Do you own a car or any vehicle? If you live somewhere other than New York City, for example, chances are that you do.

Automobiles are a wonderful thing. They can get you from Point A to B, of course. But what they really give you is the sense of freedom and ability to go from Denver to Regina, Saskatchewan, in a day, if you really want to, and if you can actually get through the border into coronavirus-hyper Canada.

Some could argue that automobiles lose their value as soon as you drive them off the lot and thus they are a bad investment. And yet, that’s not really the case in this present Biden economy, where trying to find a new car on a lot is much like trying to find a single quarter that has fallen into the box of a grain truck full of wheat.

So, since you can’t get a new vehicle these days, used vehicles are holding their value and being recirculated back into society. But soon we’ll be running out of those too and driving around in 1958 Buicks like they do in Cuba.

When I was a kid the muscle cars were all the rage. And just outside of my little hometown, located a stone’s throw from the Canadian and Montana borders, was a makeshift quarter-mile drag racing track that extended from the intersection near the Ellingson farm to the Murphy farm driveway, one quarter mile away.

Chevelle Super Sports drag-raced Dodge Chargers. GTOs took on Mach I Mustangs. Souped-up Chevy Novas took on Road Runners or GTX’s. And some guys even raced motorcycles while lying on their bellies, with one hand shifting gears and the other on the handle bars. It was a wild bunch.

Chief Al, who was the law in those parts, seemed to have an attitude that, if you wanted to kill yourself, go ahead, and so he rarely bothered to stop the competition. Never mind that he couldn’t have caught them anyway if he’d wanted to in his 1966 Ford Galaxy with the 400-foot antennae on the back.

Yes, those were the good old days when most people could tell the difference between a Chevy, Ford and Chrysler; unlike today since every cookie-cutter factory model, whether engineered in Korea, Japan or Detroit, seems to look mostly the same, with no personality.

Still the car you buy tells us a lot about you.

At one time many years ago, I and most males thought that the Corvette Stingray was the king of the highway. Now I prefer a big dually pickup truck that sits up high and seems to scare people in compact cars in urban areas, which is just fine with me. I like them to give me my space.

And that alone says a lot about me and where I am in life, as does your kid-filled van, dirty suburban, cramped mini-car or standard four-door sedan.

Of course, we all know that you can’t judge a book by its cover but you can absolutely judge a person by the type of car they drive and the condition it is in, right?

Plus automobiles have prompted mankind to come up with some very memorable quotes like when newsman Dan Rather said, “Americans will put up with most anything as long as it doesn’t block traffic.”

Boy, wasn’t he right?


Kevin Holten is a columnist and executive producer of “Special Cowboy Moments” on RFD-TV.


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