Muscle Cars vs. Plastic Chariots


Greg Bray's XC Falcon 1990
Even with the stereo turned up I could hear it rusting

Folks, these days I drive a little Korean car which has less metal in it than a baked bean tin.

It’s come as a bit of a shock to discover I’ve turned into the sort of car owner I frequently mocked when I was a young, long-haired, lead-footed hoon.

Basically, someone like my father.

So, last weekend when I saw a collection of old cars from 1970’s I immediately wandered over to have a look because my dad wouldn’t have done that; he likes cars from 1950’s.

Anyway, there were some old, grey-haired blokes wearing unfashionable clothing checking out the hot looking cars with a half-smile on their faces. Then I caught my reflection in a panel van’s rear window and realised I was one of them.

We got along like a smoking Datsun. The memories, the laughs the wobbling double chins! But I wasn’t really one of them, because they’d kept their old cars.

I didn’t. I had responsibilities like a wife, kids and bank manager to think of. I needed much more reliability and a lot less temptation. My old car was high maintenance, guzzled fuel like a drunk at closing time and fell apart faster than a Queensland highway after a sun shower.

While I liked how it looked and sounded, it handled like a panicking elephant on a glacier and I’m pretty sure it was trying to kill me. Owning that car was like going out with the Cat Woman. I enjoyed being seen cruising round town with her, but people couldn’t see my scars or empty wallet.

My days of low-level flying and weekends under the bonnet came to an end when Cat Woman was replaced by Plain Jane. The fluffy dice disappeared along with the feeler gauges, timing light and torque wrench.

Still like blue cars

Jane’s a bit ordinary to look at and drive and has more plastic in her than a supermarket carpark, but by golly, she’s reliable.

Plus, I drive dull, dependable Jane like a nervous lawn bowler, so I’ve still got my licence and that’s one bit of plastic worth its’ weight in gold.


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