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In Search of… The East Glows

2129907781 In Search of... The East Glows

In 1971, I committed a crime, the repercussions of which still affect me today. I was a bored eighteen year-old whose over-developed automotive memory banks craved stimulus. In those pre-web dark ages, the information gap between monthly car magazines was excruciating. Desperate, I plied the 629.22 rack of the Iowa City Public Library, and found

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Ill Be Home for Christmas

960327785 Ill Be Home for ChristmasSanta came early in 1972. My older brother had taken a civilian job on a military base in Greenland. Out of the blue, he gave me his 1963 Corvair. It was my very first set of wheels. Instead of bracing myself for the thousand mile-long hitchhike from Iowa to Baltimore in freezing weather, I was driving home for Christmas in comfort. But there was

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Caravan of Love

907675460 Caravan of Love

Unless you live under a highway, an empty box has no intrinsic value; it’s what’s inside that counts. The Dodge Grand Caravan we bought in 1992 was little more than a big dumb box on wheels. But by the time I got rid of it fifteen years later, I’d filled the Caravan with a lifetime of family memories.

Needless to say, it all started with the

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Bad Vibrations

1558006058 Bad VibrationsI was one with the universe. Everything around me was aglow in the summer sunlight, twinkling with a profound luster. I was floating serenely in my VW bug through the time space continuum. My consciousness was wide open. And then, in an instant, everything went black.

I was 22 and deep into Transcendental Meditation. I’d just spent three days

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Squaring the Circle

876830263 Squaring the CircleReaders who’ve accompanied me on this long, strange trip– from my automotive awakening to this, the final installment of my Auto-Biography– may recall my earliest childhood memory: riding in a 1950’s VW Beetle in Austria. The bug was the automotive womb from which I sprang. I’ve carried the Volkswagen DNA ever since. Even as a

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Foresting In The Woods

1708847956 Foresting In The Woods

Instead of holding down a “real” job and paying other professionals to maintain my lifestyle, I stay at home and do it all myself: rebuild old houses, deliver the children, grow our organic berries and fix the cars. One day, back in ‘99, this shade-tree mechanic finally grew tired of wrestling with the Gordian knot of hoses and wires nestling

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Theres a Future in Your Ford

855033109 Theres a Future in Your Ford

Twenty years ago, I was a well-heeled young exec. One day, I decided to indulge in a four-wheeled “weekend toy.” Instead of a Dino or XK-E, I dropped $500 on a 1966 Ford F-100 pickup. Sure, I’d harbored fantasies about Ferraris and Jags for years. But I didn’t want to be saddled with an expensive toy that offered temporary or unreliable escape.

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The Honda Lucerne and Other Roadside Attractions

2067201883 The Honda Lucerne and Other Roadside AttractionsSpontaneous road trips are a like a treasure hunt without the clues. The prizes always appear unexpectedly. Like Goldendale’s night-shift police officer. “No, Mr. Niedermeyer, your speed was just fine. But you seem to have your high-beams on. That’s against the law within city limits. But… you’re free to go.” With those words of affirmation, our

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Corolla Memories

615639368 Corolla Memories

For me, driving bliss is all about the setting. Give me an empty road, spectacular scenery, good company and the freedom to explore without an itinerary or time constraints, and I’m in Heaven. Sure, a nice set of wheels enhances the pleasure. But if it came down to it, I’d take an inexpensive reliable car and an endless open road over a garage

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Beverly Hills 92404

2008068503 Beverly Hills 92404

Mercedes SL’s were as thick on the ground as mascara on an over-the-hill movie star. The teenaged scions of the local glitterati drove brand new BMW 320i’s and VW Cabrios. A red Ferrari 308 GTB was de-rigueur for the up and coming producer. If you simply HAD to have attention or score the prime valet-parking spot, a Rolls Royce Corniche

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