Happy International Day of Happiness, the day created to recognize happiness as a fundamental human goal. As enthusiasts we derive joy from many aspects of car ownership. It could be a drive on your favorite road, the satisfaction of working with your hands, the simple act of collecting, or something else entirely. There are many different ways to enjoy automobiles and it’s important to take a moment to remind ourselves of that.
What aspect of car life makes you happy?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Who would you pick, living or dead, to go for a drive with, and in what car?“.
The reason we know that JNC readers are some of the best people on the planet is that so many of you picked a close family member to go on your dream drive with. Fred Langille conveyed the personal story of his dad and the car he never won on The Price is Right. Jim Daniels offered a similar story of his dad and his Datsun 240Z. Styles chose his mom and his Celica XX, while Taylor C. picked his wife and a Miata along the PCH.
Several chose famous drivers and the machines they were associated with: Colin McRae for classicrecons, Ayrton Senna and an NSX for Long Beach Mike, and the Mazda 787B with each of its Le Mans-winning drivers around Circuit de la Sarthe for speedie. Another NSX vote was cast by Alan, who picked legendary motoring journalist and Honda mega-fan L.J.K. Setright.
Celebrity co-pilots got quite a few shout-outs, but all of them were classy. Jonathon P. opted for Lady Vera Lynn to accompany him in an equally dignified car, the Lexus LS400. Ryan S. would take fellow Minnesotan James Hong for a drive in a Toyota Sports 800. Joe Momma nominated Jennifer Aniston and a SW20 T-top for a perfect 90s snapshot. Chet Manley selected Ho Chi Minh and a Honda Super Cub.
The funniest answer this week came from Brandon, who wanted to a dodgy Toyota Starlet and a historical figure whose skills would be put to the test::
I’d ride with Jesus to the track in an TT LS swapped Toyota Starlet with 3 bald tires, a broken wheel stud and drum brakes in the rear.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!
Car friends, nothing quite like car friends.
If we’d all spend a little more time in the garage with friends the world would be a better place!
(ignoring the verbal abuse suffered by stuck bolts that is.)
Going on 100+ mile trips with your buddy for that one part made of pure unobtainium.
Spending weekends with your friends wrencing, running on pizza or BBQ getting a project ready before summer.
Supporting one another to do stupid things, one more pound of boost…brake a little later…just a little more angle… and once you inevitably crash, burn and break your car it’s all hands on deck so we can do it again!
that’s what makes me happiest, come for the cars, stay for the family!
Now if you’ll excuse me i gotta go pilot some black Honda Civics with green underglow on a DVD player heist.
Just being able to drive a car today, from my magical childhood era (the 1980s), to look back on it after it’s parked, admire how sleek and clean it looks , as If I bought it from the showroom in 1986. While driving it, being immersed in the all original interior with it’s soft touch door cards, digital RGB display dashboard, the sound system playing 1980’s music, and the original steering wheel proudly displaying either the model name or an emblem on the center, as if you are in the actual sales catalogues. Seeing the looks on other drivers in modern cars slow down to have a closer look thinking what the hell is this, seeing the expression “never seen or heard of this car before” look on their faces.
It’s the fact that, I am able to drive still at my age … some might think well, almost-75 isn’t that old but, here I am working the issue. Its the act of driving whether it be on errands or, tootling around to restaurants, markets etc in (now) either our S-Cargo or 230SLK. Its the knowledge of the freedom of mobility to get up and go anywhere … in El Bombo Populare or, your new car or whatever. For this what can be truly said as a twilight, so to speak, I not only have the choice TO go anywhere I or my wife want to go but, the freedom to pick out IN WHAT vehicle to go in … a modern Korean SUV, Quirky Japanese low-production van or, now with a storied German sports car that also has modern amenities as an “executive sports roadster/coupe”. It is THOSE choices and, the planning to personalize them as much as I can do … the Kona needs two things to be perfect, the S-Cargo a couple of minor fixits and, the SLK … it’s a sorting out in progress. No matter what, its the combined happiness of the driving, conception of personalization and, the sharing with my (admittedly long-suffering, non driving wife who tries to support my obsession as best as possible). To be honest, she understands the need for the Mercedes-Benz 230 SLK more than the S-Cargo was at times. No matter, its the usage and sharing that;s important, nothing else matters.
The part of love is driving my 1991 MR2 Turbo with my friends, nothing like a group of superb cars going down the road together. When you have all Three generations together, it is truly an amazing sight. Having owned my two for over 26 years, I get to do this often.
Love the brotherhood of bros banished to their garages by their wives or GF’s, that simply share the same passion for old rides. We speak “car”to each other and it’s a thing of it’s own.
If I said, “S14 with an LS1 swap, running bell housing adapter to R180 rear rend,
TTT coilovers, camber kit, poly bushings, pillar pod, boost gauge etc. You would probably know what I’m talking about as 99/100 women roll their eyes and slightly vomit….love that.
Part of it is that feeling I get when I’ve fixed something on my car, but the thing I like the most is just to cruise a curvy, empty road on a warm sunny day with the windows down, arm out the window, and listen to music (it’s probably going to be a Japanese City Pop mixtape).
I reckon it’s using the car that suits your stage of life, financial situation and general day-to-day lifestyle.
For the past 6 months, that’s meant an old GD Jazz (Fit) for us. Recently, we loaded two 29″ mountain bikes, helmets and backpack to go for a ride. No problem!
On the way home, stopped at the supermarket and it took three bags of shopping between the bikes. We closed the hatch, looked at each other and shared a knowing smile.
Got in, and we each said, almost in unison, “smug”.
It’s got me wondering how the heck we can go back to the CRX if it’s rebuilt while with us. We can find a positive to car life there too. Sure, it’s been on stands for over 10 years, but there’s the potential of the thing.
We’re lucky to have that potential and a dose of daily practicality with “H” badges fore, aft and back home in the ‘raj.
Driving plain and simple. I get no better feeling of peace than when I am driving one of my favorite roads early in the morning. I love the sound of the engine and exhaust as I push the car and the feel of the bumps and G forces transmitted by the steering and chassis as the car sweeps over the crests and turns. I feel sorry for people who have never experienced what its like. A friend of mine, who is a musician, told me what I described is what he feels when he is in his recording studio and listening to one of his favorite pieces of music. Music indeed.
Being able to enjoy something alone. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a good time at the local cars & coffee, but it’s deeply satisfying that having a drive doesn’t require anyone other than me. It’s just the car, myself, and whatever road I want be on at the moment. Like playing a solo campaign on a video game: I’m the main character at the moment and the story to unfold is mine. It’s a space where I allow myself to be unreachable to everyone else so I can shed the baggage of the daily grind and just “be,” while having an experience all to my own. That’s where I find part of my happiness.
You earn you pay for the car of your dreams and then just drive it. Use it for what it is built and enjoy it as much as you can. It eases away all your troubles, what more happiness can you expect from car life?