Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday-Cars I covet

     So, most people have dreams cars. A certain vehicle that they've wanted for a long time, be it a high performance sports car, an expensive SUV, or maybe an old muscle car. But these vehicles are extremely out of reach on a typical middle class budget, hence the car's "dream car" status. I have dream cars, sure, but what I have more of are cars I covet, which are typicaly cars I could afford, but cannot justify owning one.
      The 70's were not good to the automotive world. Well, I mean if you're into low riders and stuff I suppose they were OK. But lets face it, all these American land yachts were missing was a wooden deck, a couple of girls in bikini's, and some dude with excessive chest hair peaking out over their V-collar shirt. OK, some of them might have had that last part...classy. This makes my choice for this edition of Car I Covet a strange one. My pick? The 1974 Chevy Malibu. I know what you're thinking, "Like, lolz! Where's you're mullet, bro?!" Well, I don't have a mullet, what I do have is a very creative mind set. What do you see below?
      If you answered "A stock photo of a 1974 Malibu with a very 70's-esque model standing behind it, smiling, and pretending she's interested" you would be correct, and are awarded a free, expired, half off meal ticket from Burger King (no, really, I have them) But what do I see? The perfect blank canvas for a cool as-the-other-side-of-the-pillow street sweeper. Can't see it? look below.
    I know, right? You want that, stop denying it. No, seriously, stop. You have to at least give it credit, if you saw this thing at your local cruise night you'd you'd probably need someone to pick your jaw up from the ground. Now, these things are cheap, mostly because they're, for obvious reasons, undesirable. They're also cheap because they're 70's steel, meaning they're becoming part of the earth they came from. Finding one that hasn't been abused, parked under a tree, and never taken out on a date since the original Star Wars? About as possible as convincing the world that Tom Cruise is normal. However, the upgrade options for something like this are endless. Oh, you'd like a modern LS engine transplant? Easy as pie. A classic, carbureted 454 you say? Why not? You want a tiger to power you're Malibu? Congratulations, after we bag one, you will officially have the first car in history with one tiger power. The interior space? Are you talking about the ballroom with seats and a steering wheel or the trunk that doubles as a full basement? There's a good reason this was a mobster's car of choice(Because of comfort, I don't know what you were thinking.)
      What I'm saying is, these things are pretty cool, if I had the time I'd gladly buy and restore one, but I don't so I won't. But I should. But I can't. Bummer. Anyways, see you next Tuesday, here's a teaser...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Two Italin wheels baby

     Imagine, the world passing you buy at 60 miles an hour, pavement so close you could almost reach out and touch it, and the open air blowing at you shirt and jeans, attempting to rip you off the seat and handle bars you desperately cling to. This is something I've been aching to experience for the last 3 years. But, because of my loyalty to my parents, I wasn't able to buy a motorcycle while I lived under their roof. Well, their roof is no longer over my head, instead one I pay for hangs above me, and this spring, May 26th to be exact, is when I intend to bring this dream to life.

     I've had chances before, in fact, had I not made one phone call to my Uncle Kenny, the only person in my family that owns a bike, the day I was standing in Harley Davidson Central, I probably would have one right now. One bike I've had my eyes on since they debuted was the Harley Davidson Sportster Iron. It's the smallest in the company at 883cc's, and also the cheapest, but those two factors don't make it look less gorgeous, and it still sounds like a Harley to boot.
    However my want for an Iron 883 has been overshadowed by another bike, one that has been on my mind since day one of my two wheel fueled craze, it's the bike that started it all for me, the Ducati Monster. Where did my desire for a piece of Italian mechanical art come from? Well, it isn't a where, but a who. His story, it isn't mine to tell, but to me, he was the coolest person I have ever met on this planet. He had a Monster, the first real motorcycle I ever set eyes on. It wasn't just any Monster either, if my memory serves me right, it was an S4R, the fastest production model of the time, I remember him saying those words "It's the fastest one they make." It was beautiful, black with a white stripe. The trellis frame, the perfectly formed gas tank, artwork in modern, mechanized form.
     The only word that could come to my wee, highschool brain was "DAMN" That was a few years ago, but that bike has held a special place in the back of my mind since.
       It was a nice Spring day in Lincoln, riding season. Multiple motorcycles of all kinds were parked out front of Star City, their owners chatting up the salesmen inside. And there is sat, a white, 2009 Ducati Monster 696, my dream bike, leaning in the nude on it's steel kickstand. I looked around, grabbed the right grip, and took a seat. A salesman instantly approached and said "what do you think?" "It's so comfortable" I said. And man was it. The tank and the seat fit me perfectly, as if they were made just for me. "How much is it?" I asked. "Uh, let me check, we're selling it for some dude....it's $7,500." I could hear the bike whispering, "please, take me home with you, I'll be a good little bike, I promise" But I wasn't ready, not yet, it would have been a spur of the moment purchase, something I wouldn't have enough time to think about. "You know what?" I said "I really, really want one of these. But I need some time to think about it, but I tell you what, I'll come back when I'm ready, and hopefully you guys will have another Monster by then" 
         Almost a year has past since that day, and I've had plenty of time to think about it. It's no longer a dream, but a reality. I'm saving all the money I can for a down payment on one of two bikes, the 696, or its bigger twin brother the 796, all dependent on cost, as the 796 is about $1,000 more. May 26th is my brother-in-laws birthday, it's also my deadline, the Saturday before my 21st birthday. By then, I must have the money to place a down payment on either bike, it's not some silly little goal that will fade with time, it's a real opportunity to experience true moving freedom. I will have one of these two bikes the weekend before my birthday, a gift to me, the proud new owner of a Ducati Monster.