The last car I’d ever want to own

Published 2:45 pm Saturday, May 21, 2022

This past Thursday after 8:30 a.m. Mass, walked into Don & Dale’s Barber shop for long-time friend Don Ferguson to cut my hair – was giving haircut to long-time friend, car guy, Mac Monteith, we began talking cars and told Mac with my 2012 KIA Soul+, 1996 850 Volvo wagon with rare 5-speed manual transmission, 1971 MGB-GT bought new, and 1964 Land Rover Series IIA – I wanted one last car….

Expanding on my selection for this final car was my lifetime experience owning classics like ‘57 Chevy Bel Air high school/college; ’64 Chevy Bel Air (college), M151Jeep Vietnam – 4-speed, anemic 4 cylinder that damn near got me killed along with a whole bunch of other gook stuff over and over, ’67 Firebird, ’64 Jeep, ‘72 Blazer, 2 ’60 T-Birds, ’57 Jeepster, ’72 BMW 2002 Tii (wish I had back), 2001 Porsche Boxster S, 2006 BMW 330i 6-speed, ‘97 turbo Saab SPG and above current cars.

So used my subjective likes and dislikes.to rapidly shrink lengthy list to one.  Insight into this is that I prefer my 17’ sea-going kayak with pedals for the rudder to anything motorized … i.e., don’t need power, love the quiet, and am an Indy Car fan over NASCAR and want to drive one in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, France … but that’s another story.

As an accomplished artist, can draw or paint anything I see in life-like detail and to me a good artist is anyone who can do that first, then if they want to branch out to other forms of art, abstract etc., so be it.  And although I appreciate all art, just don’t want to paint other than my realistic style with acrylics and appreciate all cars, just don’t want the majority of them.

A major factor in my selection, other than limited finances, is space. Garage is full – KIA, MG (only new cars ever owned), driveway allotted to Volvo and Land Rover, with only a wee area by house’s south wall where I could squeeze one other smallish car and still get in and out … so, size is crucial, as is strictly being all-original.  Now, if I had a large storage barn, my selection of “last” car wanted would be significantly larger as well.

Texas Metal is a TV show I watch because I like Bill, like to see how they solve problems and do things, but am way turned off by jacked-up, air-bagged, on steroids monstrosities that require a ladder to get in; stopped watching Garage Works Goblins UK car show with Helen Stanley because they repeatedly chopped-up mint, original vehicles like a perfect Land Rover Series IIA (stupid!); like Bitchin’ Rides with Dave Kindig, very impressed with his artistic car renderings, like the staff, but they don’t focus enough on originality; watched Fast N’ Loud with Richard Rawlings but all they did was stupid burnouts which I hate; like Fantom Works with Dan Short but they are all potty-mouths and every other word is “bleeped,” although they restore cars to original and do swell work; like Chasing Classic Cars with Wayne Carini; My Classic Car with Dennis Gage; Roadkill Garage I like to watch to see how they solve problems – but is way too much like my stuff, stresses me out, and forget Iron Resurrection … and most others.

So – no need for a ridiculous over-powered engine, dumb burnouts, rock-crawling rigs that after so much work just get torn up (no way), all jacked-up and idiotic stuff, cut-up non-original classic cars, clown graphics, tires and wheels way too big looking like a “mad” spider – and all that nonsense!

Along with smaller size, liking British cars, want a Webasto full folding roof…righthand drive, five speed, four-cylinder, British Open Classic – YES, a classic British Mini – 1959-2000!  Meaningful in that when engaged to Scottish lass, visited St. Andrews, the Old Course, British Open, my first long drive in Scotland driving on the “wrong” side of the road, shifting with wrong hand (diesel engine, six-speed manual) and it felt totally comfortable and familiar.  

On another visit, driving to England from Scotland to visit her brother who lived near London, two days down the A-1, night in York, England, tour York Cathedral (many pubs) back on M-6 along Irish Sea, night in Lake District of England, side trip to Windermere (pubs)…back to Scotland, father-in-law not to be (loved him), University of Glasgow professor, and “mum” Lord Lieutenant to Queen Elizabeth II (loved her), praised me with a well done – then challenged me to driving over a steep mountain on twisting sheep trails and back down…bloody hell – literally applauded me…whew!  

To be married in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh, favorite pub Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes) steps away…so swell… just not to be – okay, as God knew best – way unevenly yoked….

In touch with a dealer friend in England for my Classic Mini – stay tuned, Peace Out y’all & GO REBELS, beat A&M! 

 

Steve is an Oxford resident, worked on Campus and received his Ph.D. in Counseling from Ole Miss, and can be reached at sstricke@olemiss.edu.