There’s no explaining the love affair between guys and their cars

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 8, 2003

Editor’s note: Florence Arena’s column was inadvertently omitted from Friday’s News-Herald. It appears here.

They love them. They brag about them. Sometimes they name them.

They call their car &uot;she.&uot; Not too complimentary to the female horde. But why do men (never women) get so crazy when it comes to their cars? Hard to explain – it’s a funny kind of love affair. Let me tell you about some I knew well.

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We’ll start with brother Bud, one year younger than me. Bud was a hard worker. For a day’s pay Bud gave you a day and a half of work.

For him it was the rule, not the exception. He would do any kind of work and did it well. He was saving to buy a car. He wanted one desperately. Finally he felt he had enough saved and went car shopping.

We were all in the house when we heard a loud motor echoing on our small street. Four houses were all that was there and we felt it was elegant – neatly mowed grass, all clean, bright paint. So this did not belong on Thorton Terrace. My parents and I rushed to the door to see who would be guilty of such a sin on our terrace.

Up came brother Bud in a car. I guess it was a car. Not even a semblance of one, just a front seat, no back seat, both doors tied on with rope. It looked like an accident that happened. But was singing, the radio (It actually had one) was blasting and the motor could be heard three blocks. He beamed as he ran his hand around the steering wheel lovingly. He shouted to me, &uot;Come on, Sis, I’ll take you for a ride.&uot;

&uot;Not on your life! I wouldn’t be caught dead in that.&uot; That’s the way sisters talk to brothers. Strangely Bud was most successful girl-wise in that monstrosity. I can’t fathom it, can you?

Next comes a Navy man, husband of a dear friend. This one puzzles me. It’s just a car. Not a national monument as most guys figure. All he wants is that it gets him comfortably from point A to point B. He doesn’t worship it as most men do.

Men! Who can figure them when it comes to cars?

P.S. John’s car with rolling roof is beautiful but to him it is just transportation. If Bud paid more than $198 for his pile of junk, he was robbed, but he was happy with it.

Florence Arena lives in Suffolk and is a regular News-Herald columnist.