Posted April 18, 2021
“The machine of a dream, such a clean machine, with pistons a-pumpin’, and the hubcaps all gleam . . .”
From Queen’s “I’m In Love With My Car”
Alexandra Paul is quoted as saying, “The cars we drive say a lot about us.” This past week up here in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee is what is called Rod Run Week. It’s one of two that are held here every year and it’s truly a sight to behold.
Every kind of classic car imaginable sits out in the open, side by side, in public parking lots. Cars from the 30’s on up through today. Corvettes. Mustangs. Camaros (my favorite), Trans Ams, ’57 Chevys. You name it and they were likely here for the road run.
They come from all over the country. Some are for sale. Some are for show. All say a lot about the history of our society. What blows my mind is that cars that are over ninety years old is some cases are still around and run like a top.
Cars represent a lot of things to a lot of people. Freedom (especially to a teenager who has just gotten their drivers license), independence, status, intelligence, uniqueness. I’m sure that you can come up with your own descriptions and superlatives. For me, my car is where I think, listen to music, thought-provoking programming, or chat on the phone.
Some pay for their cars for years. Some change cars as often as they change clothes. Some mistreat their cars. Others baby them. In fact, some people love their cars. I mean really, truly love their cars. I’ve known some people to name their cars. I’ve never named a car . . . but I have called some of them names, if you know what I mean.
For me, seeing cars at shows like Rod Run Week, the Barrett Auctions, etc., shows me the amazing creativity and ingenuity that God gave humankind. I mean, someone actually sat around and dreamed this stuff up. Some say that the first person to do so was Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot way back in 1769. I don’t know who it actually was but to think that man thought of all the things necessary to create a car. In later years, enclosed cars with windows. Then all sorts of other necessities like comfortable seats, heating/cooling, radios, and windows that could roll down.
It’s amazing how far cars have come. The compelling question to me is: Will the cars of today be around at Rod Runs ninety years from now. Cars being symbolic of who we are as individuals and as a society, they provoke some compelling questions.
Are the things we’re doing today having a lasting impact on the world? Do they mean anything in the overall scheme of things? Will what we do today last and impact future generations? Do the things we pour ourselves into reflect quality?
Something to think about as we drive in our cars.