Old Cars: The Great Equalizer

Old Cars: The Great Equalizer


Early on Saturday morning, I had the chance to walk away from The Jalopy Journal booth and check out a car I’ve wanted to study for some time now. I had heard about Jimmie Vaughan’s ’54 Ford through a mutual friend and it just sounded like a car that I would really dig. I quickly spotted the old Ford in a premier spot and made my way over. I was greeted by none other than Jimmie himself.

Now for those that don’t know me personally, I think a little sidebar is in order… I’m not a social creature:

Awkward to talk to sometimes? Yes.

Typically a bad first impression? Oh yeah.

Shy? More than I can emphasize.

All of these are issues for me that I have to think really hard about when I’m out talking to folks. And here I was standing next to a guy that is responsible for close to 50 tracks on my iPod in front of a car that already had me a bit speechless. I had met Jimmie before at previous functions, but it’s never been more than a hand shake and it has always been in a crowd with someone like El Jefe around to carry the conversation.

I walked around the car and studied each detail all the while noticing Jimmie staring at me from my peripheral. The longer I studied, the less I realized Jimmie was even present. It’s the perfect mild custom… All the right stuff is shaved, frenched, and cut leaving just the right amount of factory appointments to keep the original car’s personality.

I completed my circle of the car and ended standing right next to Jimmie. “Perfect car,” I complimented.

“Thanks man,” Jimmie responded. “I’m really proud of it.”

“It was nice meeting ya,” I said as I shook his hand without so much as a single shake in my voice.

While I was walking back to the booth, I realized that Jimmie’s Ford had completely cured me, if ony for a few moments, of my social anxiety problems. I’m no Freud, but that’s the best kind of therapy I can think of. Sometimes I wonder if we don’t take the power of “old car passion” for granted. People have all kinds of differences, problems, nuances, quirks, etc… A cool car is just that – a cool car. And when a car is cool enough, all that other shit just kind of goes away.

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