Thanksgiving is a time for flying home to tiny towns in the middle of seemingly nowhwere and spending time with family, at lest for me it is. This year we went to the tiny town of Belpre, Ohio where my wife grew up and stayed in what until recently was the home of Annie Chicketti. Annie passed away last year, but not before she, the daughter of Italian immigrants crammed in exactly 100 years of jam-packed living. She started and ran a restaurant that ran for over 50 years and continues to serve home made pies to this day, she traveled the world, she maintained a crush on Matt Damon, and more importantly to people here, she took great care of her car.
Annie's 1970 Cadillac Calais is a time capsule of 1970s Detroit style. While not completely mint, the car is very very well maintained. Sitting in it one gets the feeling of how different the world was back then and how differently things were made. A look at the odometer reveals a paltry 22,000 miles on the clock. Let's do some math: That's about 511 miles per year.
The car, now in the possession of my wife's parents, is still started multiple times per week and driven just enough to keep things primed.
A twist of the key brings all 472 inches of the V8 instantly to life. The engine simply purrs. The 24 acres of sheet metal between the windscreen and the front of the car remind you that back then the length of your hood directly correlated to your station in life.
My wife and sister in law and I took the car for a single spin while we visited. Honestly, I was terrified the whole time. The car ride softer than a stratacumulous and handled about as quickly. The feeling of driving it is the feeling of owning the ENTIRE road. A small Dodge neon passed on the freeway, racing stripes and dual mufflers in full effect. On any other day of the week the driver would be proud of his ride, but as he passed we made eye contact and his admiration and envy were immediately evident. Caddy style trumps tuner style any day of the week. Standard Of The World, bitches.
I've never driven a car like the Calais, but the experience left me wondering if I could somehow find room in the garage for this one to keep the Beemer and Porsche happy. My tiny car collection would definitely be much better rounded with some classic American metal.
The Calais hasn't caught the eye of collectors quite yet. Not that I know of anyway. But style like this is unstoppable and lines like these don't happen anymore. Tick tock, the clock is ticking.