England roads are overcrowded (and potholed), with speed traps seemingly around every corner? Is it because if I buy a sports car and take it on the track to avoid the law, it suddenly seems too heavy, soft, and slow? Why then, am I not a regular competitor in a racing school formula car race series? Is it that I can’t justify the expense when it’s no longer a step towards a potential career? Speaking of racing, why do I click right past the few road races still shown on television (remember Speed)? Is it because there is very little actual racing going on, and too many sanitized, “Mickey Mouse” type tracks these days (with even fewer personalities left behind the wheel)?’
‘When I got that Triumph I was sure I would be driving cars like that for the rest of my life. Maybe I thought I was a car guy, when I was really just a wannabe racer all along? Is it simply a mid-life crisis? Is there a pill advertised on TV that I should “ask my doctor” for? Will I be okay again if I win the lottery? Let’s see… I could get that Lamborghini Miura (just to look at), or maybe one of those hot new Alfa 4Cs (for just the right day), or perhaps a big tailfins and chrome boat from the 50’s (just for cruise nights), and of course, one of those no-compromise British track day cars (just for the racer in me). And then I could…
True car guys still dream, don’t we?’
Have you ever felt the same way as Peter?
To read the whole story please click here to go to the Hemmings Daily website!