Driving home from work today, I had to take the route through downtown Louisville due to heavy traffic on the interstate. Now, I don’t mind this so much because you get to see things you might miss from the interstate; as was the case today.
As I was on my way home, a parked car caught my eye. It was an old silver VW Rabbit that had been painted to suit the driver’s preference. Either that, or it had been left on the street and been the target of a graffiti rampage. (And not a very good one, at that.) It made me wonder what kind of person would be the owner of a car like that? And why that car? Are there certain cars that lend themselves to artistic (and I use that word lightly) expression more than others?
I would think, first of all, that it would be a car without much monetary value. I can’t really see busting out the old acrylics for a paint job on a Hummer, if you know what I mean. I also noticed that they tend to be small economy cars…most of them silver. I guess silver is a good background for painting and if you have to buy all of those little bottles of acrylics, you would want a small car.
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks…I had actually owned a car like that! We only owned it for a week, but owned it none the less. My first husband had taken a job delivering the newspaper and needed an economic car to drive the route. Enter the “Beruit-Mobile”! It was a “silver, VW Rabbit” with a paint job (or lack of one) that looked like it had been in a car-bombing. (Okay, maybe not quite as bad as the photo above, but close.) This seemed like just the thing for a stealthy job such as early morning paper delivery. And for $500 how could you lose? It drove great…well, for the first week, anyway. Then the thing just up and died.
Well, we called the guy we bought it from and he said he would come and get it and fix it for us. (What a kind, generous soul.) Well that was the last we ever saw of the guy, the car, the money. I like to think that maybe he died in a car-bombing somewhere in the middle east.
Okay, so I owned a car that looked like it had been in a car-bombing, so what? It’s not like it was an artistic rendering of my inner soul. (At least I hope not) Enter “the Tercel”. Yes, it was yet another aparition of beauty, (in someone’s eyes) those eyes which happened to belong to my free spirited 17 year old daughter. She needed a car.
The Tercel was 4-wheel drive (sometimes), had “cool” (her words) navy blue plaid seats (right out of the 80’s), and a working radio. But, the real selling point was the sun and moon that was painted across the hood, yes, I said HOOD of the car. In white paint. The car was navy blue. Get the picture? And, as if that wasn’t enough, the word NAMASTE was painted, in white paint, across the back of the car.
My daughter loved that car and had she not needed something a little more reliable to go to college in, she would probably still be driving it today. We ended up selling it for $700 (original investment plus repairs) to a group of college boys that also thought it was “cool”. I think they liked the plaid seats, too. And as they drove out of sight all I could do was wave and say, “Namaste”.