Friday, July 24, 2009

The Day of the Cobra

~Sia McKye~
My son, Jake and I both love muscle cars. I've always loved the looks of them, Jake is learning more about engines and what not. A few weeks ago, we attended a small muscle car show.

It was one of those days where the sun plays hide and seek with the clouds, and hints at the coming rain. Muscle car aficionados are serious about checking out cars. I‘ve seen them show up in rain, all sitting around coking and joking under a big old canopy while debating original parts to newer manufactured parts. Kit cars verses rebuilding from one the ground up. Discussions can get heated and you’ll see a couple go out in the rain and check out this car or another—owner in tow vehemently making his point.

There’s a festive air about a car show. There are balloons and banners. Contests for the best…you name it about a car and they have it. People bring lawn chairs, coolers and cameras. Knots of men stand around in baseball caps chatting about everything from crops to car parts. Usually someone has a booth cooking hotdogs, hamburgers and fries. Others have auto parts booths set up, with pictures, samples of paints or parts from yesteryear. Kids get bored and start up a game of some sort.

We weren't able to stay beyond a few hours, but we enjoyed the variety of cars present from old pick-up trucks from the 1930's to various cars from the 20s and 30's to cars of the 60's and 70's. A few kit cars were present and some looked only a little larger than a go-cart. Some cars were well preserved and others in need of a great deal of work. It was fun to watch people arrive in various cars, some I remember my dad or grandfather owning.

I like Camaros. Jake loves Mustangs, Chevelles, and Dodge Chargers. What car show worth it’s salt, here in the south, won’t have a replica (or two) of General Lee?

Interesting side point about the Dukes of Hazard star John Schneider (played Bo Duke in the series). He owned his personal 1969 Dodge Charger also called General Lee. John sold his General Lee in 2007, on eBay for a shock-absorbing $9,900,500.00! That’s almost 10 million dollars and the second highest sale in a car auction. The first place sale? A 1931 Bugatti originally owned by the Bugatti family and it went for a cool $11 million.

We were looking at a particularly fine Chevy Super Sport when we heard the distinctive growl of a car approaching the car show. Jake bumped his head on the Chevy’s hood in his hurry to stand up. We looked at each other and turned in tandem and looked toward the busy highway. You could hear this car approaching a quarter of a mile away. I had to smile when I heard him murmur, “Oh. My. Freaking. God. It’s a Shelby Cobra…”

We were the first to approach the car as the owner parked it. A truly beautifully maintained 1967 Shelby Cobra. While the owner wiped the road dust off the car and opened the hood my son stood, hardly breathing, as he looked at the car.

I knew Jake would never ask, so I went up to the owner and asked if he would mind me taking a few pictures of my son with his car. As in standing by the car. He looked over his shoulder at Jake, who still hadn't moved, his eyes reverent as he looked at the car, gave a little smile and said, "Sure. Let me put the hood down, first."
I walked over to Jake to tell him we had permission to take a few pictures with him and the car. I'm telling you, his face lit up like Christmas morning. Jake walked the remaining four feet to the car and just stood there. "Oh wow."

The owner had been watching Jake and the little smile of his turned into a big grin at Jake's reaction. After the first picture the owner came up to Jake and put his hand on Jake's shoulder to move him out of the way. He reached out and opened the door, looked up at Jake and asked, "Would you like to get in?"

I was thinking, this is a rhetorical question, right?

He warned Jake about the very hot exhaust pipe, and Jake got in. Can we say heaven? I think my son thought he died and went there for sure.

After the photo shoot, he and the owner talked about the car a bit and then Jake and I walked away. He proudly showed me the burn he got getting in the car and asked, “Hey Mom, you think it will scar? Wouldn’t that be sweet?” I had to laugh.

While there were many gorgeous cars at the show, I don't think either of us will forget the Day of the Cobra.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

He's hoping for a burn scar? That's too funny.
I'm with you - I love Camaros. Even had the main character of my third book driving an old Camaro. (And it's on the book's cover.)
Do you ever watch the British show Top Gear? I think you'd enjoy it!

Great photos!

L. Diane Wolfe

Magdalena Scott said...

What a great day for both of you! (Good luck with the scar, Jake!)

McMama said...

I love this story, Sia. And the General Lee car reminds me of my son's plastic model, which he played with all the time when he was two. He used to run the car all over the coffee table, and then every once in a while he'd scoot it up into the air, saying "The DUKES..." He'd hold it in place for a minute, then tip it down and drive it back onto the table. Just as it landed he'd say, "...of Hazard."

~Sia McKye~ said...

Lolol! How funny Cathy. Boys. Jake wasn't a big fan of playing with cars. He did but not as much as his action figures or riding his horse--not real ones. He still has a collection of Matchbook cars tho.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Magadalena, you can barely see it. Just a red mark. Trust me, he'll know where it is whether we can see it or not.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Top Gear? Hmmm, I haven't but I'm thinking Jake has. I'll have to look for it. As for the third book? Of course it's a winner by virtue of a Camaro on it, lolol!

Anonymous said...

Great pic, love that car!! He looks so happy too!! :)

Kelley Flanagan Fulford

mynfel said...

Love this! :) I had a 35th anniversary special edition Mustang. (Only 6,000 were made) I had to sell it when I had my first baby...just couldn't get that car seat to work. *sobs*

Tho - the 6 year old *is* impressed that I had one, so hopefully when he's older we'll be able to share that experience one day too.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Oh how cool, Alison. I've had my share of cool cars, some of which are considered muscle cars now. I had a '81 Jag before Jake was born and I loved it. But it cost more to maintain than I wanted to spend. Good car, but I chose not to work after Jake was born and that was a major reduction in yearly income for us. Another one of my faovrite cars I had was a 1971 Cougar XR7, all white and silver chrome. Leather seats, power everything and fast. Hubs had a '73 Grand Torino Sport when we met. So, we've had our share of 'toys'. But Jake looks at the old pictures and just drools, lolol!

Other Lisa said...

My favorite car that I owned: a 1959 Plymouth Valiant with pushbutton automatic transmission.

2nd favorite: my Mini Cooper, of course!

Great photos of Jake!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Mom had a Dodge Dart that had the buttons, lol! A '64, I think, and silver gray. I always found those buttons fascinating.

You'll have to post a pic of your cooper! It suits you, I'm thinking. :-)

ML said...

I'm quite biased towards Camaros. Especially 1968 ones. Though Cobras are fun to drive.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Ahhhh. Mike I'm with you, I LOVE Camaros, 67-69. Love to get one. When will yours be up and running again? You've been doing a lot of work on it. :-)

Dana Fredsti said...

What a fun mother/son bonding experience!

ML said...

I've got everything now to get it going. Well, except for fuel but that's no biggie. Just need to find a day where I won't cook to death in the sun since there's no room in the garage. I don't want to end up like dad did yesterday where he passed out twice, had to do the knuckle rub on the chest to rouse him when I heard him call for me. Scared me half to death.

Pat Bertram said...

Where can I get a car like that? Maybe Santa will bring me one. Christmas is exactly six months away -- not to soon to start hinting.

~Sia McKye~ said...

If Santa brings cars like "that", I'm first in line, Pat. lolol! Actually, I'd like him to just bring me a new to me car that works well. Maybe if I sing Santa Baby?

Anonymous said...

If I sang, I can guarantee he'd put coal in my stocking! On the other hand, maybe he'd give me a car to shut me up.