It is not really true that I drive to Oktoberfest in secret hopes of running into a herd of galloping gravel that will assault my windshield to the point of replacement, but I must confess that the joy of sitting behind a new windshield is an amazing thing. It usually takes three or four years of cross-country driving before some errant hunk of granite cracks the glass; in the meantime, the minor pits and craters from sand and smaller stones—the ones that do not crack the windshield, although they do leave at least a tiny divot—accumulate with a devious subtlety.
I recently met a guy with whom I’ve become fast friends. “Mark,” like many of us, is a car guy through and through. He had the good fortune of cashing out of an executive job at a big Massachusetts computer corporation at exactly the right time, and began indulging his automotive passions—first Corvettes, then Porsches, then Ferraris. “The sales tax alone is stupid money,” he says, “and you can’t gas up and drive anywhere without people rubbernecking. I’m done with exotics.” Finally, he turned to vintage British, German, and Italian cars in the $15,000-to-$30,000 range. He’s got a barn-sized garage that holds fifteen cars.
I do not possess a valid license endorsement to ride a motorcycle. In fact, I am not, for lack of a better word, allowed to have one. The conversation with my better half usually goes like this:
I will admit that I prefer fuel injection to carburetors. Even vintage fuel injection, like the mechanical Kugelfischer system in the 2002tii or the Bosch L-Jetronic I retrofitted into the 3.0CSi, generally does a better job than carburetors of providing easy starting, decent warm-up behavior, and drivability.
His name is Barry White, and I love him. Not typical words you’d hear from a former punk rocker. Strange things happen to me, as you might have gathered from reading some of my columns or my blog, but this has to be about the strangest thing yet—in my automotive history, at least.