I posted this question to Oppo a few years back when I still had my Fiat 500 and I thought it would be fun to revisit it. For those of us that are older, what do you think would be your reaction if you were able to show high-school-aged you your current ride?
Back when I was in high school my car was a bland old ‘83 Celebrity sedan with the 2.8 V6. It made 112 HP (allegedly). It was a good car, though. I had a lot of fun in that thing. I drove it all over Colorado Springs, including some ill-advised off-roading that fortunately didn’t harm it.
When I was a Junior my dad did happen to buy a brand new ‘92 F-150 XL 4x4 with the inline 6 and a 5-speed, and I did get to drive it. In fact, we drove it back to Upper Michigan in March of that year right after he got it because his mom had died and we were headed to her funeral. I remember it being pretty slow and uninteresting, but now I’m a big fan of it. He still has it, by the way, and it is... not in the best of shape. My dad has the unusual ability to get vehicles to rust here.
Anyway, how would I have reacted to my current truck? Probably with some indifference, but I know I’d be very fascinated by the half-doors on the extended cab because those didn’t come along until the mid-to-late-90s. I know I’d also be blown away by my plug-and-play Sirius unit. That was always the dream, to have the equivalent of cable for your radio. I remember when I moved in with my high school best friend a couple years later and we got cable in our apartment that included DMX (Digital Music Express) and I loved it. It had a remote with an LCD info screen that told you the artist name and song titles and it was so cool. I’d also be floored by my iPod, and the fact that I could just plug it into the AUX jack and listen to every single song I have in my music collection. I did have a decent cassette player in my ‘83 Celebrity, but that doesn’t really compare. I know I would have been shocked that future me was willing to own a 15-mpg gas hog, especially when gas prices are nearly $3 per gallon now.
Then I would show me my partner’s Hyundai Elantra Limited and explain how it’s an economy car, even though it has features I would have never expected like heated leather seats, a backup camera, blind spot detection, and that it connects to your mobile phone. The Elantra that had just been introduced back then was pretty shitty, so there would be some major astonishment, I’m sure. Our Elantra has 35 more hp, weighs 300 lbs more, and gets nearly double the MPG of my old Celebrity.
Finally, I’d show me my big honkin’ work van. We never got the big euro-style cargo vans back in the day, so it’s quite a bit bigger than the Econolines, Chevy vans, and Ram Vans from that era. Being a delivery driver was not something that would have occurred to me as a career choice back then. I think I would be genuinely shocked that I drive it every day for a living.
What about you? Would teenage you approve or disapprove of your current vehicle and/or fleet?