My Passion for Mustang GTs Ch. 01bySusanJillParker©
Not all just about writing erotica, this story is about car buff stuff for car buffs. Susan writes about her passion for automobiles.
I'm a car buff, always have and always will be. Just because I'm a woman doesn't mean that I can't love and appreciate cars, especially new cars rather than older cars, and especially new Mustang GT's over any other car on the road. In the way that I can't mistake the sound of a Harley motorcycle going by in time for me to stare at it, I love the sound of Mustang GT's. There's nothing else like them on the road. Where Camaro got the sound all wrong unless under full throttle, and with Dodge's Challenger exhaust rumble a close second, Ford got the sound all right when making the Mustang's exhaust song.
Not very mechanical but knowing enough about cars not to be cheated by a dishonest mechanic, I never wanted to get my fingernails dirty or soil my clothes repairing and working on cars in the way my brothers all did. Admittedly and ashamedly for a car buff, I don't think I ever opened my hood or bonnet, as the English call it. The mechanicals of a car is not where my automotive appreciation and expertise is. Hardly a car buff in that regard, I never changed my oil, put air in my tires, or waxed my car. Because of the residual smell left on my hands, I didn't even like pumping my own gas and would only when I had to while wearing gloves. I'd leave all of that up to my brothers to do for me. The least that they can do for me after all that they've done to me, as referenced in some of my stories about them, they owe me big time. A chance for them to drive and show off my new Mustang to their friends, none of them minded doing my bidding whenever it came to cars.
"Do me a favor, after you wash and wax my car and put gas in my tank, check the tires and the oil. Thank you. You're a good brother, kind of, not really, not at all," I'd say mumbling the last part under my breath.
Unable to afford to buy a new car for quite some time now, my automotive passion was limited to reading about the aesthetics, engineering, and the style of new cars online while lusting over the new cars that I see out on the street. There's something intoxicating about entering a dealership and sitting down with a salesman to order a new car with the color you want and the options you need. Better than choosing a puppy at the pound, yet not nearly the same as receiving a new baby from the nursery I imagine, being that I don't have any children, what better friends to have than a new car and a new puppy?
In the way that Ralph Lauren and Jay Leno loves cars, in the way that they viewed the automobile as art, with an envious eye of their enormous appetites for cars, I silently shared their appreciation for fine automobiles from afar. Only until I win the lottery that I can't even afford to play, I'm unable to afford to personally participate in their highbrow hobby of fawning over luxury and high performance automobiles. Truly, few lust over a Toyota Camry in the way that collectors lust over a new or old Boss Mustang.
Unable to even afford the admission price of a ticket, the $225 in advance price and the $275 at the door ticket fee is way over my head to walk the manicured lawns of Pebble Beach while looking at all of the beautiful cars. With even the airfare out of my price range, forget about the hotel stay, I can't afford to indulge myself in the luxury of attending the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance automobile auction show while sipping champagne, eating caviar, and perusing rare, barn finds and ogling the Marques of pristine automobiles of unquestionable vintage and heritage. A once in a lifetime collection of cars, I'll never see these automobiles anywhere else but there on the grounds of Pebble Beach. Thank God for the pictures on the internet.
A car buff from afar without even an automobile of her own, I can't even afford to rent a car to drive down to Mecums to rub elbows with a bunch of rednecks looking to buy a mint '57 Chevy Nomad or a '63 split window 327 Corvette in Daytona blue. Where do so many people get so much money to not only buy cars but also to collect cars? Not enough that they pay premium prices that are sometimes out of the stratosphere then, whether selling or buying the car, they must pay the auction house their six percent to play. What did I do wrong in my life that I'm so poor? Forget about the car, I couldn't afford the insurance, the title, and the taxes.
A car buff without a car is like a baby without a carriage, a dog without a collar, and a homeless person without shelter and food. Instead of collecting cars, I have a small collection of imported key fobs from China, of course, and a modest and inexpensive collection of die cast models of my favorite cars that I started years ago. I've been too poor to add to my die cast car collection, when buying food was more of a priority than buying toys. Feeling my key fobs and looking at my models allows me to pretend that I actually own one of those cars.
"Poor, poor, pitiful me. Woe is me. Yet, I should have a problem. I have my health and I found my passion of writing stories for the salvation of myself and for all of my fans."
Feeling sorry for myself, I'm jealous of the rich who have everything as opposed to the poor who have nothing. When it comes to automobiles, especially when it comes to automobiles, as if looking through a restaurant window and watching people eat a meal that equals my food budget for a month, I watch them drive by in their BMW's and Mercedes, cars that I can't afford to own. Instead of going to the university for English, I should have taken political science. I should have gone to law school. I should have yearned to become a politician instead of a lowly writer of erotica. Sorry, I didn't mean to write politician. With no cooperation from one side of the aisle to the other side of the aisle, politics and politicians have become a bad word. What I meant to write was public servant. Yes, I should have become a public servant, one who serves themselves first and who has a job for the rest of their life, if they so want it.
"Lemme get this straight. That's one for me and none for you. Two for me and none for you. I like this public servant gig."
I remember Reggie Jackson, Mr. October, of the New York Yankees, having a huge collection of muscle cars, so large that he stored them in an undisclosed warehouse. Forget all the rest, he only had the best of the best and the rarest of the rarest. He sold some of them at Mecum's auction recently. The rest of us can barely afford our car payments, insurance installments, and continue to pay the exorbitantly high, gouging gas prices to Exxon who continues to make new, record quarterly profits. What's wrong with this picture? Is there no end to the greed in this country?
"God bless America. The land of the rich getting richer where the poor are chastise for needing help with health insurance, food stamps, and Social Security and Medicare in retirement and in old age."
"Please Sir, I want some more," said Oliver Twist in Charles Dickens novel by the same name, the parish boy's progress, was his second novel in 1938.
Nearly two hundred years later, not only has nothing changed but also it's gotten worse with the eradication of classes, especially the middle class, other than the superrich, the fabulously wealthy, the very rich, the rich, and the poor. Something we've worked all their lives to have, that is, when there are jobs, instead of calling it what it is, Social Security, public assistance, and public welfare, the word wizards, the spin doctors that they are, now lump it all under one category and call it all entitlements. Begrudged handouts to afford rent, prescription drugs, and food while the small fraction of superrich live high on the hog, we're lambasted for wanting more, just enough to survive.
Whether mentally ill, physically handicapped, unemployed, underemployed, down on our luck, or victims of floods and/or fires, how dare our public servants view us like that, as burdens that interfere with them accumulating even more wealth! Unlike the filthy rich who've inherited their wealth, in chasing the American dream so much like a carrot held in front of us with a stick, we've worked hard and paid taxes all of our lives to have some kind of government funded Social Security. When we pay for our public servants to have every conceivable luxury and free benefit, when they are the ones at the public's trough with their greedy hands out for so long, how dare they treat us like that! I thought they were hired by us as public servants to serve the public. All I see are them serving themselves.
Don't get me started. This story isn't about politics, it's about cars. Where was I? Oh, yeah, forget about collecting cars when we can barely afford to keep our 12-year-old clunkers on the road. God forbid we should have a car repair. Think about it, how many of you were smiling and feeling confidently comfortable when leaving your car for repairs at Midas, Sears, Wal-Mart or the local gas station?
"Your car is fine. Nothing is broken. It was nothing more than a piece of lint caught in your fuel injector. We blew that out and your car is running like new. There's no charge for the repair today."
"Huh? Yeah, right. What's the catch?"
We're all at the mercy of thieving mechanics charging us for repairs we don't need on things that aren't broken. None of us would mind paying the high price of car repairs, so long as the work was correctly done the first time. Even having our oil changed at a high volume quick lube place has turned into dishonest game of bait and switch when they give you the bad news that you need a new belt that suddenly and mysteriously has a rip in it that it didn't have before you pulled your car in the bay. Go figure.
"How did that happen?"
Being that it was only twenty-five bucks for the admission and within my budget at the time, but a lot of money to me today, I attended Ralph Lauren's car show of Speed, Style, and Beauty at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston back in 2005. Perusing the halls of rare and fine automobiles while wearing the headphones provided to listen to the explanations of the cars exhibited, I suddenly felt like someone special instead of the obvious loser that I am. I felt as if I were an insider to the upper crust of those personally invited to the museum to witness the private and exclusive collection of cars amassed by a famous, fashion designing billionaire. Things are good when shipping jobs overseas to have clothing made by tiny little fingers in sweatshops for pennies. Only, leaving all of those fine automobiles behind, my feeling of belonging to the society of rich and famous was short lived when I stepped outside to take the trolley home, got gum on the underside of shoe and my ass squeezed by an anonymous hand that emerged from somewhere in the crowd.
"Back to reality."
My old stomping grounds, Northeastern University, a block away from the museum, is where I went to college and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in English with creative writing and literature minors. A lot of good my degree has done me in getting a job other than writing erotica for free on a porn site to a mostly ungrateful group of men who don't even vote but, rather, feel compelled to bash my thousands of words stories for merely making a typo or dare voicing my personal opinion. I wouldn't mind if only they could make one grammatical correct bashing comment, but they can't.
Nonetheless my complaints, my day at the museum flowed right in with my creative side when walking around Ralph Lauren's fine collection of magnificent automobiles. With the cars of the period running through my mind, I returned myself to the roaring twenties in the way that Owen Wilson as Gil in Woody Allen's movie, Night in Paris, returned back in time to rub elbows with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Feeling the time gone by, when I saw an old Rolls Royce, circa 1920, I imagined the age of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.
Stylistically, the old Bugatti's, Bentley's, Rolls Royce's, Auburn's, and Dusenberg's of the 1920's and '30's are my favorite cars and were Clark Gable's favorite cars too. I'm a sucker for Art Deco architecture too and old Clark Gable with Greta Garbo, Carol Lombard, Claudette Colbert, and Jean Harlow movies. Unlike Jay Leno's eclectic collection that includes everything from a Stanley Steamer to an antique fire truck to a McLaren, Ralph Lauren loves old Bugatti's and Bentley, especially the 1938 Bugatti type 57sc Atlantic coupe.
"Wow! What a car! I just love the lines of that car too."
Being that I always worked on Newbury Street, Boston's version of Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive, first as the controller for a furrier and next as the business manager for a modeling agency, I got to see and meet a lot of celebrities. Now worth over thirty million dollars at auction, the second highest price car ever sold, years ago, I once saw Ralph Lauren himself driving his rare, multi-million dollar, bright red, '63 Ferrari GTO 250 down Newbury Street. Years later, when returning from New York on a business trip for a crazy, retired, millionaire psychiatrist that I was doing accounting for, I saw Mr. Lauren again on the highway driving his black, new Bentley Mulsanne turbo alone. He could afford to have a driver and to be driven to wherever he needed to go, but much like me and you to read this story about cars, Ralph is a car buff and car buffs will never be driven when they can drive.
Having a home in Massachusetts as well as in other places of the country, a dozen years ago he shopped at Louis, a famous and exclusive men's clothing store in Boston across from my office windows that overlooked the street. Unmistakable in his celebrity with his signature hair and his penchant for rare, old Ferraris, I knew immediately that it was him. In the way that Daisy Buchanan rode shotgun with Gatsby in his Rolls Royce, I wished I was Ralph Lauren's co-pilot in his Ferrari that day. If the sight of the car wasn't jaw dropping enough, just the musical sound of the Ferrari was magnificent when slowing from accelerating before coming to a stop.
Not surrendering his keys to the valet, I watched him park his car himself. Being that the car was worth millions dollars even back then, if that was my car, I'd park the Ferrari myself too. If that was my car, in the way that Bostonians drive, I'd never drive the car off my property. As written in Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence circa 1870, ending the age of innocence by the 1890's, automobiles signified the misuses of power, wealth, and corruption. From The Great Gatsby in his Rolls Royce, Bonnie and Clyde in their Ford V8 Deluxe, the Godfather with his Cadillacs, Miami Vice and their Ferrari Testarossa, and James Bond and his Aston Martins, transcending the mere words on the page of a writer's novel with visuals, automobiles have always played an important role in the movies as they have in literature.
In the way that the cars of the period must have done to their admirers, now it's the sleek, shiny newer cars that capture my eye and hold my attention. If I was to buy a supercar, bar none, it would be a Ferrari, but not a red or a yellow one, perhaps I'd buy a metallic blue one with a red leather interior. Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear, even more than his beloved Aston Martin, has declared more than once, whenever he steps behind the wheel, that Ferrari is his favorite supercar. Only, as heavy as a loaded Cadillac, I don't understand why the Italians make Ferrari's so heavy. The new Ferrari FF is 4,150 pounds before adding passengers, a tank of gas, and luggage. That's more than two tons to overcome when getting up to speed. As far as I'm concerned, in the way of a Corvette, sports cars shouldn't weigh more than 3,200 pounds and preferably in the way of the Mazda Miata and the Lotuses of old, about 2,500 pounds would be ideal. Being that less weight translates to reduced power to weight ratios and more speed, sports cars should be less than 3,000 pounds.
If I won the lottery that I don't play because I can't afford the dollar and because I have no luck in that way, I'd have a modest collection of cars. Just for summertime fun, I'd buy a Shelby Cobra GT 500, Super Snake built to my personal specifications. Licensed to use his name, logo, and image by the late Carroll Shelby, they make the cars in Las Vegas under Shelby American. Different from the AC Cobras of old of the 60's which started as a Sunbeam Tiger with a Ford 260 cubic inch V8 squeezed in it, the Shelby Cobras begin their transformation as a stock Mustang GT. Nearly every component on the car inside and out, including the paint, is changed, enhanced, improved, and massaged.
For highway travel, I'd buy a Cadillac CTS-V coup, the one with the 556 horsepower engine that sucks money from your wallet for gas and new tires nearly as fast as the car can go from zero to sixty in 4.0 seconds, not bad for a two ton luxury car. I'd buy a Range Rover, the best off road vehicle in the world, just to say that I owned one. Still mostly handmade, I'd buy a Bentley GT because they're beautiful to look at from any angle. When wanting to be driven and chauffeured around, I'd buy a Rolls Royce Wraith just for the sake of going crazy with choosing the exterior two tone colors and in selecting the interior's custom accoutrements, seats, dashboard, and carpet. Difficult to choose from the DB9, the Vantage, and the Vanquish, so low to the ground, so sleek, and because they look so fast even when parked, I'd buy and Aston Martin. It doesn't matter which model as they all look wicked good to me.
Having worked as a full-charge bookkeeper, a staff accountant, and a controller of small businesses in my fifteen year accounting career before being unemployed, I was always good with numbers. Being that I knew so much about cars and car prices, I used to help all of my friends, co-workers, and relatives chose which cars to buy. My mind a warehouse of useless knowledge about cars after having read so many car magazines, I helped them with their selection of the make, the model, and the options to chose when buying a new car. Also, I did something that most people would rather go to the dentist than to deal with a car salesperson, I'd accompany them to the dealership to negotiate their best price. As a bird dog fee, the dealer gave me $100 for every customer that I brought in who bought a new car. Depending how much I saved them, the person that I helped to buy the car and negotiate the price gave me $100 or $200 for my time and effort.
Having gotten away from doing that, since I moved away from Boston and from my whore of a mother and incestuously perverted brothers, I don't even read about cars in the way that I used to do. Even though I no longer own a car, after losing my last car in a flood, another long, sad story for another time, I still love cars, especially the new models. Just because I can no longer afford to own a car doesn't mean that I still can't be a car buff and lust over cars from afar. Cars are part of the American dream and being American. Cars are part of my youth. I love cars, especially Mustang GT's. We're all identified by the cars we drive. Every time I read about someone winning the lottery, the first thing they utter, after saying that they're buying their dream house and taking a trip to Disney World, is that they're buying a new car.
The youngest and most impressionable of five, growing up with four brothers, they always had hot cars, were fixing their cars, restoring their cars, hot rodding their cars, or were talking about their cars. Because they read all of the car magazines, magazines that were strewn around everywhere, especially in the bathroom that I wondered if they masturbated over cars and/or the sexy women in car magazines, I read them too. Car and Driver, Road and Track, Motor Trend, Automobile, Autoweek, Hot Rot, and Mustang, soon I nearly knew as much about cars as they did. Zero to sixty and quarter mile times were always the hot, heated topic of conversation around the dinner table, that is, when we had dinner together; seldom we did. With my mind for numbers and statistics, horsepower, torque, 0-60 times, and quarter mile numbers, I'd rattle off all the performance numbers.