Monday, February 07, 2005

Convertible

The weather forecast for today, Feb 7, was for temperatures in the mid 50s. Being the convertible enthusiast that I am, I decided it was going to be a convertible day.

I have always loved convertibles, as far back as I can remember. My earliest memory having a convertible was a Matchbox convertible that was my favorite. It was blue initially, but after months and months, I used my sisters' fingernail polish to make it hot pink! My earliest memory of riding in a convertible was when I was probably about 10 years old. My uncle John had an early 70s Plymouth Road Runner convertible; metallic dark green with white seats and a white top. The exhaust growled from a ridiculously large and powerful engine, not uncommon in cars from the 70s, before the energy crisis. What a thrill!

Fast-forward about 10 years. After having my license for a few years and driving around in a Chevrolet Chevette, I longed for a cool convertible whenever I saw one on the road. I used to say "I should be driving that." I even got my friends in on the game, and if they saw a convertible before I did, they would say "You should be driving that."

Fast-forward about to 1990 when I finally got a convertible: a reconditioned 1978 Volkswagen Super Beetle; Signal Red with white seats and a white top. Man, was that car a head-turner! I couldn't go anywhere without people stopping me and asking about the car. Unfortunately I only had it for 3 months. I was hit by a pick-up truck whose driver had run a red light, and my beautiful convertible was totaled. I woke up in the ambulance. "Where am I?" I asked. "You've been in a car accident" the paramedic told me. "How's my car?" I then asked. "We'll talk about that later," I was told. Apparently they were more concerned by the large, bleeding gash in my head than my convertible. A few days later I almost got sick when I saw my car. The passenger side where the impact occurred was smashed so far in that the passenger seat had been ripped from the floor. One could now sit in the driver's seat and put one's arm out the driver's window and passenger window at the same time.

Fast-forward to 1993 and I discover the redesigned BMW 325i convertible, and it was love at first sight. This car was completely out of my price range, but I was in love with it. I got one of those 3-part centerfold brochures from a BMW dealer and had it tacked up on my cubicle wall at work. For years I pined for that car, but it would continue to be out of my budget for years to come.

Fast-forward to 2001. I have changed jobs and been promoted a few times. Things are going much better for me financially, and I decide its time. I scour the local used car dealerships, but never find quite the right car. Too expensive, too many miles, too many funny sounds, too much wear and tear. Finally my online search turns up what looks like the right match. The right price, the right mileage, the right condition, even my first choice in color. And, the owner lived only a mile and a half away. It was meant to be! So that is how I came to acquire my 1994 BMW 325i convertible; Boston Green with tan interior and black top. My dream car!

Fast-forward to 2005, today. I excitedly walked out of my office for lunch in anticipation of my 1st top-down ride of the year. It truly was a gorgeous day: bright, sunny, and warm. I pushed the button that simultaneously lowers all the windows, then turned the handle that unlocks the roof. Then I pushed the button that folds the roof back and stores it neatly under the hard roof cover, and in flooded the sunshine. "YES! This is what its all about" I thought to myself as I smiled.

I enjoyed a short ride to pick up a sandwich and then headed back to the office. Optimistic that the evening commute home would be as warm as the lunchtime ride, I left the top down when I went back into the office.

The sun was going down when I came out of the office at 5:30 and I could immediately tell that it was NOT as warm as it had been a few hours ago. But being the convertible enthusiast that I am, I decided to 'go for it' anyway. I put the windows up and turned the heater on, and turned on the seat warmer too. As I entered the highway and picked up speed I thought to myself 'Its brisk, but tolerable'. Though a bit chilly, I was in heaven.

4 comments:

Spencer said...

I won't brag how nice it is in Florida right now! ha-ha

Michael said...

Hey Mark! I was just catching up on your blog. I too dream of owning a convertible one day, and riding down Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles, hugging the coastline and listening to Louis Armstrong. **sigh**

Jamie said...

Mark-

As you know, Michael is obsessed with getting a convertible, and was just starting to feel like in the next year he would be able to get one. Now, we have to plan a wedding, and he's resigned himself to not getting one. I keep telling him that we can make it happen, but he doesn't believe me. Remind him that it CAN happen the next time we see each other!

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