This is great. I’d love to see more like it here. Reminds me of similar stuff you saw years ago in Road & Track. I remember one about a guy who brought in super detailed working models that were just run of the mill cars in realistically rendered driver condition. Turns out he had a way to shrink real cars down to 1/24th scale.
I remember the same story. Little ignition keys and all. I seem to remember that they didn't say he shrunk them but led you to believe that. If memory servers, accompanying picture was a late '60s Impala and he only ever "shrunk" regular everyday cars-nothing special. (Nothing anyone would miss?)
I love that you're a goofy nitwit with enough Haribo jammed in yer mouth half the time as to make your words unintelligible. And then you write something like this. It's done in your voice, but with a trippy distraction to it (I've driven across Kansa before) and a pace that builds with a human ache. And surprise. All in a very interior way, but comfortable, in no hurry. Imma go by some dark roast. Was actually thinking about that this morning.
Had me hooked all the way to Chaffee's reappearance. I've known for years what a fine writer he is, but this is ne plus ultra. Great detail: the Weber manual.
I paused over the phrase "fugue states." Sam may like the novelist Walker Percy, who used "fugue states" as a central motif in "The Last Gentleman," which is a road trip novel. Then I moved on, fascinated by the story.
Mr. Baruth, how much exposure does a Hagerty writer get, being on this website? I hope it is extensive. I know Sam is widely popular, and part of me would prefer that he not be any further lionized, but I also want him to have the most recognition possible. Meanwhile, thank you for giving him a home with some great company (for example, you, Sajeev, and a dozen others).
About a million and a half people a month have a chance to see Sam's work here, although most people skip the "wordy" stuff and go straight for pieces on individual cars or news items. We have a big tent here, and I'm glad he is in it, and I'm glad you're here as well.
Did you ever see a movie by David Lynch called "Lost Highway?" I must have watched it twice without any hope of figuring out what the heck was going on, until I read an interview with Lynch where he told the story of a man who had a Dissociative Fugue. Oh, I get it now.
Wow Sam! That transported me! I sat in the driveway to read it through to the end...that doesn't happen often. I'm encouraged. Your stories had gotten a bit longwinded and lost the attachment for the reader. It was like you got distracted while writing. But this, and some more recent stuff, reminds me of why Peter Egan is so loved. He can spin a tale that draws you in and brings you along. And you've got it too.
Thanks Sam for your soul, and sharing it. Thanks Jack, for bringing so much beloved talent aboard and giving good automotive journalists a home!
Since I knew that Sam was bringing that BMW bike home already, I gave, as is required, "a willing suspension of disbelief" and bought in to the story as a trip narrative. Well done pulling me in Sam! The gentle tone was a delight and a welcome relief from the snark we too often see today, but then I am as old as the man in the story and need to get rid of too much stuff just like him so I may be channeling a Kansas farmer. Thanks for the break, Sam.
Years ago, when I resubscribed to Road & Track magazine, I "discovered" Sam. I've saved every issue with his articles in them. When he left the mag, I let the subscription end. It didn't have the same heart that Sam brought to it. His ability to put into words things that I thought were indescribable. I can't think of anyone that compares. He is misplaced in time; and we are the better for it. Let him write whatever he wants to write about; I'll read every word.
Last night before I nodded off, there was the Mecum "Top List" and they were doing the Top 10 mustangs of all time, not necessarily by what they brought at auction, and of course you know which car was the #1 mustang of all time....
Written in the spirit of Peter Egan. Now, in the spirit of Sam Smith. I witness Brothers... Peter, you're on your own, and bless you. Sam, Truly I blindly chose the 289 in my head as I read the title of this message. Always loved that engine. Still there was more, as often the case with you, I reference "message". To describe this work as an article would demean the underlying vibe that flows through and in each of us. Sam, you seem to touch the heart of all that experience your work. Even though realization that another's experience was their truth and heartfelt, you were also true to your own life experience. Feeling the soul of another that crept through time to touch even briefly the person of a future generation. This can only be described as magical, perhaps supernatural? Thank you for linking me to my experience, and away from the clutter of of our time. Blessings...
Well that did two things: 1 - it made my lunch break 2 - for several moments I was making a conscious effort to be a nicer person going forward incase somebody wanted to hand me the keys to such an incredible car, but then, thankfully, after the plot twisted, I felt comfortable going back to being the cynical, short fused jerk I am used to being
He had me from the get-go, I've ridden across those plains many times and seen those barns out back and often wondered what treasures they might hide, so daydreams on cross country bike trips are not all that unusual or surprising. Anytime Sam wants to share another I will be glad to read along
I think I love this story because I'm just like all the other star-struck gear heads, who somehow believe our sincere desire to own that one car of our dreams, is sufficient capital for someone to recognize how worthy we are. Money will never buy true love, it has to given. Great read Sam!