Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A dear friend of mine has this car. She has had it forever actually; her Dad bought it new way back in 1960: a beautiful 1060 Thunderbird Coupe in nearly flawless condition. She had it all during high school, it was her high school drive in fact (lucky girl). Her dad finally decided that he needed the garage space, and finally signed it over to her. Practicality reigned, and she decided that she should sell it rather than keep what is really an antique, and unlike a Chippendale Highboy one that's value could be significantly affected by a parking lot encounter with a pole. So we conspired to go pick it up.

Unfortunately, we did so on one of the hottest days of the year. Fortunately, her car has very good AC. Unfortunately, the T-Bird does not. We had previously conspired to force her husband to drive it back while we followed, chatting and sipping our ice-blendeds in air-conditioned comfort, while hubby sweated it out in the 'Bird.

Of course, the moment I laid eyes on it I knew I had to be the one to drive it back. 120 degrees or not, when am I going to get that experience again? So we climbed in and off we went. The trip wasn't so bad on the freeway, it was sort of like being in a dryer vet: hot, but there was a breeze. When we got off the freeway, however, it was just plain hot.

We did give my friend a giggle: she thought her husband and I looked like the worlds cutest gay couple on an outing. She proceeded apparently to call a few people to share that with them. While sipping her ice-blended in the AC.

They bought me a delicious lunch for driving it back.

As an aside, the difference between driving a car from nearly 50 years ago and one from today is amazing! Braking this boat meant planning far in advance: tugboats have a shorter stopping distance. Steering required constant corrections, and ergonimics? Fuggetaboutit. The vent controls were in a stylish binnacle under the dash, near the front bumper seemingly, and even the vent windows I dared not take my eyes off the road to try to operate for fear of veering off into another lane. Oh, and no safety belts either. Which meant that there was nothing between me and certain death by stylish chrome doohickies if I met something. But it certainly made me a far more careful driver than my car with crumple zones, ABS and 63 airbags. Maybe we need to revert to poorer handling cars. Maybe we'd drive better.

The image is from tomandwendi.com

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