The Red Menace

Many years ago, when Bill’s sons were still in high school, Bill decided (in that optimistic way characteristic of most parents) that he was going to buy a little sports car in need of repair, and that he and his boys would work on it together. You know, a project. Kind of like Andy and Opie Taylor working on a car when the good sheriff wasn’t bringing down bad guys in a totally nonviolent way, a big goofy smile on his face, and a guitar in his hand with which he would sing You Are My Sunshine.

Bill began looking at car ads, and one in particular stuck out. It was for an old Ferrari – 1959 250 GTPF – in Auto Trader magazine. He bought the car in Longmont for a surprisingly good price, drove it home to Denver, and set about tinkering on the car in order to get it running like a top.

Ferrari 250 GT PF II Coupe

The thing is, the boys weren’t particularly interested in helping work on the car. They were interested in girls and music and hanging out with their friends. Of course, they were totally interested in getting the car running so that they could drive it to prom, but not much in getting their own hands dirty.

Eventually, Bill sold that old Ferrari, and bought a newer old Ferrari – a 1982 308 GTSi…..

What a pretty car! Oh, and the red one’s not bad either….

He actually drove that car around a bit for a while. In fact, at one point he drove it to Phoenix and let our nephew Christopher use it at his wedding.

Eventually, however, the car started having problems, and eventually stopped running. Bill parked it in our two-car garage, something I told him was fine with me as long as the other car in the two-car garage was my yellow bug. So, for over two decades, he has parked his own car (the one he actually drives on a daily basis) out in the driveway, and never once complained.

And the red sports car has been a very expensive placeholder for that regular car for all of this time. Until last summer – the Summer of the Ferrari – when Bill tinkered and tweaked and took out car parts and replaced them with new car parts until he actually got it running.

This is quite a long story when the point of my story is simple: I don’t get it. I don’t understand the fuss. I can’t figure out why he can just stand and look at his red car in a way that I’m pretty sure he never looked at me.

And it’s not just him. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s anyone with testosterone in their DNA. The other day, for example, the garage door was open. A perfect stranger out walking his dog spotted the car, and he and Bill spent a half hour or so talking about cars. Like conversations at a book club.

I recently mentioned in one of my Thursday Thoughts that Bill was getting his car ready to drive. (I actually should say his Ferrari ready to drive, but I’m too embarrassed to use that word). I got a comment from an old high school friend with whom I am connected on Facebook. He’d read that blog post and actually commented on the post, saying in jest that he would be happy to take that old piece of junk off of Bill’s hands for 500 bucks. I responded that Bill wants to drive it to Nebraska in August when our class will be celebrating our 45th high school class reunion, but that I was horrified at the thought. I think my friend Larry was horrified that I was horrified. Nevertheless, the car will not be taking a trip to Nebraska if I have anything to say about it.

Perhaps it’s not just testosterone, however, because the other day he gave Addie a ride to the park where she was going to meet up with friends, and, well, she was mighty happy. And last summer, Mylee couldn’t stop beaming as she got a chance to sit in Papa’s red car…..

Neither Addie nor Mylee – or any of my other grands for that matter – look that happy when they are in the yellow bug. Go figure.

This post linked to Grammy’s Grid Link Party.

8 thoughts on “The Red Menace

  1. I can’t believe how much younger Mylee looks in that picture. And she still has her two front teeth which are currently missing. Oh, and that red car looks great too!

  2. My husband has an Alpha Romeo – over the last few years it has probably cost us as much in repairs as it did to buy (2nd hand) I sometimes think that the person he bought it off did a happy dance once we drove off in it. Despite that, my husband loves that car like a child – I just don’t get it either! Leanne | cresting the hill

  3. Can’t wait to see you two in August. And go for a ride in that sweet little ride. But I’m a little worried folks might think Bill and I are twin Magnum P.I.’s in that thing.

  4. It looks great. I am sure it makes the grands feel special. Fun story about the boys not wanting anything to do with the project car….about the way it goes!

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