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By View From Falling Downs
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Highway 86 revisited

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I was at a get-together on the weekend, the 95th birthday celebration for the matriarch of the extended family, my dear Tante Hilde.

One of my cousins in attendance, a chap my age who got a shout-out in a post I wrote six years ago, reminded me of what’s happened to that cohort of folks who used to care about fast cars.

We can’t afford that hobby anymore.

Johnny was the guy with the Super Bee. Getting a 4,000 pound car up to 120 mph in the quarter mile takes a fair bit of disposable income. Factory guys like us used to have disposable income back in the day, before our jobs went to Mexico and China.

You can still buy a Super Bee today. Under $15,000 or so you’re just getting junk. From 15 to 30 you might get a driver. From forty upwards you can probably find something that’s been restored at some point and might last you a few years if you baby it. A clean ’69 six-pack Super Bee or anything with a hemi is going to run into six numbers.

You can go to your local Subaru dealer and drive away with a car that will blow the doors off that hemi in a drag race. It’ll also turn better, stop sooner, go three or four times as far on a gallon of gas, and it has a warranty.

The era of the big thumping V8 is gone, and it ain’t coming back.

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