(first posted 9/2/2016) This weekend brings an unofficial end to the 2016 summer season in the U.S. that has brought much fun, sun and adventure. The stretch of time between Memorial Day Weekend this past May through this immenent Labor Day Weekend has whizzed by seemingly almost as quickly as did this beautiful, white Firebird that I had spotted in motion in the western Chicago suburb of Forest Park. A car like this one wouldn’t have turned my head ten or fifteen years ago. Nowadays, these Firebirds seem even more desirable to me than many more-expensive, American classics simply for having been such fixtures on roads for so long when I was coming of age – and seem all but gone today in decent, factory-stock condition.
The sight of a vintage 70’s car like this nicely-preserved F-Body in present day calls to mind the carefree, late-summer days of my 80’s childhood, and of seizing every opportunity to be outside during the week before returning to the drudgery of homework assignments, bus rides, and gym class. Speaking of “formulas”, I’d like to know what genius in the Chicago school board decided it was okay to send kids back into classrooms in August, before Labor Day. As much as I loathed doing them back then, I probably would have performed (or attempted) fifty Reagan-era “Presidential Fitness”-style chin-ups before starting fifth or sixth grade for just one more day of summer and back-to-school postponement.
Regardless, another great summer is in the history books and I’ve successfully avoided the temptation to purchase a classic car that I cannot afford to either purchase or garage in my neighborhood. The rediscovery of these frames, which were actually taken last summer, has reminded me of some of the joys of early- and late-summer, particularly of leaving the windows open to let in a cool breeze. I may yet buy a classic car of my own (and write about it here), but in the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy living vicariously through folks like the guy driving this Firebird…and through many of you CC readers and contributors, both here and abroad. Happy motoring, and have a safe and happy weekend.
(Chicago suburb) Forest Park, Illinois.
Saturday, July 11, 2015.