Car love runs in families and mine is no different.
Growing up in the same northern Illinois region, my cousin Dan and I were worlds apart. He, quite a few years my senior, hung out with my older brothers. Including the little sister happened on occasion. Dan’s daughter was my playmate since our ages were more inline. Play dates included dolls and swimming…definitely NOT cars, that was reserved for the boys.
The intermittent rides in the variety of offerings of six teenage boys was thrilling to me. I wanted to be one of the boys. This is where I began to veer off the spectrum of dolls and dresses and into the world of speed and chrome.
Setting sail from my Kentucky home to the Woodward Dream Cruise in Michigan last week brought a long-awaited reuniting with my cousin Dan in Indiana. Tri-state travel never looked so good as he “gave the tour” of his garage. Much to my surprise there was eye candy galore to be had on that tour. Glancing left and right, the Route 66 memorabilia caught my eye instantly.
Photo by Jules Stayton
Like many car aficionados his “garage” was spotless. It was more like a showroom for his automobile treasures collected over the years. Each one with unique meaning and significance. The decor started with the Edelbrocks and went wild. Each item a nod to Dan’s love of cars. We were cut from the same cloth after all! But the best was yet to come…
He marveled at my interest and joy in each piece and the story it told. He had no idea that we shared a love of autos, but once aware, we savored levels of conversation we had never experienced before. They years melted and we were friends sharing the excitement that only “car guys” understand.
Imagine my elation when he asked if I’d like to take his 93′ Corvette for a spin. Well of course! We made sure to beat the impending downpour as we cruised the curvy lanes of the Indiana highways. A few clouds could not deter this duo who had waited all these years to discover a common thread flowing through our gene pool.
Photos by Jules Stayton
One thing I know…you can’t pick your family but I sure would pick Dan even if he wasn’t family. Car guys have to stick together.