Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Dream Car Game

By Annette Dashofy

As writers, we tend to have rather vivid imaginations. Often, we live inside our heads in a fantasy world. We appear to be doing one thing, while in fact, our brains are somewhere else, plotting murders, solving murders, creating characters and worlds.

And games.

Recently, while doing my bit to keep my weight in check (also known as walking), I became bored with taking in my surroundings. My mind didn’t seem to want to focus on my WIP. Instead, it came up with a mind game.

First, I must explain that as a child, I grew up around motorheads. My grandpap, my dad, my brother, all had a passion for vehicles. I learned very early to distinguish between a Ford and a Buick. Show me a 1955 Chevy, a 1956 Chevy, and a 1957 Chevy and I can tell you which one is which.

So here is the game I invented to pass the time while walking: If money were no object, what kind of car would you own?

I love my car. It’s a 2005 Saturn Ion. Well, actually, right now it’s a Saturn On since the “I” fell off last winter. It’s my favorite color…turquoise. Not many cars quite that shade around, making it easy to spot in a parking lot. It gets great gas mileage.

However, that isn’t the point of the game. In my game, money is not an issue. If I had Bill Gates’ bank account, what kind of car would I buy?

It wasn’t an easy decision. I went through several possibilities (and could still be swayed from my ultimate decision).

My first thought goes back to my love for the TV show Miami Vice. That Ferrari was one hot car. Don Johnson wasn’t bad either. I nearly wept when they blew up the old black Ferrari, but the replacement Testarossa wasn’t anything to sneeze at.

But after giving it some thought, I decided against the Ferrari. Why? I have no idea. Like I said, I can still be swayed.

Those Mini Coopers are just the cutest things. I could go for one of those. Maybe I’d buy a Mini. But a Mini Cooper as my dream car? That seems…well… sad.

Next, I decided to play my game with my hubby (who usually does not like to be included in my blogs, but consented to having his responses reported upon). His first choice was predictable. Without hesitation, he chose a Model T.

However, he decided that he could realistically own a Model T. If money were no object, he should aim higher. He finally settled on a Tucker.

I was impressed. Good choice. Rare. Vintage. Definitely expensive. Truly worthy of being a dream car.

Which is why the Mini Cooper just wasn’t going to cut it.

So I went back inside my head and pondered the possibilities.

And I came to a decision. My dream car…my “if money were no object” car…is a 1959 Corvette.

Hubby tells me those things didn’t really have that great of a ride. Who cares??? I’m never going to really own one. So let me have my fantasy.

Now it’s your turn to play. Think about it. If money were not an issue (either to buy the car OR to put gas in it), what would you drive? It can be modern, classic, or antique. It can be oversized or small and sleek. It just has to be your dream car.


Anonymous said...

Interesting game, Annette. Unfortunately, I'm one of those people who can hardly tell a VW Beetle from an SUV. I sometimes have to read license plates to i.d. my own car in a parking lot. So I can't base my choice on looks. I don't know anything about how cars work -- oh, I can change oil and check tire pressure and that kind of thing, and I know how to drive one, but I lack the expertise to compare engines and suspension systems. I'll have to go for experience and choose a mint-condition 1977 Chevy Nova, just like the one I used to have. It was a great car. Sturdy. When it was 10 years old, it passed inspection for $53. If only the body hadn't rusted away, I might be driving it still.

Annette said...

Hey, being able to change oil and check the tires is no small thing. My dad always insisted I know how to change a flat tire, but as for changing oil...if I didn't have Hubby dearest to do it, I'd have to become a regular at Jiffy Lube.

Anonymous said...

I'd say a Mustang. Turquoise. Not sure what exact year, but definitely from the sixties.

Annette, once you're finished with this game, you can play the one I do. Take the 3 letters of any license plate you see, and make them into a word or combination of 2 or 3 words. It can be a proper noun, if you like. The point is not so much whether you can do it (you almost always can) but what word you come up with shows what's on your mind.

Joyce Tremel said...

Whoa, that picture woke me up this morning--and I don't mean any of the cars.

That's a really tough question. I mostly drive a Pacific Blue 2006 RAV 4, which I really like. Our other car is a silver Corolla. Being the penny pincher that I am, I'd have a tough time spending lots of money on a car even if I had it. Even my characters don't drive flashy cars.

My first car was a yellow 1965 Mustang that my brother-in-law gave me. It was a nice car but had no power steering and no air conditioning. Whatever I pick would have to have AC.

I have to think about this awhile.

Joyce Tremel said...

Ooh, I thought of one! How about the Mustang that Farrah Fawcett drove in Charlie's Angels? That was a cool car.

Annette said...

I stumbled across an old episode of MAGNUM PI last night and now I'm back to the Ferrari. A red one. With Tom Selleck in it.

Gee, Joyce, I wonder which picture it was that woke you up? LOL

Tory, I do that with my own license number to help me remember it. It used to by YCK: Yuck. Now it's FTB: Football.

Anonymous said...

Annette, great game, and timely since I just put $1,000 worth of brake lines and a new exhaust system into my 1993 Ford Escort Wagon - but Zippy is worth it. I haven't shopped for a car since the last millennium and I'm sure I'm in for sticker shock: the idea of paying $25,000 for a car seems ridiculous!

I did see a pickup truck in Texas in a used car lot that was so amazing I drove off the road, took the next exit and circled back: a 1958 Dodge Sweptside Pickup in turquoise and white. Enameled steering wheel, brushed steel dashboard, 3 on the tree. I was in the process of moving to Pittsburgh at the time, so I left her behind. Sounds like a country song, doesn't it?

Annette said...

Yeah, Martha, it does a little. But it also sounds like a great truck!

When I first started dating my husband, he had a cherry red 1954 Chevy pick up. It was chopped and souped up and really fun. At the same time, my dad had an all-original 1957 Chevy pickup. It was cool parking them side-by-side in front of the house. We looked like a mini car show.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

I think about this a lot, Annette. My 2001 Acura CL Type S is getting old(er) and my oldest just graduated from college (YEAH!), so I've been thinking...

Jaguar XK8 Convertible


BMW 650i

For fun, the new Dodge Challenger, always loved the old ones.

But I gotta say, a 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT. Maybe like the one on the right.

Anonymous said...

I'm gonna answer before reading everyone else's answers. I'm a big Mustang fan, having owned three in my youth: 1 aqua blue '67, 1 '74 [my college graduation present that was totalled when parked in front of my house! Wha!!!], and finally a replacement in cherry red. I have a friend here in Australia whose husband imports them to Oz and retrofits them for right side drive. Loved those cars. High school boyfriend had one, too.

Now I've glanced at the other answers. I, too, was taught to change oil and filter, but I never quite got to spark plugs. Now with all the rules about oil discards, I don't think I'd be allowed. Air filters are pretty easy still, though. Now I own a Hyundai Elantra 5 door hatch, 2litre. Very functional.

And for the Ferrari buffs, last night as we were leaving a restaurant, my friend pointed toward the street and said, 'That's my red car.' She meant the Hyundai, but in front of hers was a bright red Ferrari. I told her I'd be riding with her if that was her car, and if not, we'd wait to see who claimed it. Earlier I went past the Lamboughini 'store'. Lots of Italian motors here, I guess!

Annette said...

Will, I knew I could count on you to get into the true heart of the game. A Jag was under serious consideration for me, too.

Jan! How nice of you to drop in from the land down under. Yes, Mustangs seem to be hot in the Dream Car Derby. And I'm in awe that Ferraris are such a common sight there. Not so here. In fact the only one I've seen in recent memory (other than on TV) was being hauled on a flat-bed trailer. I've NEVER seen one actually being driven on western Pennsylvania roads.

Maybe that can be a new game: announce your Ferrari sightings here! Anyone?

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Annette, I LOVE your husband's choice... geat picture. I'm not a car buff, but when I was pregnant I did dream about the ocean, Tom Selleck and Magnum PI, all the time, it was bizarre! So I would choose the Ferrari by osmosis. I've also ridden in BMWs and Mercedes and yeah, they sure are luxurious. But to me they're just transportation. However, next time I need to know what my character drives, I know just where to come :) Great game and blog.

Annette said...

Donnell, I'm happy to help anytime. You know that.

Have you all noticed how many of our choices are shaped by TV shows? Even my vintage Corvette was something I fell in love with long ago from a show called RIPTIDE.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

When we bought my wife's new Ford Freestyle a few years ago, the dealer had a bright red Ford GT. The racing car (looked a little like a Ferrari), not the Mustang GT. This one had a sticker of over $150,000, 550 horsepower and got 12 MPG. 0-60 in 3.3 seconds

I asked if I could test drive it. The salesman just laughed. Then I made an offer. "I'll write you a check for the Freestyle, CASH, if I can drive the GT for a day."

Without a word, he stood and asked the owner of the dealership. The owner came out all apologetic and informed me that the GT was for the St. Louis Cardinal baseball star Albert Pujols. Pujols was going to drive the car for a month and then he was going to auction it off for charity.

I never got to drive it and I'm still making payments on the Freestyle.

Oh, and add a Viper to my wishlist.

Kate Gerard said...

What I know about cars could fit into one of my grandmother's thimbles, I'm embarrassed to admit. I'm lucky that I live in a sweet little neighborhood where I can walk to everything. Seriously! It's so cool.
But if I had a car, I'd want it to be dependable, and I'm pretty sure I'd want it to be pretty. When I was way young, my 16-year-old cousin got a brand new red 1963 (or was it 64?) Mustang convertible for her birthday. We younger girls thought she was the absolute coolest! Cooler than Barbie, even. If money were no object, that's the car I'd want. Not sure if a 63 Mustang would be dependable -- but I guess that shows where my true priorities are!

Anonymous said...

Great game! My first car was a Mustang with a T roof (they weren't making convertibles that year) and I loved it, but ANY car?

Has to be the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California. That's right. Ferris Bueller's ride. Just don't ever valet the thing.

Kathy Sweeney

Annette said...

What a great story, Will! And Vipers are definitely cool cars.

I was at the Saturn dealership waiting to have my car inspected and I fell in love with a Sky roadster on the sales floor. I climbed behind the wheel and just sat there for the longest time. Do they have squatters' rights for cars? No, I didn't think so. Anyhow, I didn't have the nerve to ask to drive it. Now, I wish I had.

Annette said...

Wow, Mustangs seem to be THE dream car. I don't know why I'm surprised.

A '61 Ferrari? Yeah, Kathy! You go, girl!

Carole McDonnell said...

Alfa Romeo spider convertible

Wilfred Bereswill said...

I guess my publisher was right to put that '67 Mustang on the cover of my book.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I own several antique cars. 30' Model A, 55' Chevy, 62' Impala, 62' Comet, 50' Cadillac, 67' Camaro, 70' Mercedes, 83' El Camino and a few low-rider trucks. HOWEVER, my dream car is a 1940 Ford. We attend many car shows and recently returned from Louisville, KY which had one of the biggest shows in the US. It was wonderful and I saw several 40' Fords along with hefty price tags. That will be the next one to add to my collection.


Annette said...

Yeah, Will, I think we've confirmed your publishers wisdom.

Nice choice, Carole!

Teresa, I am fiercely envious.

Anonymous said...

Kate's message reminded me of the '63 hardtop convertible T-bird my neighbor got for her 16th birthday; pink with with top and white leather seats...she gave me a ride to school a few times (I was an unworthy freshman)and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!
Of course, Mustangs were all the rage in the 60's but my parents got me a 5 year old Corvair. I felt very deprived then but I would love to have it now!
My own favorite car was my '76 BMW 625i (back when BMW's didn't look like every other car). The only reason I sold it (in 2002)was because I couldn't tow it behind my RV.
I now have a Subaru Forester, that I love, but would have to say my dream car is to own another BMW - maybe the little sportster. And for when I needed a larger car, I'd like to have a Bently...sigh

Anonymous said...

Hi Annette, I come from the exact opposite type of family as you. Cars in my household were horror shows, either breaking down or getting wrecked (when we were older) but no one could fix a car or cared about them to save their lives. And to carry on the tradition, I don't care much for cars either!!! I can't stand paying for them and I try to keep them as long as I possibly can. I guess my dream car would be a volvo. Horrible dream, I know! Love your photos in the post.

Unknown said...

Nice game, Annette. I asked my husband and he chose a Chevrolet Corvette for his dream car. Not bad huh? We were looking at some Indianapolis used cars, maybe that's why he said it's what he wants. I admire and envy your talent in distinguishing Chevy cars 'coz I grew up with brothers who are motor crazies, but I never had the interest in cars. But it might be changed for the coming days since the used car dealer (Indianapolis) had been so eager in showing us almost every models of cars in their shop. I must say, it's so exciting to see such beautiful cars. Really worth the buy, I think. Anyway, Chevy is my fave.