Opinion: No love affairs now with cars

Commentary by Tom Purcell

I’m a car guy. As a teen, I spent hours working on my dad’s car, buffing and polishing it with the hope that I’d be permitted to take it out for the night with my friends. The automobile was our ticket to freedom. It saddens me that younger generations, according to a variety of recent studies, couldn’t possibly care less about the automobile. The smartphone is their connection to the outside world, after all, and their Uber driver will take them wherever they want to go. Really, they have no idea what they’re missing. The first car I ever drove was a 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS. It was then, and still is now, an American icon. My first car, which I bought fresh out of college, was a bright orange 1972 Plymouth Duster. It was nothing to boast about but it was all mine and gave me the freedom to explore God’s great open spaces anytime I pleased. Later came a 1987 Firebird with a T-top roof, which heightened my social life; a 1970 VW Beetle convertible that gave me the best summer of my life; a 1978 MGB convertible a few summers after that; a 2000 Jeep Wrangler 4×4 that had too many mechanical issues; eventually, a new 2010 Nissan Maxima, spacious, sleek and fast, but it was terrible in snow; a new 2012 Jeep Wrangler, for which I traded the 4×4 Jeep and Maxima; and a leased 2013 Infiniti G37X with all-wheel-drive. Now I’m driving a 2008 Toyota 4Runner that is incredibly reliable and spacious. I marvel at its quality. Memories. The youth of today will never know what they’re missing.

Tom Purcell, author, also is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. To e-mail him, write tom@tompurcell.com.