A look back

By Steve Holloway


Get your motor running
Head out on the highway
Looking for adventure
And whatever comes our way.
Steppenwolf, Born to be Wild – 1968

The all time greatest song of modern rock.

Ah, the decade of the 60’s.  A time of adventure with no kids, mortgage or frets over health insurance.  Shoot, our health was too good to even think about coverage.  Cars were a big part of growing up in the south and nothing will ever come close to the muscle cars of that era.  Their style, raw power and flash seemed to attract the prettiest girls, too.  A walk through our college campus, where I spent “the best seven years of my life,” would make an audience at a Barrett-Jackson car auction go crazy.  Oldsmobile 442’s, Ford Mustangs, Pontiac GTO’s, Chevrolet SS Camero’s, and the mother of them all, 1963-64 Chevy Corvette Sting Rays, filled our fraternity [subsequently kicked off campus for unruly behavior] parking lot.  If I owned ten of those cars, they would now be worth more than two million dollars!  Did someone say, “What happened to my 401K and IRA’s with balanced portfolios?

I wish I had my college car today.  On loan from my parents, it was a bright yellow Chevrolet Impala with 283 cubic engine and solid black interior.  Not a muscle car, but definitely a keeper in today’s classic car market revival.  In high school I drove a 1963 Corvair Spyder black on black convertible.  It was a cool looking vehicle, and my friends and I loved to put the top down as we cruised small Tennessee drive-ins on Friday and Saturday nights.  Since the air-cooled engine sounded like a window air conditioner, I placed a cut-out in the exhaust pipe in front of the muffler to give it a nice roar.  Six years ago I had a nostalgia attack and bought a ’64 Spyder from California on the internet that looks just like it, except it’s yellow (shades of college car) with a black interior.

When my wife and I take short drives around Carmel, I can remember the good times and forget the not so good.  My wife doesn’t like the Corvair as much as I do, but one of these days I’ll tune it up, install some seat belts and give our grandkids a taste of riding in a fun vintage car.  If you see a bright yellow Chevrolet Corvair Spyder convertible out and about, give it a double blast on your horn as a salute to the 60’s!  The top will be down with Steppenwolf cranked up on the radio, and all will be as it was many years ago.  Well, not quite…..but a trip down memory lane doesn’t carry a lot of baggage.  For that matter, neither does the Corvair.