I am so uncool.

My friends have always been so cool.

During my teen years, many of my friends drove trendy, sporty, cool cars – T-birds and Challengers and Grand Prixs and Chevelles and GTO‘s.

I didn’t.

With my limited McDonalds’ earnings I bought a staid old 1967 Rambler American sedan… $900 as I recall. I earned $1.55 per hour at my McJob. Yup, $12.40 for an 8 hour shift that ended at 1 am on a school night. A tankful of regular leaded gas cost me $4.95.

My poor friend Denise had to tolerate the woes of sharing a ride to college with me every school day in this drab brown sedan that would have fit our parents’ “cool factor” much more appropriately.

But my best boyhood friend Frank was a different story. Frank always had a hot car or motorcycle in his parent’s driveway.

  • Datsun 240Z …
  • Pontiac Sunbird with sunroof …
  • Toyota Celica …
I'm not convinced it was the car that really interested us young guys ...

I’m not convinced it was the curvy lines of the Datsun 240Z that really interested us young guys …

His cars all had fantastic sound systems that shook them like ferocious rumbling earthquakes as he accelerated from 0 to 5,000 mph in 3.2 seconds. I loved Frank’s cars.

Sadly, Frank loved motorcycles too. You can guess the ending there. I think when Frank’s Mom wrote to tell me of his violent, accidental death at age 33, my young kids saw me cry for the first time.


You know the 7 deadly sins?

1. Greed 2. Gluttony 3. Lust 4. Envy 5. Sloth 6. Wrath 7. Pride

I could easily qualify for platinum status in each of the 7 deadly sins, but the one I have to cop to today is ENVY.

You see, now that I’m approaching raisin status (wrinkled, dried-up old dude) I have to confront the many demons that have lived inside my head for decades.

If I don’t expunge them, I’m sure to be hell-bound. Isn’t that the way it works?

And if I don’t deal with these things now, then when?

I shouldn’t wait till I’m playing a harp in heaven or roasting weenies over the bonfires of hell. Yup, now’s the time.

I’ve never owned a hot, sporty car. I’ve never even attempted lustful procreation in the backseat, although … come to think of it … I came close to it in the front seat on Grade 12 graduation night. But some stories should never be told.

Nowadays when I drive my Honda Accord around town I catch images – blurs really – of hot convertible Corvettes, and Mercedes and Porsches zipping past.

The inevitable takeaway for me is the driver – they’re not kids. They’re drivers with bare-pate-covering baseball caps, or the grey-white hair, or shiny bald spots catching the sun’s rays.

Elderly woman driving convertible sportscar, close-up

Most of these hot car drivers I see on the highways don’t look like hunky Don Draper or Marilyn Monroe or George Clooney… maybe more like past-his-prime leather-faced Mickey Rourke or Mickey Rooney or Marilyn Manson … old dudes …

Anyway, the same guys I was envious of with their hot cars in high school and college are still turning me envy green. It shouldn’t, but sometimes it just does. But why?

We exist in a world where this appealing image of coolness is hard to dispel.

Our heads are constantly bombarded with exciting images and temptations of all the sexy, shiny accessories that will make our life on this earth a passably tolerable experience. We love shiny, sleek stuff.

It’s really quite puzzling because I’m feeling envious of something I know I don’t really want. But score one for the marketers. They’ve gotten into my head.

Like any shiny new child’s toy or an adult’s fancy new fitness treadmill, I’d probably shiver in giddy excitement for all of 15 minutes if I owned a hot, sporty vehicle that hugged corners at 100 kph.

I’d feel so cool. So cool.

But I’d know I was fooling myself.

Soon enough the luster would surely fade and I’d be just as happy with my Honda Accord. And then I’d have a life hobbled with $50,000 of buyer’s remorse.

I’m not cool. I’m just too conservative and practical. I like my hair short, I like wearing neckties, I like to read about investing.

Coolness really wasn’t one of the options built into my genetic MSRP fully-loaded options package. I’m not to blame. It’s really my parents’ fault.

James Dean in his Porsche Spider was cool … Steve McQueen in his Mustang was cool … Johnny Depp in his Chevy pickup and Robert Downey Jr. in his Audi R7 are cool.


Brad Pitt in his Chevy Camaro is cool, right?


How cool am I really?

I’m just a Rambler American inside with a nighttime wet-dream of becoming a Datsun 240Z.


Cars just don’t come any cooler than this…