Do you ever think it would be nice to have a modern car to use on a daily basis? Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to say goodbye to my car from 1991, my car from 1986, and the car from 1984 that hasn’t had an engine in (let me check my notes) about nine years. Of course, that thought flits on the breeze like an annoying gnat that wants my attention… and I have no mind to give it a proper thought. I love older cars. I love searching for them, buying them, complaining about them, and smiling and driving them when it all works together properly.
Still, what compels us to buy what someone else might consider a shitbox? I think I may have found the answer, and it all circles back to a cartoon from 1987. At least for me. I didn’t grow up in a household with a strong love of the automobile infusing daily life. There wasn’t a dislike in the house, but my dad is no wrench, and my mom was happy to drive whatever we could afford. I’ve always thought my love of cars arrived from shows and films like Transformers, GOBOTS, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Back to the Future, and all the other great shows that featured a car as part of the cast. Pushing deeper, beyond the fancy, flashy, or … robotic, I guess; the show that brings me to my point of wanting to save “worthless” cars goes back to a specific cartoon.
In fact, it goes back to a specific scene in a specific cartoon. I’m talking about The Brave Little Toaster and the junkyard scene:
I came across this scene last night while staring at my phone for far longer than I should have… I should’ve been in bed. But now I’m rewatching this old scene at a 240p resolution and getting misty-eyed for anamorphic cartoon cars that have reached the end of the road. Maybe there were a few powerful IPAs and a CBD gummy involved too. Regardless, the point is that this clip from the cartoon sparked remembrance of younger me.
I was seven when this came out. My daughter just turned seven in July, while I turned 42 a little over a week ago. And no, I’m not planning to show her this movie which was traumatic as fuck for those who watched it the first go around (I still love it, though). I’ll show it to her when she’s old enough to handle it… maybe 30? My point, though, is that I hope to instill an appreciation and respect in her for those whom others deem worthless. Be it mechanical things or just people who need help.
Anyway… what’s your story? Why do you like saving the “worthless”?