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Driving it Home

Plan to enjoy the road between the shows

Andy Bolig - October 25, 2012 10:00 AM

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“Oh I’m lookin’ at the world through a windshield!” The words of that old Del Reeves song resonate with acute reality as I write this morning.

As I sit here in my office, looking back at the wild ride we call summer, I can say without hesitation that indeed, I have experienced quite a few areas of this great country through a bug-splattered, thin sheet of glass.

The best way to lead is by example, and this year, we’ve definitely taken the lead by driving to most of the events that we’ve attended. Granted, we do have a few airline receipts, but this year we found ourselves in our own personal cockpit more than coach. You could even say that the view through that windshield was also better. What better way is there to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds that this country has to offer than by driving right through the center of it? And the people that you meet will make the trip much more enjoyable and informative than it ever could be at 30,000 feet.

Sure, there is a certain vulnerability to heeding the call of the open road. Flat tires, electrical hiccups or even simply running out of gas are all possibilities when you take on the task of personal transportation. I just returned from a two-and-a-half week tour of the Midwest and while it wasn’t without incident, I can honestly say that the drive through several Western states in a car was much better than the jaunt over several others in a tin sausage. The views were incredible and it was extremely interesting to see how the landscape changes as the miles roll by.

Before you start quoting how much better suited these new late-model cars are for such antics and our older cars are no longer worthy of such trips, keep in mind that most of the recent 1,700 mile (round trip) excursion that I attended was in a ’26 Model T Ford! Granted, the sparse amenities of a T might not be for everybody. But there’s even less reason to not drive a muscle car or other capable cruiser. I definitely do a lot more preventative maintenance before going on such a drive than when I was younger and even that isn’t a guarantee, but I’ve learned from some good friends that you can worry yourself right out of a good time if you’ll let it. I even heard of one fellow who always brought his car’s title with him. If he ever had trouble with it, he’d just sell it and find another way home!

While I haven’t got a lot of money, I DO have quite a bit of time in my cars; too much to simply sign them over to someone else. That time invested in building my cars has given me a pretty good knowledge of how things work under the hood and should the unexpected arise, I’ve got a much better chance of solving it than I would otherwise. That knowledge and a sufficient tool kit are enough for me to set out towards the horizon; hopefully it will be enough should the need arise.

As the summer is winding down, most of the shows and events are coming to a close. That means that for most of the country, there won’t be as many opportunities to get our cars out there and enjoy them from point A to point B, but it does afford us some time to get out there in our garages and prepare them for next year.

Begin making a list of items that you would like to do to your car with the idea of driving it next year. What would make a trip more enjoyable? What little item(s) have kept you from hitting the highway this year? Whether a faulty flasher or transmission troubles, now is the time to start thinking about how to address them.

And don’t forget, we’re coming up on that gift-giving season, so start dropping those hints now. You can wear those swanky Argyle socks you got last year while you’re enjoying the drive in your newly-improved auto next year!

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