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The joys of benchracing aside, I generally dislike “Me and My Car” stories. You know, when someone – friend, clubmate, or journalist – prattles on and on about some car they have or had and why its better than yours. As if you care…Which you may or may not. But this is not one of those stories, exactly. Because the story here is not about the car itself. More specifically, about driving it home through several states of America.
I’m in LA. My prize 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 coupe, was in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It would have been no hassle, and only moderate expense, to put the thing on an enclosed loader and have it shipped to my door. But how romantic is that?
Instead, the owner, and FBI Agent, picked me up at ABQ airport mid-day on a Friday morning. In three hours, the pre-purchase inspection, test drive, and keys-for-cashier’s check processes were complete, and I hit Interstate 40 West for home. Like the song says “King-man, Bar-stow, SaaaaanBernardino won’t you, a get hip…” Yes, I sung “Route 66.” To myself, 237 times.
Do you have any idea how many types of clouds can populate the desert sky at one time? How magnificently the sun can stream through them in colors of gold, blue, purple, white, gray, and downright-on-fire orange? Anyone would enjoy feeling a hot, humid, desert summer afternoon relax into a comfortable sultry, desert dusk. And then into night. Road food. With windows and sunroof open, I watched a lightning storm, while the smell of fresh air and impending rain filled the cabin. The gentlest of rains that followed did nothing to dampen the magic of the moment. Name a computer game that can do any of this stuff.
Signage along the desert highway roadside is great fun:
- “Indian Arts: Wholesale! Retail! Pawn!”
- “Certified Clean Rooms” Certified by who? Have the Gideons expanded?
- “Ice Caves and Volcano Tour” — Can’t wait.
- “Moccasins, Banana Splits, Fireworks”– now there’s a combination.
- “You are that close to a better, quicker truck oil change”
- and the obvious “You really should advertise here”
So many things struck me along the way:
- A separate area of a junkyard, several acres at least, reserved for nothing but Chevrolet trucks.
- Often driving 90 MPH, but averaging only 70 because I stopped to take so many pictures
- The redhead in the Honda (you, the one with the high cheekbones and the warm smile. Glad you liked the car…)
- Sleeping like a baby in a $68 motel room, right next to the freeway
My new odometer said I traveled 830.9 miles getting home; distance enough for me and my newfound treasure to bond along the trail. That surely wouldn’t have happened if the car had made the journey solo, locked in the back of a truck.
The point here is simple: these United States are not only a great country, but are made up of great country. I encourage anyone to get out there, and drive it.