Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Covered Car as Muse

Most owners view classic cars under a cover as a bit of a drag. This, I think, is a flawed POV. I keep both my SC and Boxster covered. 

I find a car under cover not unlike classic continental dinner service, a bit of drama and suspense added to something that is usually routine. "Ooh, what delicacy is under that polished dome just waiting for me to devour it."

Driving now is like having a present to open everyday. It is the same reason I ask my dry cleaner to wrap my sweaters in paper. It gives an old item the blush of youth. The bit of occasion. Arrival. Or more apt, departure. 

And the psychological effects of keeping a car under cover are different for a collector car and a daily driver. I keep both of mine under covers. The foul weather 325ix is my bad, submissive partner. It looks like it likes getting leaves and sundry environmental assaults thrown at it. I'm sure it has a 'safe word' set up with Mother Nature if it all gets too nasty, but has yet to use it.

For a collector car, or fun car, keeping it covered in the garage is that extra bit of love and tenderness you can show to your prized possession. You wouldn't put your baby to bed with out her favorite blanket. Would you? No. And like a baby, peeking into the garage to see your possession sleeping away, protected and coddled is quite comforting. I imagine my SC snores the winter and its dirty roads away. 

The benefits of wrapping up one's daily driver under a quality NOAH or Porsche cover is even more profound. The biggest being is that it slows you down. Takes a few minutes to accomplish. It clears your mind and focuses you on the fact that you are going to be driving. Not doing work. Not making calls. This mind-clearing effect is something I also experience when I get ready for a motorcycle ride as I gear-up. As a passionate cook and the grandson of a woodworker I also like to take care of my tools. You don't grab a knife off the rack and hack at some chicken. You take it out of the block, run it over the steel and slice away. And a woodworker knows right away when their tools have been mishandled, ruffed, abused. They splinter the wood.

As you uncover your car it is a pilot moment. Look at the tires. Check for rock chips. Dig the garbage out of the vents and crevices. You're not being fanatical. You're being conscious. Pack up the cover in the trunk. (Do not ever cover your car at work. That is a complete wanker behaviour). Slid in, turn the key and drive.

I can almost envision confetti and horns crescendo cruise-ship like after uncovering the Boxster, pulling out of the drive and heading onto the sea of blacktop that is my commute. A bit Walter Mitty? Sure. But that, as the convict decorator says, is 'a good thing'.

In closing, I will admit, some nights the covering bit is a chore. But then I think how it adds two minutes to my day, slows me down once again. So that when I step through the door, the work day is done(even if I have more work to do) and I can relax knowing everyone is safe and sound.

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