I used to love driving aimlessly around the South. The rural South offers enthusiasts an amazing array of beautiful winding one lane roads, and true to it’s reputation, you never know quite what you will find by the end of the day.
One time I found a bar that raised mongooses. I got to ‘feed the geese’ while watching what can loosely be called a marksmanship contest. Thankfully there were no flesh wounds. But I did quickly leave after the first ricochet.
The next week I decided to wander off to the most rural county in Georgia, Taylor County. A nice little hamlet of the old South where everyone walking in the town square was dressed up in army fatigues. It was hunting season and the only places open at 8:00 PM on a Saturday were the pizza shop and the liquor store. Just enough for a fun evening!
But then gas prices went swiftly to the nether regions… and soon… well…
It now costs a helluva lot more money to explore the USA these days; especially if you drive an old gas guzzler. As a result of the brutality that comes from the gas bumps, I’ve had to limit my Sunday rides for these last several years.
It’s been a big time bummer given the road cars I’ve had access to. A 1977 Mercedes 350SE in silver, restored, was all ready to go for a night on the town back in 2008. Except it rarely went out at all because gas stayed at around $3 to $4 a gallon. During that summer I watched the gas lines. Drove mainly for work, and hoped for some relief.
The same soon went for a 1985 Lincoln Town Car with 45k miles. A brilliant midnight blue in Reaganesque glory, which went through such long stays on my driveway that I began to see tire dirt marks after the all-too-rare moving of it. I drove it a few times. But was glad to let it go.
I now have a lot of nice road trip cars… with nowhere to drive them. An old Volvo 240 wagon with a hardtop carrier on the roof and a 5-speed. Great car. But it would cost over $30 just to drive it one way to that old rural county. Back in the day it was only $10. An old 1992 Buick Roadmaster with leather seats thicker than the accents I encountered in Taylor County? Fuhgeddaboudit! The cost of driving it would be more than a day of parking in Manhattan.
I’m limiting my Sunday Drive cars to an old Miata and the wife’s Malibu. But what about the folks here at TTAC? Are you still going out for a Sunday Drive? What are you driving these days?