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What it Was Like the First Time

Magnificent, that’s what it was. First I felt the stirrings of some new passion deep within, which I’d never felt before.

I was right out in the open, walking to my bus at high school. Sophmore year. Walked right past the teachers cars and among them was a white TR4, the sight of which I felt right to the bone. Down right delightful.

Next time that happened it was a dark green Triump GT6+ on a back street in Great Falls Montana. I knew right then I had to have one. I’ve related this story before, so I’ll skip past the acquisition and the new British car smell and the incredible satisfaction of driving that car.

One night I actually kissed it’s headlamp. This was not worship, but appreciation.

It was my first sports car.

I drove as frequently as possible, often long distances. The most common destination was a town two states over and across a mountain range where my best of all friends was getting his electronics education. The freeways were just long two lane roads through forests. When I reached a town and the speed limit dropped to 25 mph, I dutifully backed off the gas and maintained the exact speed clear through. It was exciting. The Motor was tuned perfectly and sounded precise. The lithe form of the machine was satisfyingly beautiful. A couple of times I drove it all the way to my home base and visited my parents and little sisters.


There was an immense satisfaction in owning that first sports car. Around that time I got a Topcon Uni single lens reflex camera and snapped just a very few photos of it. That led to this painting many years later.


There were others. A Fiat, two MG’s. a VW Porsche collaboration, and a long stream of normal every day drivers. After the 914, I decided to let it go until I was an empty nester. There is only one first time but there are many first time events. My first sports car was quite a nice intro into that genre of driving! I loved it and I love the memory of it. It was comfortable. The steering was precise. The handling was perfect. The fuel economy was 33mpg. It smelled good, looked great, and was brilliantly well designed. It was also only three years old so it still had the essence of new car.

Sure, it was just a machine. It created an ambiance that I enjoyed.  I liked the experience. I’m glad people make things that aren’t just minimal answers to utilitarian needs.



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