What I learned from watching racing

by — Feb. 16, 2002 (Comments)

My whole family has become race fans over the past several years. The complete package includes drivers who are Christian wholesome family people, car tech shows, soap opera type competition, and learning about a new sport.

I use to hate driving. It was a fearsome commute I faced each day of my life. Now that I understand cars and maintenance in a way a never did before, driving has become much more tolerable to me. Although my car is not my career, it is a lifeline between where I need to go to work, to see friends, family and fun and me. It no longer is a dreaded occurrence in my life. Understanding how the car works and why has given me insight and cognizance I never had before.

I learned that drivers face the same dilemmas I do in everyday life. Cars are not built to last, even for drivers who have infinitely more resources than I do. It is a throw away world. I remember when it was a ‘keep it forever’ world. I cannot afford a throw away world anymore than the sponsors can afford to sustain the sport. I remember when you could work on your car and fix it yourself. Now cars have ‘brains’ and computers can only maintain them, which drives up the cost of maintenance and stranding us in horrendous situations.

My car is very old now and it is time I start looking for a replacement. What in the world is available as a replacement? I find that cars do not have real bumpers they are plastic to match the body. They have brains that stop the car in precarious situations. They have electric windows won’t go up and down, or the locks don’t work making it a dangerous situation in these times of car jacking. The engines don’t work right when you have to change your battery so you have to go looking for a mechanic that understands what kind of computer it needs to make it work right. The tires look like those donuts they use to have as spare tires to get you to the gas station so that you could get the real tire fixed. Not much rubber on those new tires. Where is a real car, with real bumpers and real windows that work and door locks you push yourself. And know the car is locked, and real tires with real rubber on them? Cars without a brain so that you can fix them yourself or at least put a new battery in without a trip to the mechanic. Cars that aren’t so small that it looks like you have to pedal them and engines that are big enough to get you out of situations that many other people put you in so that you don’t wreck. Where are the real cars and why do we have to settle for CRAP!?

Why don’t cars have bars all the way around to protect me when someone else does something stupid like drunk driving or driving without a license? We seem to be the throw away when it comes to the car manufacturers. Why don’t they make cars people really want? I cannot be alone in this desire! Yes, I would love to have great gas mileage, but not at the expense of my life. What is more important? It is a $100 here, a $1,000 there, or my life? My life is worth more than a few dollars saved because I have a small car with small tires, with a small engine. My life is not small, why should my car be small?

Now, my first car, a 1964 Mercury Comet, looks pretty darn good to me. I could look under the hood and understand what and where everything was and sometimes could fix it. My knowledge of engines is somewhat better today. I look under the hood of my car today and can’t even find the engine because of all the crap that has been added. No, I don’t want to smell someone else’s exhaust or mine, however, with better burning fuel that could be remedied.

Suggestions? I am open to suggestions and how to manage in a throw away world. Does anyone else feel this way? Am I the only person that knows what they want and willing to speak up? Life does not have to be a throw away world if we keep our hands in our pockets and only purchase what we know to be the best, if we can find it. Producers will soon take notice and give us what we want, eventually!