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It’s a guy thing

By Tim Linscott, Managing Editor

My wife asked the other day what it was about cars that made guys so ‘revved up’ (no pun intended, I am sure).
‘Smokey and the Bandit,’ ‘Bullitt,’ ‘Gone in 60 Seconds,’ ‘American Graffiti,’ and the ‘Fast and Furious’ series are all fine examples of films guys (and ladies, too) love to watch for the chase scenes and, of course, the cars.
‘It’s a guy thing,” I told her.
As a kid I remember getting a Big Wheel. I was just a tyke at the time and when I saw that red and yellow three-wheeled beauty (with the red plastic tassels, I might add) I knew freedom was just a few moments away.
I then upgraded to a BMX-style bike. My friends and I would customize our bikes with decals, different valve caps, mirrors, lights, the whole nine.
It was not only freedom to head out and cruise the neighborhood, but that bike was mine and mine alone. I could fix it up, modify it or do whatever I wanted to, because it was mine.
At 16 young men go through the rite of passage of their first car. Mine was a 1986 Reliant, four-door, red with red interior. Not the awe-inspiring muscle car I would have hoped (my father had a 1968 Malibu that met an untimely death shortly before my 16th birthday), but still a car. That car represented freedom, responsibility and a sense of power. I never really had the thrill of racing down the highway in the Reliant as compared to the Malibu (or my friend Scott’s 1974 Nova), but I still had the thrill of having my first car.
I have never had the opportunity to own a muscle car. Space, finances and opportunity have never been all aligned at once.
However, I understand the logic behind owning a car like  a 1977 Trans Am, a 1964 Impala drop-top or a 1968 GTO Judge.
These cars (and countless others) are a work of art, beautiful, sleek and dynamic and couple that with the horsepower under the hood is why guys drool over these things. Being in control of 400 horsepower and pushing the limit of man and machine is exciting, daring and harkens men back to the time of beating our chests in a cave.
There are times I pull out of the grocery store, mini-van stocked with items but visions of racing down the highway with Buford T. Justice in tow overcome me. I know I’ll never don the iconic cowboy hat leading the way for beer into Georgia, but I can daydream.
Again, it’s a guy thing.