I’ve decided that I need to start driving more cars.
That’s a rather surprising statement to me because I’ve been around a wide variety of cars most of my life. I have fondled fins, caressed convertibles and rubbed rocker panels for years. I have sat in, crawled under and worked on all manner of cars both new and old.
I have just haven’t driven enough of them.
This became frustratingly apparent the other day when I was at a bookstore and noticed something written by my friend Matt Stone. It’s called 365 Cars You Must Drive. (They didn’t add, “Before You Die” to the title. Too obvious I guess.) It’s an amazing collection of great and interesting cars that are worthy of driving around the block at least once. As I looked through the book I was amazed to realize how few of them I’ve actually driven.
I’m good on a lot of muscle cars. Three summers working at Sears Automotive during the mid-70s helped in that department. Although I’m not sure if you can count driving from the battery shop or alignment rack to the parking lot a real drive.
What I lack is time behind the wheel of stuff that qualifies as truly interesting. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve driven some. There was my first Ferrari (driving, not owning), a wonderful Ferrari 512. How about that interesting trip in a Renault 5 Turbo (with my wife screaming the whole way)? Heck, I’ve even driven a sprint car (on dirt, no less). What I lack is volume. I’ve never driven a 57 Thunderbird. I’ve never eased a Kaiser Darrin onto the highway. I have no idea what it feels like to scare myself at freeway speeds in a BMW Isetta. Trust me, the list goes on and on.
It wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t a car guy. After all, I didn’t decide to like sculptures or paintings. My fascination involves things that go. Therefore, I need to go!
So here is my list of ten cars I intend to drive this next year (in no particular order):
- Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing (this will be the toughest one on the list).
- Late 60’s Shelby GT 350 or 500 (don’t want to box myself in too tight).
- 60’s Hemi (anyone will do).
- BMW Isetta (come on, you want to try one too)
- 1950’s Corvette
- Anything with huge fins
- Ford GT (new model)
- Baby Bird (55-57 T-Bird)
- Modern Ferrari (I haven’t driven one in at least 15 years)
- Any classic American hot rod (preferably a Deuce Coupe, but I’m not picky)
That means about once a month I have to figure out some way to beg, borrow or steal my way into a great ride. We’re not talking a bucket list here. This is simply a feeble attempt to catch up to where I should be.
And just for total disclosure: Matt Stone is both a friend and colleague. We work together on the SPEED Barrett Jackson broadcasts. And while I’m happy to shamelessly plug his great books for free, should he feel any need to treat me to a wonderful dinner in return with a small portion of the incredible royalties he receives, I’ll make sure I disclose that as well.