October 30, 2012

Baby, You Can Drive My Car

"Are you being helped?" I was standing restlessly outside the Automobile Driving Museum, the time quickly advancing towards their closing hour.

"I'm waiting for another ride," I explained. It was Ridealong Sunday, and I was back to try some more cars.

"What do you want to ride in?" one of the volunteer docents asked.

"Whaddya got?"

They pulled out a 1915 Model T and asked me if I'd ever ridden in one. I'd barely uttered "no" before I landed into the front seat.

It's an unrestrained, openair, rumbling ride in the 97 year old granddaddy of the modern automobile, feeling more like a wagon than a car. Not surprisingly, it was in fact designed to ride along wagon tracks rather than actual paved roads, and its high seats give a clear view over and through the windshield at whatever in the road might need to be avoided.

Even just riding in that Model T Roadster was a thrill, my hair whipping all around my head, my hand waving at all the pedestrians and other drivers who'd stopped dead in their tracks to watch us go by.

By the time I got to ride in the Model T, I'd already been driven around in the 1958 MG A Roadster...

...a gorgeous aquamarine blue color...

...and top down - or was there no top at all?

Like the Model T, there were no seatbelts, but this one was so low to the ground, we had to stretch our legs straight out - like in a Formula1 racer - just to fit in the front seats.

In order to squeeze in a final ride, the closing hour having already come and gone, I asked to tag along with two kids who were taking a 1941 Plymouth deluxe sedan out for a spin. I gladly climbed into the backseat to share the ride.

Normally I don't like to settle for being just a passenger - I want to drive everything - but these mini excursions in classic cars throughout the ages are addictive. I'm surprised I was able to wait two months for my second visit. Of course, I'd considered going nearly each of the last eight Sundays since my first visit (including my birthday), but plenty of other new explorations had kept me away.

Maybe I'll go again next week. Maybe I'll go again next month. After all, it's a different set of cars every week.

Related Post:
Photo Essay: Automobile Driving Museum's Ridealong Sunday

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