Hello, folks. It has been a while since I have posted something on here. For this, I sincerely apologize as work seems to take hold of time, and it doesn’t like to share. For those who actually read the blog, I am very grateful for your diligence and patience. This blog is a work in progress, and while I have aspirations of where it needs to go, your continued readership and attention is what keeps this thing going.
With that out of the way, I want to jump into a topic I have been meaning to bring up for a while now: Why do we fall so deeply in-love with automobiles? And off of that, more specifically: Why do we love our first automobile so very much? After all, a car or truck is simply a machine with a purpose, but as has been mentioned in previous posts, engineering with a certain purpose in mind can create some shiny, beautiful metal as well as a personality to that particular vehicle.
The other day, as “car season” was beginning, I went to help a friend as he celebrated car season with the usual wrenching in the garage on his Camaro. By helping, I should clarify: I sat there amused by the ever-so-often howling of profanities and cursing toward the vehicle by my friend. Needless to say, it was interesting to see him work so diligently on his Camaro, yet he did not seem to be enjoying it much at all. As I sat amused in a chair in his garage, he would interject certain statistics regarding his particular Camaro: he built the transmission himself, he re-did the entire wiring of the car, he put in countless hours wrenching in the motor, he repaired doors, dashes, exhausts, etc… He had even began touching on the lights, the paint, and other smaller details. All of this, of course, was impressive, particularly the reworking of the transmission and the rewiring. After I stared blankly at him for a moment after he enumerated what he had done to the car (as I was confused as to why he put so much effort and work into a late 90s Camaro), he spoke the magic phrase that put it all together: “It was my first car.”
Eureka! It all made sense now. After he stated this, I then began to ponder: What is it about of first car that makes us so smitten with them? He wrenched and toiled endlessly on that Camaro and will continue to do so, at least I hope, for a very long time. It wasn’t anything particularly amazing or astonishing to me, but to him, that Camaro represents every car aspiration as a kid that was realized, imperfectly or not, when he obtained the vehicle. It symbolizes all that he loves about cars into what, in his eyes is, an imperfect car relationship that is more rewarding to him than any other relationship with a vehicle. I envied him deeply for his devotion to his first car; his first true expression of personal freedom and deep passion for all things automobile. I remember my first car so very well, but after it was totaled in a wreck not caused by myself, it was dearly missed and still is to this day. I remember as clear as day that car being hoisted upon the flatbed of a wrecker, and I also remember clearly the small tears that started to come down my face. It was a very sad day for me; it was if I had lost a dear friend.
First cars are special. No, they may not be gorgeous or be the quickest or toughest, but they aided us in exploring the world around us and developing our own sense of individuality and freedom. We owe it to our first cars, if you happen to still have it in your possession, to maintain their integrity. We all need to strive to be like my friend. Though the car creates deep anger and toil for him many times over in his garage (sometimes at my amusement), I know the harsh words and frustrations are rooted in passion and care. This is passion for the automobile, and that is something we all should have if we are truly car enthusiasts.
– JRB Editor-in-Chief of The Spirited Drive
I would love to know your story behind your first car/vehicle and what it was! Comment below!