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Bryan
Hagerty Employee

Avoidable Contact #55: Somewhere out there in the social distance

On my third lurid loop around the two-lane roundabout, the insides of my forearms primly pressed together (as Judith Krantz once famously wrote) in a bit of the old ultra-opposite-lock and a Skip-Barber-surplus 2011-date-coded BFGoodrich G-Sport tire gently smoking beneath the left rear fender of my (wife's) Skip-Barber-surplus 2014-date-coded Mazda Miata, I saw the vanilla BMW X3 and its two determinedly vanilla occupants preparing to join me in my circumnavigation. I was taking up all of my lane and a good bit of theirs, a bit of a pain in this state of affairs, so I straightened the wheel and brought the back end to heel, exiting to the west and hoping for the best. Read the full article on Hagerty.com:

 

https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/avoidable-contact/avoidable-contact-55-somewhere-out-there-in-...

21 REPLIES 21
Geoff
New Driver

Quite an eclectic automotive neighborhood you are frequenting!

Mostly my wife and I encounter Harley's and the occasional 60's-70's muscle car on our jaunts in our 1966 Lotus Super Seven these days.

People do seem friendlier- the old Sports Car Club wave or headlight flash is seeing a revival!

 

Nice piece of journalism, Mr. Baruth

 

desertsaab
New Driver

This guy is funnnnn
Pepperalls
Detailer

The roads haven't been swept, so the salty sand is still all over. Yet the first sporty car of spring to be seen up and down the road the past few days was a black later-model MX-5 Miata with the top down. The driver looked blissfully carefree too. Witnessing that happiness I saw neighbours (raking leaves, standing in driveways yelling to each other) smile and wave at this driver.

 

There's something about a fun car and the freedom of a road.

RokemRonnie
Detailer
RonJohnson
Passenger

Did you really follow the statement "(aside from essential workers ) everyone should be at home" by describing in lurid detail how you, your wife and a bunch of other jokers spent the day hooning around? 

 

"That mommy, and her mommy-wagon, aren’t even supposed to be out here on the road!" Yeah, and neither are you, dumbass.

Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

In California, you'd be correct. Ohio specifically notes "outdoor activities" as a legitimate reason to leave the house. Motorcycles and convertibles...

RonJohnson
Passenger

Pretty weak reasoning, don't you think? Shall we ask the x3 driver to pop her sunroof open and call it good?

rxk9394
Intermediate Driver

Loved the story and the writing!  Especially the reflection back on what this all has meant in the way that neighborhoods and communities are interacting now for maybe the first time in a long time in many places...


I would also contend this is no different than being allowed to drive to a state park for outdoor recreation. I also consider that essential and my wife and I have already taken a couple of "topless" drives in the last 2 weeks to clear our heads at both the posted and the safe speed limits in our area...

Great bit of writing and a very good diversion.
Everybody stay healthy and safe out there!

win59
Detailer

My wife and I folded the windscreen down on the Healey and in a brief moment of sunshine between rain clouds here in SoCal had a nice drive - with plenty of fresh air! Surface street traffic seemed fairly normal but freeways are 1960's wide open.

Police were apparently all busy down in Malibu issuing $1000 citations to desperado outlaw surfers.

Autoprof
Passenger

Jack

My wife and i also enjoyed some vitamin D on route 257 with the top down in my SSR last weekend.

We really needed to escape for a little while to maintain our mental health.

Enjoy, stay safe and be healthy.

 

 

 

DallasHearn
New Driver

This is why I Hagerty.

OldBird
Pit Crew

While I work for an "essential" organization, I am 95% at home now.  Nonetheless, I had to make the 30 mile round trip to work on Wednesday, mostly a country & suburban drive.  Oh, and it was a gorgeous 70°.  Did I mention that my daily for the past six years is an '06 Mini Cooper S convert?  I always enjoy the first annual dropping of the top, but this year it seemed extra sweet somehow... 

bblhed
Advanced Driver

I had my 1993 NA B package ready for the season and out on the road on February 23rd, now all that prep work is just about gone. I will have to go over the entire seasonal checklist again, probably the only adjustment that will actually need to be done will be tire pressure but that isn't the point. I forgot that while I was working from home 3 days a week those other two days were being wasted commuting on nearly empty roads in a Toyota Sienna when I could have been getting a lot more smiles per gallon.

 

Your story of purely recreational driving reminded me that Hagerty says that I can drive my car for pleasure and when I drive it to work the only pleasure I get is driving the car to and from work, the part where I work is not the point, the pleasure of the drive is.

 

Maybe after I mow the lawn I will take the car out, give it another once over, wash it and drive it to the mailbox remembering the words of Neil Peart "The point of a journey is not to arrive." Thanks for the motivation, I hope I see some other people driving interesting cars as well.

ModelT
Advanced Driver

I drove everything from a Model T touring to pick up trucks to work. The only pleasure I got was heading back home after work.

For the past 25+ years it's been a pleasure to not have to go to work. The downside to this is I used to work overtime to buy cars and parts.

 

 

Female22
Passenger

Loved it!!!!1

bblhed
Advanced Driver

I went out Easter Sunday and drove Route 63 North in Connecticut from the center of Watertown to the Rotatory 63 and 4 intersection in Goshen (Anyone that has been to Lime Rock will likely know this stretch of road if you don't, you need to find it). I saw nothing even remotely as interesting as what you saw unless you count the Easter Bunny waving to people on the Litchfield Green. Still it was nice to get out with the car. On the down side, I need tires.

Z3SpdDmn
Passenger

I loved this line, Jack. Nicely written piece.
"And it was as if the 40 years of supposed progress separating my childhood from now had slipped away unnoticed."

ModelT
Advanced Driver

I'm more than double those 40 years and never plan to grow up!

desertsaab
New Driver

Good spirited writer good job

Flatman
New Driver

I guess I’m just stupid - so riding around in a car is somehow bad but riding in subway cars and busses that aren’t even being cleaned regularly is somehow ok.

ModelT
Advanced Driver

Well, here come those darned memories again. Good thing I live on Memory Lane. The bad parts of living on Memory Lane are it's so danged short, few vehicles drive on it, and my toys are in the garage or on the breezeway covered with a tarp. What a way to treat my newest convertible.
In reality it's a phaeton but my six year old granddaughter and most humans call it a convertible. My last convertible was called a touring car.
It's been years since I owned a real convertible. Some would even question the why's or what's of that one too. For some unexplainable reason I bought a 1960 Austin Healey bug eyed Sprite back in 1961. Those little engines were built to rev and move along at a good pace. I choose to drive my little Sprite locally as an insurance salesman. I ruined the little engine twice! Yes twice but only had it rebuilt once.
I was never a mechanic or owned many tools. But I figured if a little Cobra could have a 289, or was that a 302?, then my little bugeyed Sprite could have a GM 327. With a few chisels, assorted hammers. duct tape, and Vicegrips, I built a custom square tube frame and gently slipped that 327 with Powerglide into that tiny hole where the tiny Austin Healey Sprite engine once was. A Duntov cam, solid lifters, 3-two barrel carbs, and other things I shoulda left out, all done under a real shade-tree, and welded by a real welder warning me that my tape, C-clamps, and wood blocked parts better be where I want them, proceeded to weld my little Cobra copy together.
A custom drive shaft, lots of luck, and, other than an added hole in the hood for carb number three, few knew what lurked under that bugeyed hood!
With the original rear end and wheels, I had to be gentle yet for several years I drove the heck out of that GM powered little Sprite and caused a lot of talk around the local cruise joints.
One day, a young man talked me into trading my Chevy-Sprite even up for an original, yet disassembled, 1933 Chevy Master Eagle 4-dr. I had a soft spot for old original cars but hated 4-dr sedans. I made the trade!
Then the kids grew up and I had to have a 1963 Vette split window coupe. By 1987 I couldn't even afford a split bumper Vette. In my wisdom, I'd always try to get the first or last of whatever I was gonna buy. So a 1977 T-top Corvette seemed right, at the time. A bright orange showroom display T-top model was not my first choice. Yet, there were millions of red Corvettes and few of the various shades of orange. So, a 1977 orange Corvette became one of our favorite rides from 1987 thru some time around 2000.
Maybe I shouldn't mention it........ when it comes to riding topless in our Sprite or Vette, my wife took that seriously! I miss them both.