One of the ancillary benefits of living in a predominately African-American neighborhood is the preponderance of immaculately maintained vintage cars. I am willing to admit that the reserved Protestant in me is occasionally unnerved by the volume of music which sometimes emanates from said automobiles. But, as one who has thrown their fair share of all night parties, I suppose I should consider it a fair trade. This Monte Carlo (I think it is a Monte Carlo) is sometimes parked in front of my house. I am not sure who the owner is, but it’s gleaming white walls and solid, Detroit lines make it quiet a presence. I do miss the fire-engine red Delta 88 that was frequently parked around the corner, by the neighborhood McDonalds, but I think it went to vintage car heaven. Or, it’s shoddy locking system means that someone else is now proudly tooling around in it. Either way, I miss seeing that Delta 88.
As someone who considers themselves to be an environmentalist with many caveats to the standard dogma, I have to confess that my affinity for these old V-8 thunderers might seem a bit hypocritical. But, I believe that reuse is the most vital and most often neglected side of the green triangle. We are not doing the earth any favors by buying a new, ever more fuel efficient, automobile every three years. The energy saved in keeping one of these beauties on the road versus causing a whole new car to be built is dramatic. So, to you vintage car fetishist of the world, I say, drive on. But, if you don’t mind, turn the music down a bit. A Prius never shakes the windows of the houses it passes.