How Far Have We Really Come?

By Jimmy Jones, USDR Contributor

Every once in a while, while driving one of my vehicles down the road, I get this nostalgic feeling of “this thing will run forever.” I generally smile, give the dash a pat and say “good car.” I spend the majority of my motoring time in my company ‘whip’ (which is slang for automobile) – a 2005 F150 Supercrew. It has been a great vehicle. I have driven 100k miles with nothing but adding gas, one set of brakes and on its third set of tires. That’s it. I honestly think every manufacture makes pretty decent vehicles these days, all the way down to the cheapest cars on the road. My mother drives a 2007 Hyundai Accent, and I am here to tell you it is fantastic! It is a brilliant car, especially for the money. Same with my wife’s 2012 VW Jetta TDi: 40+mpg; room for our baby; our stuff; comfortable; Sat/Nav, heated seats… all the bells and whistles, and priced quite nicely. There are so many good choices these days it is getting harder and harder to pick just one… maybe I should buy three of each? Hmmm… moving on before my wife calls me with budget details, again.

We all have gripes about our vehicles; we Americans especially wonder why our vehicle only has 18 cup holders instead of 20, or why we have to suffer endlessly with a radio knob that is half a centimeter too far out of our reach. When it boils down to the fine tooth-combing of what we want in cars, the auto industry has done a sufficient job as far as ergonomics, curb appeal and (perhaps for some of us) efficiency. Think about it; when a lot of us were kids 2011-2012 seemed like a Jetsons’ type of future. We were day-dreaming of flying cars and lady robots cleaning up after us. But in reality that sort of thing doesn’t just happen in 20 or 30 years any more. Back then we based our view of the future on the past hundred years. A hundred years prior we were just getting used to the idea of noisy biplanes, with heroes flying through barns and living through a barrel roll. We were dreaming of larger steam-powered tractors and enjoying the putt-putt-putt of a Ford Model T squishing through the muddy streets of a city. That was an awesome 100 years – from covered wagons, to men on the moon. Now, however, progression is at a much slower pace. We are much more concerned about our phones being faster than last year’s model and our computer turning on the lights at the house while brewing up the coffee and turning on the TV. In other words I don’t look for mass transit to be in flight mode soon, nor do I think a ton of my fellow drivers would be any better flying down the sky road than they are at driving down the paved road. Imagine the pandemonium if tomorrow the open flyways were implemented. Come down to the car lot and trade “up” (literally). I wonder if there would be as few crashes that day. I saw 4 idiots on the way to work today and I only live 3 blocks from my office! I suppose there would be one fantastic advantage – no traffic jams!

My point is we should admire what we have, eighteen cup holders and all. Let’s remember that at present this little machine gets us 20+ miles on one gallon of liquid that we don’t have to cook, or mix at our house. It protects us from all of those crazy bugs that are crossing the road, rain that wants to cover the earth, snow that has nowhere to go but in your eye lashes. It is able to keep whatever temperature that makes us uncomfortable outside, while inside we are cozy for our motoring enjoyment, perhaps while even listening to your favorite song.  So if you’re a bit down on your ‘whip’ at the moment why not give it a bath, vacuum the seats, put up a new air freshener and enjoy the creature comfort that is your car… because I don’t see us flying anytime soon. And I, for one, am glad.

Jimmy Jones is that guy – the one that knows what you’re doing with your car before you do. Car enthusiast and author Jimmy  is a family guy more than anything these days, spending his free time with wife Oana and new baby daughter Anabella. The family travels the world over in their spare time and he enjoys biking, running and kayaking. Oh and trying out anything with wheels.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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