I’ll get to the “QOTD” part of this post momentarily. Some people just seem naturally self-confident in any and all situations. I am not innately one of those embarrassment-resistant people. I’m not ashamed to admit that self-confidence was a somewhat slow-building phenomenon for me, and I stand before you today as proof that even dorks can learn to overcome moderate social anxiety and project confidence, even if it means faking it from time to time.
But still. If you were behind the wheel of this first-year Chevy Citation (identifiable by its amber rear turn signals), would you be rocking this orange and gold masterpiece with confidence, with an extended left-arm driving position and the windows down for all to see? Or would you be more likely to hide behind dark-tinted sunglasses and homemade limo tint, hoping with every block you pass that the farting exhaust note and buzzing Iron Duke four-cylinder don’t call attention to you as you roll down a major thoroughfare? (Or would you take as many side streets and back alleys as possible?)
I’ve got to hand it to this guy. Sure, he looked a little uncomfortable as he noticed me taking pictures, and he was leaning in a little bit toward the center console. Maybe the windows were down simply because the air conditioning is busted and he needed some fresh air. However, my thought is that he must be super self-confident, simply because little would have stopped him from flipping me the bird (or worse) when he saw me taking pictures as this Citation came rolling, looking like a slightly-rotten citrus fruit, down Jackson Blvd. toward State St.
I’m baffled by the color scheme of this car, which most certainly looks like a factory option. Orange and gold. Somebody in management approved this. There are some flavors that just never taste good together. Think Goldschläger and orange juice. I’m sure there have probably been worse two-tone color combos that rolled off an assembly line, but right now, I am at a complete loss to think of any, even back to cars of the 1950’s. Let’s just say this one is not my favorite.
My Uncle Bob had a first-year Citation, purchased new to replace a ’73 Ford Pinto. He really liked his Citation, and he maintains to this day that it was, overall, a good car. That light blue Citation might as well have been a Camaro, the way Uncle Bob kept it in such clean condition inside and out – even after giant rust spots the size of McIntosh apples perforated the sheetmetal after only a few years.
My uncle’s Citation probably also didn’t see as much real-life wear-and-tear as other examples, being driven around rural Henry County in northwest Ohio – hardly a place of stop-and-go traffic. Still, Uncle Bob probably drove his Citation a little more carefully than most. Being a Lutheran pastor, volunteer firefighter, and family man, Uncle Bob seemed to have a proclivity toward responsible choices and safety, the Pinto notwithstanding. But I digress.
My apologies for the subpar picture quality. I suppose I was just so nonplussed by the sight of a running Citation on my daily walk from the Red Line to work that I wasn’t able to uphold my usual photographic standards. But I still felt this ‘Tation was too tasty not to share. And I want to make it clear that I am in no way dissing this car’s driver or his personal taste. Everybody’s got to get to work somehow, and I don’t even have a car. So there’s that.
Which (finally) brings me to my two-fold QOTD, directed at “normal” people like me who do get embarrassed: What is the most embarrassing car you’ve ever had to pilot, by choice or out of necessity, and under what circumstances? Go!
Photos as taken by the author, downtown, The Loop, Chicago, Illinois.
Monday, October 13, 2014.