You’ve got to appreciate good craftsmanship

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On Friday night I spent some time with the Memory Lane Cruisers Car Club at their monthly cruise-in, which takes place in the parking lot out in front of the Department of Social Services.

There were a lot of people who brought their shiny-as-new, old cars and trucks for display. Hoods were up and spectators were walking up and down row after row of vehicles, looking underneath the hood and peeking inside the windows, most of which were rolled down to give visitors the chance to look closely at the interiors.

Most of those interiors were as sparklingly tidy as the engines under the opened hood.

The Memory Lane Cruisers Cruise-In is one of a handful that happen roughly every month during warm weather in Roxboro. The largest is probably the Rox ‘N Roll Cruise in that takes place along Main Street in Uptown Roxboro. Another group hosts an event at Merritt Commons.

And, in this space a few weeks ago, I wrote about Chip Lofton, who collects antique cars and finishes the restoration work on them.

There’s quite a car-culture in Roxboro. People love their cars.

I sheepishly admit, I am not in love with my vehicles. I’m about as mechanical as the wall in front of you. I consider a car as a way to get from Point A to Point B. I don’t want to drive a vehicle that looks like a junker, but other than that, I don’t much care what it looks like as long as its dependable and I don’t have to hold my breath in hopes of getting where I’m going without being stranded.

In fact, my car is not a car at all. It’s a truck and we use it during harvest season as a farm truck. And, because I’m the only person in my extended family with a truck, I’m often called on to help family members move or to move large things for them.

Even though I don’t have a real love affair with cars and trucks, I appreciate those who do. It’s a remarkable skill to be able to rebuild something as complex as an automobile. And when owners of these antique cars and trucks go the extra mile to make them look like they’ve just come off the factory floor, I can’t help but be impressed by their attention to detail.

I could walk down a line of cars – in fact I did this Friday night – and have to ask a car owner what model car I’m looking at. I can tell if it’s a Ford or a Chevy, but that’s about it. I certainly can’t tell you the difference between a ‘57 and a ‘59.

I know that’s not a very manly admission. When it comes to cars, I guess I need to turn in my man-card.

But even for someone who’s as car-ignorant as I am, I can appreciate the passion these car owners have for their avocation. It seems like it would be a fun way to spend your leisure time working on a car to make it just right. And I can really imagine the pride they have when they attend a cruise-in and let people look over their work, or when they drive down the road in one of those old-timey cars. It’s a real head turner. Even for car-deprived people like me.

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