In a post from many years ago I introduced you to my then-automobile Tiffany. She served me well, Tiffany did. The massive back seat and trunk held my entire DJ rig, so getting to gigs was a cinch. Together we drove all over America, hitting 46 of the 48 continental states (sorry Florida and South Carolina, I’ll get to you eventually), and D.C. She was even my home for about two years. Unfortunately, in April of this year I had to sell her, in part because her transmission needed rebuilding (to the tune of three grand), but mostly because I was considering a move to New York where I knew I wouldn’t need a car. It made sense to sell her, then buy another car later when I returned to California.
Well, I’ve returned to California, so on Monday I bought… a car. I don’t really have a name for this one. Yet.
Tiffany was a Meadow Green 1957 Chrysler Windsor sedan. The new car is a Hunter Green 1956 Chrysler Windsor wagon. Isn’t that weird? I totally did not set out to find the same car. I was actually thinking of getting a ’60s Chevrolet, or even a ’70s Cadillac or Buick, but when I saw the wagon I instantly realized it was the car for me. Do you know how much stuff I can fit into the back of that thing? Gigs will be soooo easy now!
This car seems to have at least as much pep as Tiffany. Although the engine is a bit smaller (331 cubic inch v. 354), the four-barrel carburetor (Tiffany had but one barrel) seems to compensate, as does the dual exhaust system. As one can see from the prominently displayed “250” on the rear hatch, this car can produce 250 horsepower. Of the 2700 Windsor wagons built in ’56, only the few that had that carb/ exhaust combo were designated 250s. There are probably very few such cars left, and I’m happy to own one of them.
Besides the features under the hood, the car sports lots of intricate details that modern carmakers eschew in favor of uniformity. The rear window rolls down, there is some plaid paneling inside, and the air vent is super neat, just to name a few. None of those things show up in the pictures below, but if you ever take a ride with me I’ll be sure to show them all to you.
I played Trivial Pursuit the other day. Stymied on my first two turns, on my third turn I went around the board and collected all six colored triangles, made it to the center square, and correctly identified the Glenn Miller Orchestra as the band in question. I won the game in about five minutes. I wish I were always that smart.
I drove my van on Saturday, but the brakes weren’t working well. I kept having to slam it into the curb or into large objects to stop it. That would be an example of one of the times I ain’t so smart.
Way back in the summer (June 12 to be precise), I was in a minor car accident. The aftermath of that was lame enough– at the scene the other driver admitted he had tried to go straight from a right turn only lane and hit me. He said he realized he was at fault and would accept blame. Later, when he called his insurance company he told them he was about to turn right when I turned into him. Some people have no sense of honor, but that is not the point of this post. Today’s story centers around the inspection my van underwent at a local auto shop as part of the settlement.
Several months have passed since I took the van in for the inspection. Today the insurance company called to offer a settlement. The agent told me that the agency intended to deduct money from my payment because my van has problems with both its engine and transmission. Interesting, I thought, as the inspector never physically touched my van, let alone looked under the hood. He took some pictures, and that was it.
I mentioned this to the agent, and she promised to check and call me back.
She just called back a few minutes ago. The inspector admits he didn’t actually touch the van, but he said that when I pulled into the shop it sounded like a van that might have a bad engine and transmission.
Needless to say, the insurance agent agreed to add the amount deducted back into my settlement.
Many, many shirtless scrawny men sporting mullets, discarded beer bottles everywhere, bugs the size of a grown man’s thumb– yep, I’m in Texas.
A real live Texan girl tried to pick me up. Actually, she didn’t even waste time with that– she accosted me in the hallway and invited herself into my motel room. I politely declined, and she replied, somewhat sadly, “I guess you don’t want to get to know a southern girl.” I guess not.
I put seven new CDs into the changer today:
Radio Soul Wax Hang the DJ vol. 1
Radiohead OK Computer
Iron Maiden Powerslave
Lou Reed Transformer
Frank Sinatra The Capitol Years
Suede Coming Up
I am sitting in the lobby of my motel, as that is the only place in this establishment with internet access. The night manager won’t stop telling me the story of his life, so I will keep this short. I’ve already heard about his online love affairs. Now he is telling me about his sister being abused by another student while in the 7th grade. He was in 9th grade at the time, and beat the 7th grader up for that, he did. Kid sis had already popped out a baby by then. Nice. Years later the abusive kid came back to apologize. I have no idea why the manager is telling me this. He is watching The Hot Chick on TV while relating this tale; I don’t think there is a correlation.
I am now in Phoenix. The 400 mile drive from Los Angeles was fairly easy. I think tomorrow’s drive to El Paso is a bit longer, but I didn’t leave Los Angeles until after 8:00 PM, so that made for a late arrival. I’ll leave Phoenix much earlier than that. Why am I even typing this paragraph? This is not the sort of travel blog my readers demand. Permit me to shift gears.
Get it? Shift gears = car talk. I am enjoying the car so far. I think I’ll stick to my classic cars, but there is something to be said for this BMW thing. It makes for a far smoother, quieter, and quicker ride than would Tiffany. The G.P.S. navigation device can be disconcerting, but it’s handy and fun. It tells mw what time I will arrive, and if I speed up, I can watch my arrival time shift accordingly.
The fact that you I have 7 CDs in the player at once is nice, too. Actually, as neither of my cars even has a radio, anything that allows me to hear music whilst driving makes for a nice change of pace. Seven CDs at once is almost overkill.
The CDs I chose for Day 1 of the drive:
The Beatles Let it Be
Fatboy Slim Live on the Floor at the Boutique
Pulp Different Class
Beastie Boys To the 5 Boroughs
Thievery Corporation DJ Kicks
Joy Division Unknown Pleasures
Today’s Question: Who wants a postcard?
A few years ago I drove from New York City to Berkeley, by way of Charlotte, North Carolina. The drive was at times arduous, but for the most part enjoyable. At the time I’d only been to California, Nevada, New York, and New Jersey, so it was interesting and enlightening to see some other parts of the U.S.
Yesterday, a friend asked if I’d be willing to undertake a similar endeavor– she is moving from Los Angeles to Atlanta, but doesn’t want to drive her car out there. As the cost to have a vehicle shipped is significantly more than the cost to drive, she asked if I’d do the job for her.
Factors influencing my decision:
1. I’ve never seen Atlanta, and as the friend is covering all gas and motel costs, it’s a free trip.
2. I’m curious to make another long drive.
3. The car is a brand new BMW, the polar opposite of the sort of vehicle I drive, and a chance for me to see how the other half lives, so to speak.
I told her I’d do it, so on the 17th I fly to Los Angeles and start driving. I don’t know exactly how far I’ll make it each day, but I anticipate spending nights in Phoenix, El Paso, Dallas, and Birmingham. If you live in any of those fine cities, let me know and I’ll honk the horn at you as I pass through your town.
By popular demand, today I am sharing a picture of Tiffany, my car. She’s solid, American steel from the glory days of the 1950s, built for cruising down the highways of yesteryear.
More specifically, Tiffany is a 1957 Chrysler Windsor. Why, you may well ask, do I drive such a massive and ancient vehicle? I wish I had some grandiose reason, but honestly– I needed a car and she was for sale. I bought her, and that’s about it. I am definitely partial to the safety a large, steel car imparts, especially after the dramatic demise of Pinky, but pretty much she was what I could afford at the time.
Here’s something unrelated to cars:
Omarion is your babydaddy!
Which B2K member is your babydaddy?
brought to you by Quizilla
Yup, he’s my baby daddy. Not that he would be my first choice of celebrity baby daddy’s, but whatevs…
Today’s Question: Who is your celebrity baby daddy? You can take that to mean, what celeb would you date, were you to date a celeb, in the event that you aren’t of the baby-daddy-havin’ persuasion.