Baby You Can Drive My Car

I’ve never cared that much about cars. I don’t have a dream car that I lust after and have always seen vehicles as a means of transportation rather than a status symbol. Add to that to my basic automotive knowledge (I know where the key, gas and oil go) and I wasn’t revving to head out and see Pixar’s latest.

Not that Cars needed my help to race to the top of the box office, mind you. But lest I appear to be chanting “Two legs good, four wheels bad,” there are a few vehicles that have caught my eye over the years.

My first gas-fueled affair was on Herbie, the Love Bug. I likely hadn’t even seen the movie yet when my aunt taught me the joy of slugging someone in the shoulder and yelling “Love Bug!” when a VW Bug passes. Once I was introduced to Herbie, I was taken by the self-confident, smart aleck car that knew better than it’s drivers.

The next car to catch my eye was the coolest set of wheels on the big screen and driven by Burt Reynolds. Smokey and The Bandit convinced me that I wanted a black Trans-Am, which seemed cool at the time. Of course if I owned one now it would be more appropriate for hanging about at night in the grocery store parking lot of my hometown, comparing neon light installations with the locals.

I got over that ill-conceived obsession by dreaming of jumping into the open windows of the General Lee and leaving the law in my dust. In a Dukes of Hazard moment, inspired by the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” my university roommate climbed out the window of my very un-Bo-and-Luke-Duke Subaru and found out the hard way that you need to watch out for door locks.

The last car in my pop-culture parking lot was the most sophisticated of the lot, despite being piloted by David Hasselhoff. Knight Rider's KITT was cool, despite the snooty British voice. He was the General Lee of mid-80’s California. I got my picture taken with KITT at Universal Studios when we went to Los Angeles. I was also wearing a red jacket that I thought looked like Michael Jackson’s, so I’m kinda glad I can’t find the photo.


  1. I can identify, as I like any car with four wheels, not including the steering wheel.

  2. glivingstonJune 23, 2006

    In my day the wailing on someone's shoulder was followed by hollering "Punch Buggy _ no punch backs!" That meant the person you assailed couldn't then turn around and haul on you over the same VW Bug. Man, that hurt if you missed!