I Could Be King And Drive a ‘49 Packard

Fit for a king.
Fit for a king.

Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen

Do you belong in this day and age? Do you feel comfortable being a citizen of the 21st-century? If you do, explain why — and if you don’t, when in human history would you rather be?

Actually we have little to say in the matter. If we did it is likely we would all bounce around from era to era like a dead-beat tenant who skips out when the rent is due.

Yesterday I stopped at a used car lot that specialized in vintage automobiles. First I looked at a ’49 Packard, then a ’65 Vette, then a ’63 Thunderbird, then a ’55 two door Chevy wagon, and finally a ’61 Chrysler Imperial. Wow! I think in just those cars alone there was enough metal to build a battleship.

I kept going back to that ‘49 Packard. Memories began to stir in my mind as a little boy. The carpet in the back seat area was rough like sand and the seats weren’t that much softer. I looked at how basic and uncomplicated the dashboard was. There was only AM radio. Everything was built to be aesthetically pleasing but also the look of strength of durability.

In those days there was no new-car smell. They all smelled like an old damp sofa left on the front porch for a month.

It was easy for me to place myself behind the steering wheel and operate the clutch with the “three on the tree” gear shift. Indeed, I drove similar cars as a teenager.

For a moment I did that very thing. I was behind the wheel driving down North Main Street in Lima, Ohio on a warm Saturday afternoon. All my windows were rolled down (we actually had to crank them down) because there was no air-conditioning. I saw young boys in rolled up blue jeans and Davy Crockett coonskin caps. Little girls in pastel dresses and plastic purses holding the hand of their smartly dressed mothers wearing pillbox hats. Men walked briskly in grey suits and fedoras. The odor of a local hamburger shop wafted through the cranked-down windows of the car. The radio was playing Nat King Cole. I hear a horn from another car; not a beep beep, but a HONK! A breeze catches the courthouse flag and whisk dust and a page from yesterday’s down the sidewalk.

With what I know now I could be king back then.

Suddenly someone runs a light. There car is squarely in front of me. A collision is inevitable. I look at the steering wheel without an air bag. I look at the solid metal dash that my head might strike. I look over the hood of my ’49 Packard. It’s solid. It won’t absorb impact. I’m going to bounce around the interior of my ‘49 Packard like a pin ball.

That’s about the time I click my ruby slippers and say, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”

In other words, “As soon as the rent is due I’m ready to move on.”

Past and future bloggers:

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14 comments

    • Nostalgic. Yes, surely it is. But to appreciate this one we must be living in same flat world. The globe wasn’t quite flat until recently.
      Myself could appreciate it because I could visualise either through my reading or watching movies or because I’ve seen about three quarters of the world already.
      For younger ones or for those living in the dark side of the world, and talking about Packard ‘49 surely they would be asking what animal is this? To be honest, we live in Borneo Island (mind you this is the 3rd largest island of the world) we were under the rule of British Crown Colony then when you people were driving Packard, I would say.
      Wonder was this Packard British’s equivalent might be Wolseley or Mini Austin.
      Talking about Mini, this one I saw was Mini Cooper, owned by John Lennon (Beatles) was kept in a little museum somewhere in Humberside, North East of England.
      The whole body of the car was covered completely with British coins Sterling Pound, that must be many thousands pounds- perhaps that in itself signified how much money John Lennon had already earned those days.
      Okay, come back about appreciation of vintage car, the earlier Packard was issued in 1903 in Ohio. While in Central Europe the first modern –the so-called aerodynamic design was produced by Czech in 1897-called Tatra, and then came Bugetti, Citroen and the like.
      I once had (not so old) jaguar and Mercedes but since I was the only one that appreciated them, I then have to make decision, rather then of not wanting to see them given freely to scarp iron mongers I would rather sold cheaply to friends.

Blather away, if you like.

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