Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Looking for Daisy in Long Lost Detroit


I saw in my periphery the slow, automated descent of a Cadillac trunk lid and I felt a pang in my chest. Some people feel this when they see newborn babies, or a sunset, or the first of a five course meal being delivered to their table on a tray. Me, I get palpitations at the sight of a 90s-era Cadillac STS with a Northstar engine.

I had one, once. Her name was Daisy. She was born in 1993 and showed up in my parents' driveway circa 2000, the year I graduated college. She was shiny then. She was not dented or missing side panels in the way she would quickly become accustomed to once I slid behind the wheel. The leather seats were only beginning to show rear-wear in the driver and front passenger seat when I took ownership. The dashboard arched in front of me with luxurious architecture. She was sublime. I required only two years to drive her into the ground. Each stop on the journey through my milestones--my first job, my first apartment, my first trip halfway across country for a weekend-long outdoor concert--was another nail in her coffin.

I cried the day someone paid $700 for the privilege of hauling her off in a flatbed. It was a steal. The engine alone was worth more than that. But she had a phantom battery problem which necessitated near constant jumping and left me broken down on the side of the road at the whim of AAA almost daily. Many tried to fix it, and many failed. Then there was the issue of extensive body damage that came from her up close and personal relationship with curbs, guardrails and concrete barriers all over New England. Cheapened almost beyond recognition, she hung her headlights in shame and she died. Repeatedly.

I have a plan. As soon as I have enough money, I will buy another 1993 Cadillac STS with a Northstar engine. Black, with a tan interior. I will keep her in our garage and I will drive her monthly to keep the oil pumping in her veins. Then, when I am retired and old and Daisy II is recognized by all as the classic wonder I always knew her to be, The Partner and I will travel New England, from car show to car show, on a wave of American-made nostalgia. We will be very grumpy; Daisy II will be the same as she ever was. She will remind us what it was like to be young and free and powerful.

I don't ever want to lose that again.

5 comments:

Lauren said...

I hear ya. I used to have a Jetta. That thing had a HUGE backseat.

Heather said...

I have been oddly attached to all 4 of my cars. I don't know why, but I think they have feelings.

Boz said...

You're planning on getting another Cadillac? How many innocent vehicles do you have to torture before you drive something more practical (you or your partner)? How many tonnes of CO2 and how many oil fields have to be depleted before you consider something more environmentally-friendly? How much does the stock market have to drop before you consider something more financially sound? When will this madness end?

Binky said...

It will never end! Mwa ha ha! Mwa ha ha!

I feel like there should be a comic book villian created after me. Captain Cadillac.

Amy said...

Driving miss Daisy- part 2. Did I tell you my first car went by the name of Sarah Daisy? She was white with a tan top. I had no prob getting rid of the last car, but Isabella did not want me to get rid of it, reminding me that she rode home from the hospital in it. I told her I should have never had her in the hospital, so that memory did nothing for me. My new car is Helga Von Jetta. She is a sweetie.