The Power of Parade: In Grim Times, Cars Suddenly Find a New Use

the power of parade in grim times cars suddenly find a new use

Ever since Illinoisans were asked to stay at home by our governor in March, a new trend has popped up – people celebrating birthdays or other milestones by driving past the house of the honored person, sometimes honking horns and displaying signs.

It’s meant to be a nod to normalcy in these decidedly abnormal times, as well as an acknowledgment of celebrations that can’t be held at homes or restaurants for the time being. I don’t know if it’s happening only in the Chicago area or also elsewhere, but it’s a nice gesture during these trying times.

Like everyone else, I hate being stuck at home this much – although I do understand why it’s necessary, and I’ll abide by it. This is part of why I get irritated with the anti-lockdown protesters – it’s not just that they might further the spread of the coronavirus, thus leaving us in lockdown limbo longer, but also that there’s somehow this narrative that those of us in support of shelter-in-place love being at home all the time. As if we have to like a policy in order to abide by it.

I don’t. I hate it. But I get it. And because I know it needs to be done, no matter how much it sucks, I am, like anyone else going stir crazy and getting tired of Netflix, looking for any little scraps of cheer to make my days less grim. And while I normally take the cynical journalist approach to corny stories of good news on the evening news, I did smile over the weekend when my local NBC affiliate showed a parade of cars trundling through a Chicago suburb in order to make a little kid smile.

This particular kid was turning five, and he’s a car guy (boy?). His mom, wanting to make his birthday feel special in a time in which celebrations are a no-go for quite understandable reasons, got creative. She put the word on social media that her little dude loved cars, and if any local gearheads needed an excuse for a weekend drive, maybe they could parade past the house in their cool cars and honk and wave?

And they came in their Corvettes and Chevy trucks and Mustangs (no, no one spun into a lawn. This wasn’t Cars and Coffee), all to brighten a boy’s day because we can’t live our lives normally until we get this virus under control.

Go ahead, watch the video and play car spotter. And see if you don’t get a smile on your face, just for a minute.

The news is almost all grim these days, as one would expect. But sometimes we get something good, and it’s okay to smile, if only for a second.

[Image: Chevrolet/General Motors]

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  • El scotto El scotto on Apr 30, 2020

    Denmark announced widespread closures on March 11 and was among the first in Europe to close borders, shops, schools and restaurants, and to ban large gatherings. Norway began introducing travel restrictions in mid-March and has since closed schools and daycare centers, banned the use of vacation properties, canceled events and closed businesses such as hair and beauty salons. The death rate in Sweden has now risen significantly higher than many other countries in Europe, reaching more than 22 per 100,000 people, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University, controlled for population. By contrast, Denmark has recorded just over seven deaths per 100,000 people, and both Norway and Finland less than four. Source: CNN Denmark has recorded just over seven deaths per 100,000 people, and both Norway and Finland less than four. Perhaps not a good idea after all.

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    • FreedMike FreedMike on Apr 30, 2020

      @jack4x Ditto, I've just about run through my decanter of Jim Beam myself. Time for a refill!

  • Sobro Sobro on Apr 30, 2020

    I was going to comment on the Illinois car parade but somehow this isn't the thread to do so. So I'll comment that two weeks ago a beloved member of our church turned 78 and we held a car parade to wish him well.

  • MaintenanceCosts Nice styling, but purposely amplifying EV noise will be just as obnoxious as purposely amplifying ICE noise. I'm over cars that are loud for the sake of being loud.
  • Ajla -I don't hate it, which is something of a win for Dodge.-The styling is decent but to my eye it seems to crib from the ''65-'67 more than the '68-'69.-Although I appreciate the attempt at giving an EV an "exhaust", from the sound clips I heard, the vehicle doesn't sound very good. Kind of like an Ecoboost Ford with a vacuum leak. YMMV and maybe it'll sound better in person but for now I think ICE still has an aural advantage. There is more to it than pure decibels. All that said, I prefer this to silence.-I'm surprised it is a true 2-door, although it seems offering a Stinger-style 5-door version wouldn't be too hard. However, for folks that complained about a lack of EV coupes, you just lost your excuse.-Range, prices, overall availability and trim levels are all obviously big question marks right now.-Im still not sure how this all bodes for Dodge's future as for several years this is almost certainly going to be a much lower volume vehicle than the old Charger/Challenger duo. They'll need more than just the Hornet and this to make it to 2030 and beyond.
  • Kendahl A Charger with only two doors? I though that would be a Challenger.One of the desirable features of an electric drive train is that it's quiet. Why ruin it with fake engine noises?The exterior body design looks elegant. The dashboard, on the other hand, looks like a video game.
  • FreedMike As a fan of sexy exhaust notes, I get what Dodge is doing here. But “Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust” creating fake motor noise is more than a little silly. As for the rest of the car…count me as a fan. I’d drive this in a heartbeat. I also think Stellantis’ approach to electrification here makes a ton of sense - they’re selling capability, not practicality. That puts a shine on the idea of an EV to people who haven’t really considered one.
  • Art Vandelay not bad