I don’t k now about you but I can’t think of anything that transports me back to my teen summers quicker than old-time rock and roll. Throw in a lot full of classic 50’s cars, ’60’s era muscle cars, a 70’s coupe or two and I’m back there before you can say bell bottoms!
That’s why I make it one of my summer rituals to wander through the McDonald’s parking lot at Cortlandt Town Centre when the classic car lover faithful gather on Saturday evenings every summer to set up chairs no one ever sits on, and show off their babies.
Since the shopping center is home to Home Depot, A&P, Marshalls, Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, a ten theater movieplex, and three – oh glory,yes three – shoe outlets including my all-time favorite , DSW, chances are I’m there on Saturdays although I only visit t he car show once a summer – when the music speaks to me.
You can hear it from near and far, Some times it’s The Rolling Stones, getting no satisfaction, other times it’s The Monkees, enjoying a Pleasant Valley Sunday, or Smokey Robinson and the Miracles Going to a go-go, or of course, The Beach Boys getting around, or Jan and Dean serenading their Little GTO (just googled that and found it’s not Jan & Dean but Ronnie & the Daytonas whom I never heard of – guess that shows it wasn’t one of my favorites!)
On this particular evening it was Diana Ross and The Supremes pleading Stop in the Name of Love. It had the opposite effect in me. I went – in search of a memory or two
And I found them.
My best friend in eighth grade, Gail Wilson’s father’s car a ’60 Buick (’59?)
My fifth grade teacher, Miss Brook’s ’56 Chevrolet (gray and white)
.The ’66 Dodge (1st car on the left) my Dad trusted me with to ferry my mother and brother back and forth to the beach all summer in Cape Cod while he stayed in NY to work. Obviously we weren’t a two car family – yet
My brother Jim’s ’73 Dodge when we had become a three car family. It’s the brown car right next to the McDonald’s entrance which is quite appropriate as Jim kept McDonald’s in business!
The ’70’s era Dodge Dart my father bought when we were a four car family and there was no danger of my brothers or I driving his car. Except he didn’t race it so the engine didn’t have all that “stuff”
As Archie & Edith Bunker used to sing, “Those were the Days.” Cars had their own distinctive look and you didn’t have to look for the name on the front to know what it was. Do you think that 40 years from now, today’s youth will be gathering to show off their Mazdas & Mitsubishis?
I won’t be around to find out, but you know what? I hope they will.
No, not the book, that’s Fifty Shades of G-r-e-y. I’m talking about cars. Have you noticed parking lots and streets have turned a paler shade of gray?
Last Sunday my friend, A. and I drove into Manhattan. After 15 minutes of cruising the streets I found a parking space, which is the same thing as instantly by Manhattan standards. It wasn’t the biggest of spots, but I did a reasonably good job of parallel parking – only two do-overs. Parallel parking is the only kind of parking in Manhattan unless you want go to a parking lot or garage – but readers of this blog know I gravitate toward f-r-e-e.
We attended a street festival, and when it was time to head home we walked back along the street where I’d parked the car. Our conversation went like this.
Me:“Look at that, of all the cars on the street, those guys have to lean on my car?”
A: “That’s not your car, that’s a VW.”
Me: “Oh no, I got a ticket. For what?”
A: “That’s not your car; that’s a Toyota.”
Me“ Man, almost every car on the street is gray – gray and boxy.”
A: “There’s your car.”
Me: “No, that’s not mine. That car has a red inspection sticker I have a blue one.
A: “There’s your car.”
Me. “Are you sure? I thought I parked closer to the curb. Yeah, it’s my car. What a lousy parking job”
I came home and set a challenge for myself, and a bet. I bet myself a lottery scratch-off ticket that I could do an online search of 2012 car colors and come up with fifty. Are you ready?
- Harbor gray metallic
- Radiant silver metallic
- Shimmering- air metallic
- Shimmering-silver metallic
- Titanium gray metallic
- Harbor gray metallic
- Camel pearl
- Iridescent silver blue pearl
- Desert bronze metallic
- Tungsten metallic
- Brilliant silver
- Metallic slate
- Gun metallic
- Platinum gray metallic
- Moon rock silver metallic
- Reflex silver metallic
- Sterling gray
- Ginger ale
- Ingot silver
- Light pewter
- Earth metallic
- Steel blue metallic
- Frosted glass
- Ashen gray metallic
- Gray stone metallic
- Mocha steel metallic
- Silver ice metallic
- White Diamond tri-coat
- Taupe gray metallic
- Blue granite
- Ashen gray
- Classic silver metallic
- Cosmic gray mica
- Cypress pearl
- Magnetic gray metallic
- Shoreline blue mist
- Flaxen mica
- Medium silver
- Mercury metallic
- Opaline pearl
- Verdigris mica
- Truffle mica
- Alabaster silver metallic
- Polished metal metallic
- White orchid pearl
- Cool mist metallic
- Urban titanium metallic
- Opal sage
And there you have it. I know someone is saying some of those colors don’t sound like they’re gray. But trust me, in each case, the paint chip picture looked gray. Besides when I bought my car, I chose Tungsten metallic. Do you know what I got?
That’s why I named him Mighty Mouse.
What about you? Have you succumbed to The Long Gray Line of cars? I’d love to know. Leave me a comment.