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Car Memories

November 10, 2007

Written December 12

Dear Friends and Families,


Another weekend day to kill on my business trip to Charlotte. I've done Lowe's Motor Superspeedway, the History Museum, "Body Works" and a shopping mall or two (or three). Today I'll round my experience out with The Motorcar Hall of Fame", a kitschy attraction just down the road from Lowe's.

The entrance was correctly unpretentious.

Inside, I was almost alone with all the odd assortment of car memorabilia, from amphibious cars to vintage racers.

This was an example of the original "southern race cars", souped-up sedans used for transporting moonshine from local mountain distilleries, back in the day when police cars could be out run.

When track racing became serious, drivers would strip out the interiors of real "stock" cars, install rudimentary safety equipment, and head for tracks scattered throughout the South.

The was the early 60's when gas was cheap and cars, such as this 1960 Chevy Impala, were huge. I was particularly taken by this one, because it was much like the first big car I ever drove, dad's black 1961 Impala hardtop with ...

... a 348-cubic-inch V-8, three 2-barrel carburetors and a four-speed transmission. That car could fly on California roads!

Another personal memory-maker was this tiny camper trailer, reminiscent of a family trip to Montana when I was about 10 years old. (Remind me to tell you about how the bears managed to open this pop-up kitchen and eat all out cookies and bacon.)

Nowadays, our family cars are a Porsche Boxster and an Audi Allroad, both fine and sophisticated German machines and we stay in comfortable "gasthauses". But they don't displace the memory of Dad's black Impala and a tiny "tear drop" trailer.

You probably would have your own learning-to-drive memories and, if you are of "a certain age", you can reminisce at Charlotte's Motorcar Hall of Fame Museum.


John and Marianne.


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