A decade later, when I got a driver's license, my father, who liked to tinker with cars, wanted to buy me an Austin Healy Sprite for $200 (about what TAO 61 is worth now in the dollars of that time. I suspect a functioning Sprite is worth far more in today's dollars.) My mother, a bit of a safety freak, said, "Absolutely not." I'm not sure which of us was more disappointed, Dad or me. We ended up with a hideous and dreadful Ford Falcon with which I later killed a deer in a place I wasn't supposed to be. My mother thought the Falcon was a safer car. Didn't stop me from driving it at 70 mph in zones rated for half that speed.
A few weeks ago a big Samoan guy commented on TAO 61, which may have been a mid-life crisis acquisition, although women don't generally buy cars at that juncture. "If I was young like you," he said, "I'd have a car like that."
"I'm not that young," I said. "The car just makes me seem that way." Like 7 or 8, driving around with Earl, who may have been a cousin of my mother.