OpEd: SFGN’s Car Issues Should Have You Roaring to Go

There was a time when you picked up a weekend newspaper and every other page was an advertisement for new car dealerships. cars are america’s favorite toy.

Cars taught boys how to become men, and girls, women. That’s because there is a good chance that some old car we once owned was the very first place any of us ever had sex in. 

I still like old cars. New cars are too damn silent. The riveting sound of a powerful engine gives you a visceral and electrical charge. I don’t want a living room couch to drive in.  I need the roar of a wide body Hellcat to get me excited.

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The world is different today. If you tried to get laid in the back of your car now, some hidden camera would probably notify Homeland Security. Your neighborhood watch alert would send a text to everyone within a three block radius.

Today, print publications like SFGN have to compete with digital advertising and virtual rides. But there is nothing like holding a newspaper in your hand. You can get the same thrill shifting gears in your Shelby Mustang burning rubber on i-95 on a Sunday afternoon.

I hope you like this special edition of SFGN. Special thanks to Grieco Ford of Fort Lauderdale for helping us launch. Even more kudos to our CEO, Pier Angelo, for being the creative director and thoughtful writer of some eclectic pieces in this issue.

Last week, I penned a column asking you to let us know when you die. I want to make sure our newspaper illuminates your life when you pass. So you know, I don’t want to make my final ride to that last ball field in a mournful black hearse. I want a celebration. 

I have picked out my ride. It is a gold 1978 Lincoln Continental. Right now, it is at Carlos Auto Body on NW 8 Avenue in Fort Lauderdale getting a new roof. He is a detail queen. The car will be perfect.  My body might go to ashes and dust, but this car must not rust.

I love my vehicles, particularly the older ones I can work on myself. There is something special about dropping the wrench you have in your hand onto the radiator of your 1965 Mustang, cracking the frame, and have steaming hot antifreeze burst out and stream onto your chest.

If you love antique cars, you live with the cardinal rule that if a power steering belt snaps or a radiator hose bursts, it will be at 5:30 pm on a Friday night, after every good auto shop in town has closed. Well, there is one exception. There is a good chance you might be able to catch Linda at Dale’s Tires on West Sunrise Blvd. until 7 p.m.

When you own old cars, you develop a personal relationship with places like Dale’s, Howard’s Interiors and A Touch of Class Towing. You keep them on speed dial. I see that my old friends at Impact Auto are still in business on Powerline.  It’s always good to know, because you never know.

When you are an antique and own some others, you make sure you have an app on your iPhone to access your membership with the American Automobile Association, the AAA. In fact, own enough old cars and it will make you a member of AA. 

Older cars are fun — but I can’t lie — they can be nightmares too. Every set of keys you have to an antique car opens the door to headaches. But if you have a big enough garage and a good wrench, you can be the man, the fixer; a respirator for your boy toy. Or girl toy. We all are kids at heart.

Here is one piece of advice if you love older cars. Good work is not cheap, and cheap work ain’t good. Keep your car like your body, greased, running and tuned.

At 70 years old, it’s easier to change spark plugs in my driveway on a Saturday afternoon than dive for footballs. Less chance of breaking my ribs. When that engine powers up, you just become Dale Ernhardt at the Indianapolis 500.

I feel sorry for the Joe Pallants and George Castrataros of this world with their fancy Teslas. If their engines go down, they will need an electrophysiologist to diagnose it and an epidemiologist to repair it. You poor guys. 

All I need is a little coolant and anti freeze from O’Reilly’s Auto Parts.. In the meantime, I will cool down with an icy Stella at Hunter’s. Mark Hunter can tell me all about his two 1982 Buicks. 

So enjoy this week’s paper. If the oil pan leaks on your 74 Camaro, just get a stack of SFGN’s and lay them out under the hood. Drain the pan, get a match, stand back ten feet.


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