Potential: Revealed

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Archive for corvair

Car nostalgia

The definition of nostalgia is “a fond longing for the past”. In the Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently there was an article named Cars We Love To Hate. Now, the words “fond” and “longing” as part of the definition for nostalgia might be a stretch but I did feel quite nostalgic when reading this article.

Perhaps because of the seven cars featured, I drove three of them as a teenager and as a college student: the Chevy Vega, the Chevy Corvair, and the AMC Pacer.

Notwithstanding that the first car my Dad let me drive was made infamous by Ralph Nader’s “Unsafe at Any Speed” screed, these cars did exactly what was needed: get me from point A to B, cheaply and with pretty decent reliability. The fact that I became a bondo “artist” with all of these cars (partly due to Michigan weather and road salt, partly due to cheap nature of these cars) also doesn’t ruin my recollection. I probably see these cars (plus my mom’s lovely AMC Hornet, my sisters’ AMC Rambler and Ford Fairlane — a great car!) as part of my character and shapers of my life philosophy:

Be happy with what you have (for others have worse or nothing at all), take care of that which you’ve been given, and if want something better then work hard, save and persevere until you reach your goals.

Did I say these things to my mom and dad back in the late 1970 and early 1980’s when I drove these jalopies? Doubtful. But through the lens of time — and the fact that my youth was “celebrated” in the AJC article, certainly served to improve my memories.

How about you? Any stories to share?