I’m sitting here writing this as my Mac works on massive 5GB download to bring it up to the latest, fancy operating system that I don’t even have to pay for, unlike my friends who are stuck using that Microsoft crap. So, as I’m TRYING to look like I’m working, someone yells at me “DON”T DO IT!” I responded by yelling back “YOU HAVE TO LOOK FORWARD! CAN’T LIVE IN THE PAST!” That, of course, got me thinking about cars.
I like living in the future. Society has made incredible strides in my 40-ish years on the planet and I believe that, for the last 15 years, we have been living in the golden age of the automobile. Right now, anyone can walk in to a dealership and purchase a brand new Mustang with a turbocharged 4-cylynder engine and 310 horsepower that gets over 30 mpg and would totally run rings around most everything from what they call “The Malaise Era.” That was a dark time that began in the early 1970’s and lasted for nearly three decades.
I grew up in late 70’s and early 80’s when new cars were pure crap. Big, cheaply made, American cars would never last 100,000 miles and overpriced, fancy-looking European cars fell apart on the way home from the dealership. Back then, no one I knew would be caught dead in a Japanese car; they may have been great, but I have no idea, because ‘Muricah.
In 1977, a gear-head could go out and buy a black and gold Smokey And The Bandit black Trans-Am with a screaming chicken on the shaker-hood, get some Georgia plates that said “BAN-ONE” and have the coolest car on the block. Problem was, none of the car companies knew how to deal with all of the new emissions requirements that the federal government had recently imposed on them. As a result, poor “BAN-ONE” was putting out an anemic 180 horsepower from it’s big 400 cubic inch V8 and getting 12 mpg while trying to impress girls with feathered hair. To put things in to perspective, today you can buy a new Kia Sportage with more horsepower that is faster in a straight line and gets triple the gas mileage of that old snarly Trans-Am with leaky T-Tops and a CB radio. Those “Malaise Era” cars were pathetic! I am still trying to block the memory of my dad buying a brown 1983 Buick Regal with full velour interior that was so slow it could not get out of it’s own way.
But today, technology has fixed everything. It could not be a better time to see what car makers from all over the world are putting out there. The 2015 Model Tampa Bay International Auto Show
is going to be at the Tampa Convention Center
on South Franklin Street from Friday November 14th through Sunday November 16th
and I still look forward to seeing the shiny new cars every year. My camera and car nerd friends will be there early, so check back here soon for a sneak peek of what I like to call, “Car-istmas in November.”
…unless my computer melts down from all of the new technology.
Erica Habedank | CW44 Tampa Bay