Maybe it’s got something to do with me being 6’4″ and 240 lbs. Maybe it’s the fact that my size 15 feet don’t like teeny tiny little spaces, or maybe it’s just that I absolutely LOVE the way that big cars look and feel. America was built on big cars. They took families across the country, to the beaches and got them to work and school everyday. There were no mini-vans or SUVs, just big ass comfy cars that were built in Detroit and as a whole, everybody loved them. I remember as a kid that my parents used to have this 1971 Chevy Chevelle station wagon. It was kind of a mustard color with fake wood paneling down the side and the thing was a downright canoe. Back then I didn’t know a damn thing about cars, but I knew that the back seat was big enough for me to get far away from my sister when we went on family trips.
We then had a green 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass that used be my Grandfathers in Brooklyn. It was also big, but in my book the Chevelle wagon still got the nod – I think I just liked the wood paneling. Back in the 1970’s and early 1980’s all you could get were big cars. Sure there was the fuel crises early on and yes there were a few Japanese imports, but that didn’t stop Americans from going out and getting those big 16 foot road tanks that everyone knew and loved.
The first small car my Dad ever bought was a 1984 Datsun (not Nissan) 300ZX 2+2 with a five-speed. Back then this little thing blew me away. It looked great, had t-tops, a digital dash and hell, it even talked to you. The problem was that it was just really really small and something that we weren’t used too. I remember being crammed in those little back seats with my sister for two hours at a clip on Sundays when we headed back into Brooklyn for Grandma’s Sunday dinner. Dinner was always outstanding, but man did that car ride suck. How I then longed for the big car days.
Now as an adult (well kinda’) I’m honestly not a fan of small cars as I find them very confining and uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, when driving spiritedly smaller cars are great as they perform superbly, on long trips however, hell… stick me in something like a 1970 Plymouth Fury and I’ll be in seventh heaven. Ya’ll know I love cars of all shapes and sizes, but I truly do miss the days when those big dinosaur sized cars roamed Americas highways. I know they’ll never come back, but with three cars in my driveway that are over 16 feet long I feel as though I’m doing my part in helping to keep the big car dream alive.