In My Father's Tire Tracks
|Written by Alex Martin-Banzer|
|Monday, 16 July 2012 13:08|
This past week has been my own mini version of Monterey. And when I say mini, I mean only three car events back to back instead of at least 20. The first event was Beaches Cruisin' at Portland International Raceway. With around 1,100 cars showing up every Wednesday, a live band, as well as drag racing, this is fast becoming one of my favorite events.
I find it amusing how so many people come out of the woodwork with their big American cars, despite living in such a bicycle-ruling city. Another reason is the devotion and excitement the people there have for their cars. Most of the cars will never be "Concours d'Elegance" material, but by-god the owners treat those cars like the child they never had. While kicking tires, a '59 Plymouth Savoy pulled into the event, and my father remarked "Hear that? That's the sound of America." I laughed when I realized no European exhaust will ever compare to the bad-to-the-bone V8.
Next on the agenda was the Forest Grove vineyard and lake tour on Saturday. With the promise of a major sunburn, the morning was the best kind you could hope for. The sun was out, birds were chirping and everyone was milling around the 40-plus vintage cars. It was filled with the excitement you only find when car collectors have an excuse to take the covers off and have a little fun. My copilot in the Lotus was my good friend Julia Wenger, who had never been to any type of car event besides the DMV. By lunch time, I could tell this wouldn't be the last time she'd join me. During the second stop, at Hagg Lake, I could hear the empty country roads calling me to them. As nonchalantly as you can be in a bright, in-your-face yellow Lotus, we snuck off and spent a good two hours whipping around back roads heading home.
Last, but certainly not least, Sunday was the Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance. On the drive out there, I estimated this to be my 150th car event in almost 21 years of life. And yet, I'm not bored. Is this because I've been going to these types of things since before I was born and it’s become habit, or is there a slight amount of gasoline in my blood? Or worse, am I actually following my father's tire tracks?