S A C C A D E S
All images are courtesy of Moni Haworth. As you can see, I had a very hard time editing (is five too many?), and obviously the woman knows cars. So I’m hoping she’ll weigh in with a car vote of her own.
Were talking about Cam’s car right? Now dont get me wrong, I love American muscle cars as much as the next ass kicking American. And I love the photos. However, you are talking about Antique cars here. “Classic” cars. 40 year old cars. Which, are relatively expensive unless totally rusted out and needing to be rebuilt. Also, if you recall, the only kids that were gear heads in high school were redneck assholes. Skaters were not all that interested in cars. No one ever had any money. Skaters were interested in music and skating and girls. Mostly music and skating. In the skate vids some of the pros might have old cars, but they fell on the side of old and quirky, not old and hot rod. This is an important distinction. Seemed Mike Ness of Social Distortion single handedly ushered in the 50’s hot rod to the punkabilly crowd. Not until the kids gave up skating, tapped into their inner fantasy redneck and got a job at the service station did the hot cars really come onto the scene. You’ve gotta have a full time job to afford anything beyond a piece of shit, gas, beer, weed, and fast food. As Crispin Glover’s Layne says in Rivers Edge, “You think this car runs on Gods own methane?”
And remember, in the 80’s you could find those cars a lot cheaper.
That being said, I think you should refocus on the vehicle.
Beat to shit Nova… ok, maybe. Souped up GTO or Challenger, no way.
Thats my two cents on that.
What I love most about those images, Moni Haworth’s cars, is, clearly, how much she loves them. For me, what makes those cars–which are like the automotive equivalents of Spots Illustrated bikini models–sexier is the fact a woman took the photos and genuinely appreciates the lines of their bodies.
But see, here was my thinking. I wanted an American car, something closer to a classic that he would have inherited, most likely from his father, an engineer and all-around gearhead who died more than ten years ago, and, having relocated from California at the beginning of the school year, it would make more sense that Cam would have a car that was a bit of a sore thumb in the town–a beautiful sore thumb, but something out of place in upstate New York. The car culture in southern California would support the story line, I think. I mean, I wasn’t thinking anything close to the condition of the cars in the Haworth images–those are outrageous, and she has also equally impressive images of cars as rusted heaps, before they’ve been restored. But you still see a fair amount of classic American cars on the highways in L.A. Amidst the SUVs and Priuses.
And I have to say, over the years, I knew a handful of guys, from completely different parts of the country, who had, somehow, inherited a classic car. Not necessarily American-made, but by some stroke of luck, and often a story they kept to themselves, they had these incredible cars. Nothing else to their name, mind you, but a very nice ride. So, I guess those guys and those cars and the mysterious circumstances of the passing of the automotive torch came back to me more than I’d realized, consciously, until you wrote.
On the other hand, what you’re saying about kids and money and how they actually spend their time, is right on, and I do want it to be realistic. That said, keep in mind this kid, Cam, he’s an oddball in many ways. He’s done some things, seen some things–he’s got one of those rare old souls you find once in a high school blue moon–that will come out by the end of the book. So I’m going to have to think about this. But thank you for raising the issue, really. Again, I want it to be realistic, and I see what I’ll have to juggle if I go with a classic.
Also, you’ve reminded me that I need to watch Rivers Edge again. Have you ever seen Crispin Glover’s car, by the way? Spend any time in L.A., as big as that city is, you’re bound to see him on the road. And that quote, it’s just such a great line, I might have to lift it.
Anyhow. Have you ever known that kind of kid? The kind who are just on a different wavelength? Not drug-induced, either, but I wouldn’t discount those kids on drug-induced wavelengths from conversation, either. Some of the smartest kids I knew, growing up, friend their brains, because they couldn’t take it. Reality, yes. Well, to be continued.
Its funny you should mention Cam inheriting the car from his dad, because it was actually in my head as one possible reason he would have such a bad ass car. Says much about where he came from. I like that. I’ve always loved cars that looked kinda beat, maybe primer grey or flat black, some bondo on the outside, work in progress. But the muscle of a 396 or whatever under the hood. (One of my favorites is the modified 1973 XB GT Ford Falcon Coupe from Mad Max / Road Warrior).
Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *