By David Glenn Cox
We look at these beautiful classic cars admiring their design and the history; they’re illustrations from the chapters of our own lives. A burning ember flying by gone forever -in a second, as the true meaning of this art is lost in superchargers, carburetors and spoked wheels. These vehicles are the products of our existence, tail-fins, slicks, lowered or chopped, etched into our emotional memory, vividly reflecting our times back to us, the opulence and optimism of the 50’s Post-War Era, refined into luxury cars of the 60’s with a new seriousness, of over-sized but understated.
The Pony car, the muscle car, with the motto; “there’s no replacement for displacement.” It is an era, a time of life frozen in sheet metal and glass representing our freedom. This is what the automobile means to us, the power to come and go where we wish. The automobile is the single most import development in the history of men, and for women, it’s twice as important.
Before the automobile, most Americans lived on farms and women worked endless hours of household drudgery, without modern conveniences. With the next neighbor maybe a couple of miles away, the chance for conversation were limited, let alone schools or libraries. College was for rich folks back east, not for farmers, Men balked and joked about women drivers, but were quick to teach them how to drive, running to town for seed or for tractor parts. These women were liberated, freed to travel beyond just the local church building. It isn’t a coincidence that women got the vote in 1920, the ability to travel is the ability to network and to make noise.
It’s hard to imagine that world today, where you met your husband or wife on the first day of school, in the first grade. To never travel more than twenty-five miles from the spot where you were born, to know only what you were told, by those who’d been told themselves. Imagine your life, never seeing an ocean or a mountain, unless one was close by. You have the freedom to spend the holidays with relatives or to not spend the holidays with relatives. That’s real freedom, and it’s more than just the call of the open road.
Those four wheels give you a choice, on how you want to live your life. During the Great Depression, millions of Americans left the dust bowl, for a new life in the West. How far would they have gotten, without a car? Without cars, the Montgomery Bus boycott would have failed;
there were no trains or buses to Woodstock, these vehicles of ours are tied inexorably with our freedom. American Cars are as much about Americans, as they are about cars.
Even if our first car was a piece of junk, we remember it lovingly, POS or not. Because it was our first car and we remember, driving off for the first time, by ourselves and tasting… Freedom.
Happy Fourth of July! From Rubber the Right Way!