My father drove a new Chevrolet every year, and they were always immaculate. Everyone could see that he was a practical family man with upward aspirations. While constrained by economics, he believed in the latest models in his vehicles.
When I think of my own auto history, the pattern is fairly obvious. I have almost always owned a two-door car, and most of them — before I started to get skin cancers — were convertibles. But I have long known that, with the right income, I would have a specific car.
My perfect car would mimic my powerful, aggressive personality. It would not be a shy and unassuming vehicle. It would be manly. Perhaps a Ferrari Testarossa in red would fit the bill. (I don’t think so.)
My father-in-law was a conservative certified public account and drove pastel Ramblers and Plymouths most of his life. One can see the correlation. You wouldn’t want your accountant to drive a Corvette or a Mini Cooper.
My perfect car would need to stand for my family values, while at the same time testifying to my penchant for risk. Someone might suggest a yellow Lamborgini. (That’s not right either.)
A friend and mentor who was the pastor of a large Protestant church in Southern California purchased a bright red Mazda but never drove it to work. Instead, he drove a ratty green Volkswagen, as he felt that it was more modest and in keeping with ministerial humility.
My perfect car, despite what it might say about my moral character, would need to have pizzazz and panache. It would need to reflect my flair for the unconventional. It brings to mind a silver Porsche Targa. (That would not be the best choice.)
A friend of mine has two rare classic cars that he never drives. They sit in his garage because they are too expensive to insure. While he never even takes them around the block, he gets pleasure out of looking at them and knowing that they are there.
My perfect car, while exciting and cool, must also be everyday transportation. As an extension of my personality, it also must be an extension of my need to get from place to place. It must be a trusted means of getting me where I need to go. My vehicle must have the temperament of a Toyota Camry with the dominance of a Hummer. (But neither of them would work.)
A favorite uncle always drove a top-of-the-line Cadillac. He did loads of research, and when he went into the dealer he knew what they had paid for the automobile, what color he wanted and every option that he needed. He walked in with his list and drove out with his new car. One had to appreciate his certainty.
This theory has been long thought-out. Ever since I bought my last car I have been thinking of the next one I would buy.
My perfect car must also reflect my decisiveness, so when I finally buy it — whenever I buy it — I will let you know what it is. Until then you will see me in my 17-year-old Subaru.
• Mike McLellan can be contacted by calling and leaving a message at 830-4231 or emailing him at DrMikeM@sbcglobal.net.