Here’s to Number Forty

Growing up in the showrooms and offices of the many car dealerships where my mother worked when I was a child, my life-long love affair with automobiles was inevitable I suppose. Some people buy, sell, and trade baseball cards. Others collect Beanie Babies or bobble heads. Me? I’m obsessed with cars and trucks.

My mother, rest her car-loving soul, isn’t the only reason for my passion for automobiles. I also blame Hollywood. Movies like “The Blues Brothers”, “American Graffiti”, and “Smokey and the Bandit” and television shows such as “The Dukes of Hazzard”, “CHiPs”, and “Knight Rider” were wildly popular during my formative years in the 1970s and 1980s. ABC’s “Wild World of Sports” regularly featured not only motorcycle jumps by Evel Knievel, but also Joie Chitwood’s Thrill Show featuring stunt drivers who pulled off all sorts of death-defying feats in cars and trucks. I still have hundreds of Hot Wheels, Matchbox, and Ertl toy cars that I amassed as a child, many of which bear scars from recreating the stunts I saw on screen. Maybe I’ll hand them down to my grandchildren someday. Maybe.

As an adult, the total amount of real vehicles I’ve owned is considerably less than the number of toy cars I’ve collected. But last week my lifetime car count reached a notable milestone. I have now officially bought 40 cars, trucks, minivans, and SUVs (not counting a couple dozen vehicles I purchased during my brief stint as a car dealer).

The first vehicle I ever bought was a 10-year-old, 1979 Chevrolet Monte Carlo that cost a whopping five hundred bucks.

Read more in this week’s Journal…