A rusted bug and a wrecked hornet: A tale of two cars.
July 11, 2012
Honk if you have 31 million bucks!
During a faux race for rich people in France, the most expensive car in the world crashed: a 60’s era Ferrari GTO, one of thirty in existence. The sexy red coup was said to be worth over 31 million dollars. By the way the owner’s wife broke her arm in the accident. Here’s the story. Whatever.
I get how much shit costs. I also get the crazy figures certain luxury brands command, like Ferrari. But over 31 million for a motorcar? And it’s not made of gold. And it can’t fly? Crazy. I bet it would only cost a fraction of that amount to replicate the roadster, right down to the lug nuts. But it wouldn’t have that pedigree. That serial number. That mystique.
On the proverbial other side of the parking lot, my brother, Jeremy recently dug up this photo of my very first automobile: a 1970 convertible Volkswagen Bug. My father got a good price for it and tendered me an even better one: Free. A stick shift, it’s what I learned to drive in.
My rusty Bug.
After a summer of top-down fun in Chicago, I took that car with me to my freshman year at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. For obvious reasons, I would later transfer to the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Until then, that air-cooled bug and me made many a white-knuckled trip back and forth on Interstate-80, about 400 miles each way. Barely doing 60. During epic rainstorms we basically skidded. For winter break I had to keep my coat, hat and gloves on the entire trip. Besides a terrible heating system, the car had holes in it the way a teenager had acne. Holes that grew bigger. While driving, I could literally see the highway below my feet. At school, I tried to always park on a hill so I could initiate rolling starts when the ignition invariably failed.
Still, I loved that mess of a car. It’s ripped and shredded top. It’s jittery engine and tinny AM-only radio. Bicycle wide tires that gripped for shit. I don’t remember what happened to my bug. I’m glad my brother found this picture of it and (somewhat oddly) sent it to me on the same day the most expensive car in the world got wrecked. Call it car-ma.