In my old age, I have settled into a rut. I used to covet those flashy, fast cars. Well, they gave you status, gave you a ‘tude.’ Now, it’s like, who cares? Really. I drive a broken down, mashed in she car who won’t give up the ghost and set me free. I hold on to her because she gets me where I need to be. And, she sorta fits my personal broken down self. She’s named after my grandmother — Nellie. Nellie is more than looks, she has hidden values that nobody but me appreciates.
Besides, she keeps me humble. So humble!
It’s funny how memories jump on you from nowhere. I was just sitting around daydreaming when the image of my family’s first new car popped into my mind. My dad was so proud. He and Mom had saved their hard-earned money and bought a brand spanking new bullet-nose Studebaker.
With a new Studebaker, you can ride the neighborhood with attitude. I was only 10 but I had enough gumption to know this was the car of the future. I knew that ‘cause my dad told me so. It was, at least for a couple of years.
Dad did not really question the reduced price of the Studebaker. Unfortunately it was the onset of their demise. Ford and General Motors were becoming giants in the industry and poor little Studebaker was in such a financial crunch that they finally shut it all down.
I saw an auction bid recently for an antique 1950s Studebaker for $35,500. If my dad were still around, he’d probably try to trace down his old clunker. He always was one to zero in on a bargain.
Same thing happened with me. I got my first new car in 1965. It was a Mustang. Wow! What I would give to have that vintage set of wheels now. I just didn’t know it would someday be such a sought after item.
That car boosted my ratings as a hunk magnet. The apple red sporty “Stang” drew the boys like bees to honey. Why is it that you don’t realize how good a time you’re having until years after the fact? If I had just known I would’a enjoyed it more.
Just for kicks, cause I may want to get one for my next birthday, I looked up the most expensive new cars on the market. The one that caught my eye was a Bugatti Veyron. It has a 16.4 liter engine and 1001 horsepower and can reach the speed of 400 kilometers per hour. On sale it will run you around $1.7 million. That’s what I’m talking ‘bout.
Because I’m budget conscious in this pandemic, I might have to settle for a Ferrari Enzo. They only cost a million.
If you’ve got the car of your dreams, how do you keep it in this car-thieving society?
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the most stolen cars are Honda Civic and Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Ford F-150, Chevrolet C/K 100 and Dodge Ram Pickup.
Nellie is a Honda Civic. I keep leaving the keys in it but nobody is taking the hint.
The NICB encourages everyone to follow what it calls a “layered approach” to auto theft protection by employing simple, low-cost suggestions to make vehicles less attractive to thieves. The four layers include common sense, a warning device, an immobilizing device, and a tracking device.
The least expensive form of defense, common sense simply means using the standard anti-theft features of a vehicle by locking the car and taking the keys. The second layer is a warning device or alarm on the vehicle.
The third layer suggests some sort of immobilizing device, such as a fuel cutoff or smart key that prevents the vehicle from being driven. The fourth layer consists of a tracking device allowing law enforcement officers to track and recover a vehicle if stolen. Good luck with that.
Dale Lilly is Lifestyles Editor