It is easy to fall into “The Trap”– worrying that our hobby, and the objects of our affection, will wither away in the hands of upcoming generations. We have been told countless times how today’s youth are far more interested in their smartphones and game consoles than their cars. However, my walk around the Thousand Oaks (CA) High School parking lot recently has served to moderate my pessimism. There is hope!
This uniquely presented Corvair is the source of my newfound optimism. It is driven to school daily by a student. It is immaculately clean and well cared for. While poor lighting prevented me from creating a glare-free image of the interior, I can tell you it is just as clean as the exterior. The highlight? Right there, in the middle of the floor was a glorious gear shifter! Imagine….a kid who drives a manual! Indeed, there is hope!
Now, some CC readers will likely find fault with the plastic faux-chrome wheelcovers and the paint mismatch on the fender. But stop right there. When you were a teenager, could you afford new wheels or perfect paint? Or, were you more likely to work hard just to keep your car fueled and running well? Those cheap wheelcovers look much better than plain black steelies and dull gray lug nuts. Some might also find the chrome-y edge guards a bit off-putting. Fine. But nobody liked everything you did to your car either. How about the fender skirts? Hmmmm….pretty polarizing. Ever seen a Brougham-y 1965-66 Corvair Corsa convertible? Me neither. Kudos for creativity and uniqueness.
I love this car more for what it means that what it is. The fact that this car is parked in the high school parking lot means our hobby will be enjoyed by the upcoming generation. This well-loved Corvair means Ralph Nader was not successful in his attempts to entirely kill unique concepts. This GM oddball means manual transmissions might live on to delight gearheads for another generation. The “110” emblem on the rear deck means this car was kept because it is special even without a turbo. The plastic wheel covers mean the owner/driver of this car may not be rich, but gets due credit for working hard to keep this lovely classic rolling.
It’s a great day for classic car enthusiasts!