Back in January, Louis C.K. appeared on Jerry Seinfeld’s webseries “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” which made for an entertaining episode in and of itself, but the real star of the show was the car that Seinfeld selected for the program – a 1959 Fiat Jolly. Braving the New York City streets in a glorified golf cart with no doors and a fabric roof is nerve-racking enough, but when you factor in that less than one-hundred Jolly’s are left in the world, Seinfeld’s car choice seems downright irresponsible.
Where I grew up, it basically snowed everyday all winter. Cleveland gets its fair share of Lake Effect snow and after a while it all just becomes routine. Eventually, you figure out how to drive in bad weather. We would get two feet of snow and no one would care, it would just be a bit of a hassle. Being in New York City for the past twelve years has meant that my hard-earned Northeast Ohio winter driving skills have languished in a world with mass transit and very little snow. It’s disappointing because I actually came to enjoy driving in bad weather.
Then one day Mercedes-Benz called and said that they wanted me to go out to Wyoming and test out 4MATIC, their all-wheel drive system on a really nice CLS550. Really? Me? Umm yeah, oaky, I can help you guys out.
The Porsche 911 is an automotive icon with few equals. 1970s 911s are particularly coveted among the cognoscenti. A 1970s 911 owned by the King of Cool? Well that’s just sick. Steve McQueen’s 1970 911S that was featured prominently in his 1971 flick Le Mans is set to cross the auction block come August, and given the provenance no one’s even trying to guess how much cash it could bring in. Not only did it get a lot of screen time in the film, McQueen used it as his personal vehicle while filming in France. The opening sequences of his character Michael Delaney driving it through the French countryside while reflecting on life, death and racing were pretty true to life.
In my high school days my good friend Cale and I spent some time working as porters at a local car dealership. The job involved quite a bit of general grunt work, tons of new car prep and a helluva lot of car washing. Washing cars in the summer is one thing, but washing cars in the middle of a Cleveland winter is an altogether different thing. It sucks.
Our job also involved transporting inventory between the main dealership lot and the storage lot which was tucked away in a secluded area about five hundred yards from the dealership. Often we used a trade-in to shuttle over there to get whatever new cars the sales manager had ordered us to bring up. You’d probably be surprised to know that nobody really gave two shits about those trade-in cars, which meant my buddy Cale and I didn’t feel too bad about using them to perfect our tactical driving skills. And by tactical driving skills, I mean learning the intricacies of the relationship between the gas pedal and the hand brake.
Thanks to Steven for the tip. This is mesmerizing both in sound and sight.
A ’55 Chevy “one-fifty” with a 454 and four on the floor. James Taylor at the wheel and Dennis Wilson riding shotgun; no names and no bullshit. Two-Lane Blacktop came out two years before American Graffiti and two after Easy Rider. The film remains a cult classic. Good old American muscle. [Two-Lane Blacktop]