The Car Chooses You

I remember asking my mother when I was very young, how we happened to get the particular dog we had.  She replied, “He picked you”.  That made me feel all warm and fuzzy, thinking that a little puppy was somehow drawn to me, more so than any of his littermates, like it was meant to be.

The truth was certainly something quite different, and things probably went down something like this: There were a bunch of puppies that all looked the same to my mom, so she just said, “We’ll take that one”, pointing to the one that I happened to be playing with at the time.

Unless you’re lucky or rich, it’s the same way with cars.  Before we had our driver’s licenses, my friends and I would talk about what kind of cars we were going to have once we could drive.  Of course, the vehicles mentioned were the expected mix of Fords, Mopars, and GM products, but they all had one thing in common.  They were all cool.  There was never any mention of four doors, six cylinders, three speeds, or automatics, and issues like rust, dents, and mechanical problems were never even discussed.  When it’s just a fantasy, choosing the car you will own is easy.

Well, time passes and reality sets in, and the first of what will be a series of never ending disappointments for the young car enthusiast occurs when he realizes that his first ride is not going to be anything like the car he had been describing to all of his friends for years.  

A kid’s older brother may have had a ‘69 Dodge Super Bee with a 383 and a four speed for five years, so of course, he was going to get a ‘69 Dodge Super Bee, 383 four speed.  One problem, it’s only 1978, and they’re already almost impossible to find.  Sure, his brother got one in 1973, but five additional years of salty winter roads, cars being turned into race only machines, and major accidents have taken their toll on the supply.  Less than ten years after they rolled off the assembly line, prices of roadworthy examples are already beyond the reach of the average sixteen year old.  

How about a ‘71 Plymouth Satellite, 318 auto?  Close enough?  It’s gonna have to be unless he wants a Duster or a Demon with a slant six.  That’s what’s out there that’s affordable.  Still, any of them are cooler than his friend’s four door AMC Hornet. What he finally ended up was determined much more by external forces beyond his control than his own desires.  He took what he could get that was closest to what he had in mind.

 Fate decided what your first car would be.  It’s kinda like in Transformers (except your first car probably wasn’t as good and couldn’t transform) or with the puppies.  You didn’t choose your first car, the car chose you, and less you somehow come across a shitload of money, this never changes.  

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