Thursday, December 04, 2008

Concept: Saturn Return.

Not a picture of the actual car, but this is the same make and model, the same Medium Red, and the same hubcaps. The background could easily be a stand in for Southeast Michigan. Come to think of it, this picture was likely taken in Southeast Michigan.

1991 Saturn SL, Medium Red, Manual Transmission

For a sixteen to nineteen year old boy, this guy was one of my very best friends. It wasn't in my name -- my parents got it in 1991 -- but from the first time I almost put it into a ditch (manual transmission; the cars we drove in drivers ed were all automatics) I was as possessive and protective as a jealous lover. This car could safely navigate around the potholes of Flint's industrial strips, transport a group of four of my friends (happy and seatbelted) from the East Side to Ruggeros in under fifteen minutes. It didn't accelerate exceptionally well, but it handled speed well enough to accomodate the most frenetic Detroit traffic (which, unlike Chicago, is fast and efficient as it is deadly). It had a radio but no tape player, and its occasional rattling always seemed to be in time with Banana 101.5 Doors' organs. This car got me down to Pontiac and back for a quarter of a tank, or in 1997, to Chicago for about twenty bucks. Best of all, when McDonalds sold the All American meal... $2.10 for a cheeseburger, small fries, small coke... this car had the perfect amount of space for all three nestled between the emergency brake and the driver's and passenger's seats.

It was a beautiful beautiful thing.

I called it "SL."

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