I’ve been wild about cars almost since I can remember. When I was six years old singing songs for folk gatherings in Tupelo, Miss., I recall feeling sad because we had to walk while all those sleek cars passed us on the road.
Yes, way back in those rough old days when dad couldn’t spare the cash to buy me a guitar, I used to dream about ridiculous things like Cadillacs an such.
As I got older, my car tastes began to change a little. I remember craving a Lincoln Continental, a classic Packard, then a Model T and finally a ’32 roadster. I wanted a ’32 so bad I think I’ll never crave anything as much again. I dreamed of souping it up, customizing it and maybe dragging it out a little.
As I grew older - I am 21 now - I looked more and more longingly at the antique cars I used to see in the magazines. Once, I even saw a beautiful Bugatti parked in front of a big house in Biloxi. I knew it would take money to own one of those classics. And I was sure I’d never have enough.
Cars - any kind - were out of the question for me. I was picking out tunes on a $2.98 guitar so how could I afford anything that cost $2,000? Nearest I ever got in those days was a part-time job cleaning up a garage in town.
Then I finished high school and began to try real hard for the big time. I cut some records and almost before I knew it, I had cash. Enough of it to fix the family up comfortably and buy myself a dozen guitars. And a dozen cars, if I wanted them.
Well I’m a little ashamed to admit it - but I bought me three little old Cadillacs, the kind I first craved 15 years ago. There was a yellow sedan, a pink convertible and a big black limousine which I can take the folks around in. Then after I got those off my chest, I bought a three-wheeler - a Messerschmidt. This is a cool little buggy, if ever there was one, perfect for zooming around town when I’m home. And she gives me almost 50 miles to the gallon. I have a motorcycle too, but I don’t get much chance to ride it these days.
The important thing, though, I still haven’t forgotten. It’s that ’32. And one of these days - very soon as a matter of fact - I’m going to have enough time to shop for it. And as soon as things quiet down, you’ll find me in the garage, chopping and channeling away like crazy. If there’s any time left over, I’ll be out at the strips, maybe even competing. Rodding is for me.
Before I finish I want to say a couple of things that need to be said. Some people make nasty remarks about hot rodders - just the way the sometimes do about rock ‘n’ rolling. Outlaws never set the pace.
All you can ever do is your honest best and as long as it’s constructive and peaceful, you can feel proud. There’s little we can do about the few people who would like to destroy everything because a little part of something is bad.