On Sunday I went to the Larz Anderson Museum with Pete because they were having Japanese Car Day. The event is basically a “Cars and Coffee” meet, only with a theme and prizes. Being that Pete has his 1998 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS basically buttoned up, we decided to take a ride down and check it out.
Upon our arrival we were told to park on the grass. Pete was excited about this because I guess at other events at the LA Museum, he’s had to park in the lot. In any case regardless of the fact that we got there pretty early, the field was pretty full upon our arrival.
The first thing I did upon parking was to tape flyers for my motorcycle on the front and back windshield of Pete’s car. That’s right people, after two years of very little progress with my 1972 Honda CL350 (cafe racer build), I’m throwing in the towel. I’d rather see it go to a good home and cut my losses rather than have it waste space in my garage.
Pete was talking to the girl next to us in the old Supra. Being that I didn’t want to wait around for him to finish, because who knows when that would be, I began to make my rounds. The field was littered with an array of old and new imports that you just don’t see everyday; 240 Zs, NSXs, RX-7s, 86s, and even a coveted R34 Nissan GT-R Skyline.
At the far side of the field there were a couple of cars that, though they seemed out of place, were probably two of the coolest ones there. The first was a Mitsubishi Delica. I had never heard of it before but it was basically a VW Eurovan, only with a higher suspension and four-wheel drive. The second (the one next to it) was a 1983 Toyota Mirage Pick-up truck. Apart from the fact that it was silver, it was essentially the Marty McFly truck from Back to the Future.
When I was talking to the owner, Kevin, about it, he told me he get’s that all the time (the fact that it reminds people of the BttF truck). I mentioned that it also reminded me of the Pizza Planet deliver truck from Toy Story. He said that only recently he had heard about that resemblance but admitted to having never seen the film.
What I thought was cool about these cars was how eclectic they were. A breath of fresh air in a sea of predictability. These cars were exactly the sort of thing you’d never imagine to see at a meet like this. Pete and I had a discussion about this and about how with cars in general, older is just better. The cars are so archaic. There is so much less technology and the materials and objects you interact with have so much more personality. Because some of them were before our time, it is interesting to see how manufacturers were putting out vehicles at that time.
Now, if I’m at a car show and I see a modern Ferrari or something I’m so unimpressed by it. Even when I “met” a Bugatti Veyron at few years ago at the Greenwich Concourse, I was very unfaised by it becuase, though “hand crafted,” it feels mass produced. These older cars may have been mass produced as well but something about the sum of their parts gives them so much more character.
In our walkings around, we came across the only other 2.5 RS in the show. Pete was pining over it as it was in near mint condition with only 30,000 miles on it and had a [$12,000] for sale sign on it. He kept saying how it was like a time capsule and could not get over how good of shape it was in. He eventually met up with the owner and so, know that this would lead to a several hour conversation, I made my way into the actual Larz Anderson Museum.
The museum itself is relatively small (for a museum) but has a cool collection of mostly older cars from the 1900s. The collection even included an old electric car. I knew that the electric car was not a novel idea, but it was crazy to see that even back then the automobile industry was thinking of alternative ways to power vehicles.
However, the thing that stuck out to me was the wall that had three posters for Boston Car shows from the early 1900s. It was crazy because I never thought about the fact that even back then they were doing and thinking simialr things with cars. It made me feel cool to part of a something that has such a long and rich history.