Confession time. My entire adult life has been one long passionate love affair with sports cars. Some say the state of being in love is temporary insanity; mine is forever.
I had my first affair in college with Rex, a dusty red English Ford. Rex looked pretty much like a Singer Sewing Machine with wheels, but I didn’t care … I was smitten by Britain. Anglophenia pulled at my heartstrings then and now. It’s why my Sunday nights are spent at Downton Abbey.
Rex had a hot temper and after he blew his last gasket, my dad said, “Don’t cry. There are lots where he came from.” My daddy was a cop who rode along with the Feds on bootlegger raids. That’s how he found Ollie, a 1950 pea-green Oldsmobile Coupe. Ollie had transported so much moonshine over the mountains through the years that he smelled like a spilled jug of sour mash. I tried to make myself believe that Ollie was a sports car. He showed up with the requisite two-doors and no back seat. But he wasn’t the real deal; he was an Oldsmobile and he reeked.
One day after class I went to where we had parked the night before, but he was gone. I didn’t understand how he could just up and leave me. Perhaps he missed the days of hauling hooch 24-7 which he did until revenuers put a cork in his job description. Whatever the reason, Ollie got off the wagon when he hit the road.
After Ollie, I went through a bunch of American auto affairs, each one mind numbing and dull. It got to the point where one was as humdrum as the other. I just wasn’t turned on. First there was Carl Chevy, then Frank Ford. Yawn. When Maximilian, a fine-looking white Mercury convertible dressed in red leather, showed up and parked in my driveway I perked up.
Maximilian was a handsome hunk of engineering. The only down side was that he had to be shared with my husband. But even when I was pregnant, Max tootled me around town with his top down until my expanding tummy no longer fit under the steering wheel.
After Max left me I went through cars like Sherman through Atlanta, always hoping to find the perfect CarFax. Stanley Station Wagon was the quintessential dog and kid schlepper but he stayed on constant cruise control. I dumped Stan before we coasted into Comatose City.
Conrad Comet entered my life the year compacts came of age. Connie gave good gas mileage but was no more a sports car than Freddie Falcon ~ boring as an unpainted picket fence.
After they took off for that universal junkyard in the sky I was introduced to my first real sports car, Francisco Fiat, aka Fix It Again Toni. Francisco, however, ended up spending more time with Toni than with me. Clearly, Frankie and Toni were sweethearts. He may have been my mancar, but he done me wrong and he had to go.
Nick, the Nissan Z, a sporty dude with a tiger in his tank, was way too masculine. I tried, but in the end, Nick and his mileage roared in somebody else’s Blue Book.
Miso Miata was a good sport. He showed up with built-in laughter but too many glitches. Even a blonde knows that glitches, like jokes, ain’t funny after the third one. When Miso began to bomb more often than a drunk drone flying on high test, I shuffled him off to Buffalo.
At long last my dream lover, the fantasy car for which I had always longed, came home to Mama. Jacques Jaguar, a carnival red convertible, stole my heart. We were very happy for a long time, and unlike the others, he gave me no grief. I mourned him when we parted, but it was time. He got old and cranky and could no longer hide it. Fifteen in car years is ninety in dog years.
My true love was gone forever, but when fate plopped the cherry of all cherries on the front seat of my life, Jacques Jaguar had to take a back seat.
Wolfgang, a silver Porsche convertible, doesn’t clash with my golden years. He hugs me with his heavy body every time I turn his motor on. Woofie glides down the road of life indifferent to detours, potholes and roadblocks. His dashboard demeanor is more Deutsch than Englisch, but together we will learn the subtleties of vehicular communication.
Ach, Woofie … Ich liebe Dich.