Interstate Misery

Here’s an excellent snapshot of our supply chain problem. Not only is its fragility responsible for an unmanageable part of inflation, just-in-time optimization has spoiled investors and consumers. Impulsive behavior is rewarded but it also crashes the system.

Another casualty are we, who used to enjoy driving our cars. There is no lane discipline, trucks are everywhere! Driving a classic in that traffic is like marching in a military parade wearing a speedo or a bikini.

I-95, First Business Day of 2022, South of Washington D.C.

Are we the modern equestrians? My options for driving a classic car have shrunk to regional tours on secondary roads or shipping it to an event way out of State. Keeping a trailer, and something to tow it, was not a pleasure and rarely a necessity, certainly not worth the cost and hassle. But friends who will loan or rent their fifth wheel rig are precious!

The next day, I read this by David Brooks, columnist, New York Times:

America is Falling Apart at the Seams

“In June a statistic floated across my desk that startled me. In 2020, the number of miles Americans drove fell 13% because of the pandemic, but the number of traffic deaths rose 7%. I couldn’t figure out why. Are Americans driving so much more recklessly? Then in the first half of 2021, according to the national Highway Safety Traffic Administration, motor vehicle deaths were up 18.4% even over 2020. Contributing factors, according to the agency, include driving under the influence, speeding and failure to wear a seatbelt.” I could say, anger, and nobody’s around to stop me, are the real reasons.

David has an uncanny ability to conclude his opinion with a statement that is like a T intersection right after a fantastic curve. Today, for the first time I can remember, he took me to a dead end, after citing a litany of more recent evidence for our social breakdown: “All kinds of bad behavior is on the rise” such as altercations on airplanes, murder, overdose, drinking, and abuse of healthcare professionals. I would also like to mention low EMT staffing, slow response time, and anti-vaxxers. Anyway, David’s parting words shocked me: “As a columnist, I’m supposed to have some answers. But I just don’t right now. I just know the situation is dire.”

The Light at the End of This Pandemic

OK, we’ve barely passed the darkest day of the year around here. Next installment, I’ll be driving us towards dawn. I think I’ve located Alfie’s reason for wheezing. I’m hopeful, it seems to be external, but of course in an impossible to reach place with normal tools around the old-school DCO3 Webers.

At least the Jag is running like new and improved. It had a good run before curling up for winter.

And the Corvair is finally reunited with its original engine, but still is not done.

Corvair in shop

This means that I can actually focus mostly on finishing Giulietta. Replacing her glass, making her gauges function accurately and her doors latch plus seal like a new car will keep me challenged and distracted from the real world.

Stay tuned for reports on small meet-ups and my renewed effort at instigating some adventurous driving with a few interesting cars.
After all, that’s why I am doing this.

MG with ice

Ah, the good old days, when a classic sports car could also prove the driver’s mettle just getting there on roads that don’t get salted. Stay tuned for the rest of that story. Teaser — there were big horn sheep on the shoulder. It was hunting season.

4 thoughts on “Interstate Misery”

  1. I agree 100%, seems that everyone is frustrated about something. Good thing that we still can get out on the road in a vehicle that is fun to drive and forget about most of the problems for a little while. Good luck coming up with answers for why we are in our current mental state. Any stated opinions are sure to create some animosity.
    Nice pictures of the cars, anxious to hear about the big horn sheep.

    1. Joe,
      It‘ll be a trip report on par with my oldest blog post. That was the last days of film cameras and books on tape from the library. I had bought the perfect BGT in Vancouver, B. C. for my wife and it was late in November. But I have a car to finish. Scanning film and writing a proper account postpones job one. Scanning in the basement office with a vintage Mac does not rank high as Spring finally warms us up.
      Cheers, Peter

  2. Hi Peter,

    long time no see…so to speak. as i’ve said for a long long time. this is one stupid country. and getting more so by the minute. hope you are having some fun but that’s hard to do these days. everything is pretty good down her on amelia island.
    take care,
    phil arnold…jaguar guy mostly

    1. Hi Phil!
      Glad your BP is no problem. Living in FL would be fatal to me. But now (since your primaries) there’s hope. I can imagine your gusto in marking that ballot. Michigan’s politics is making us proud. This weekend our GoP is conventioning. If you hear a loud sucking sound, its from here.
      My Jag is in jail because it peed on my gas foot! And Alfonso has made my eyes pop out twice – brake peddle hitting the floor. Each time my carma saved the day. Today I’ll test my repair skills again. See, when its not pandemic or politics its the hobby that tests our resolve! That’s life.
      Cheers, Peter

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