Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1, 2011 – That Distinct Sound

I was enjoying a walk on this excessively pleasant day in San Francisco. Then I heard it. It’s a unique species. It’s easy to recognize. It’s sound like no other vehicle can make. You can always tell an old Volkswagen (pre-1980) by the sound of the engine. I fortunately live in a part of the world where the ravages of rust are not so severe. Many an old bug and van has survived to a ripe old age in California. I also am fortunate to live in a city where I can live easily without owning a car. But if I did...

I really am not into cars very much and have little interest in car culture. But certain, groovy old cars are an exception. Old VWs are near the top of the list. Being a non-car owner with good friends, I often borrow cars and sometimes I rent. Some of my friends even have pretty fancy cars. I hate to tell them, but all that power and easy handling is boring. A BMW or Mercedes is as dull as Honda as far as I am concerned. I like my cars, small, zippy and punky. Give me a bug any day. When you’re going 80 in bug, you can really feel you’re going 80. When you’re going 90, you know you’re alive. When you are in the passenger seat of a bug with three more crammed in the back, and the driver is going over 100 on the Autobahn, you should be a little scared (just a little).

And, unlike those soulless hybrids, you’ll never be run over by a bug. You can hear them coming down the street.

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