By the time you read this, my 11-year-old son will have ridden perhaps 50 miles in the new 2020 McLaren GT. I'm picking him up from school tomorrow and taking him for an early dinner so we will both be free to help my photography crew get some pictures of this utterly gorgeous quarter-million-dollar metallic-blue-with-cream-interior supercar later on in the evening. I know this car is catnip for kids because about 20 different neighborhood groms came over to my house this evening to watch the doors go up and down, ooh-and-aah at the roar of the engine, poke-and-prod at the various expensive-looking controls scattered throughout the interior, and stare open-mouthed at the way the nose can lift itself to clear the breakover angle of my driveway.
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I learned to read, sitting on my Father's lap, with the newspaper (what's that?) open to the car ads. I could read, "'55 Chevrolet, blue and white, original tires" before I read my first kid's book. I spent the rest of my life puzzled over his choices in automobiles. "Hey, you bought a Mustang!" Oh, crap, it's a 351 Windsor 2bbl., auto. "Are you really buying a Cadillac?" Oh, crap it's a 1980 Seville. (You wouldn't believe how cheap I got it, son)
My sons worked on cars together, both with me, and with their grandpa. That hands on wrenching - replacing the clutch on an '86 Corolla, fixing the inline six on a '64 Chevy truck, putting a rebuilt generator in a '68 Galaxie - is what bonded my sons with vehicles. Of course, it meant that *I* had to spend hundreds of hours, helping them in the high school auto shop, or driving to the parts store, or hanging out at my father in law's shop - but it was fun. All of them had their own cars, and though none of those cars were exotic, they were all easy to work on, easy to drive, and easily attainable. Nowadays, my boys are all 28 to 38 years old. They mostly drive trucks, cos trucks are the "new sports car" of the 21st century. One has a Raptor. Another is putting an LS motor into the afforementioned '64 Chevy. And my youngest drives a Toyota which is set up for the zombie apocalypse.