Small Town Car Culture and a Good Tape Deck.


My coming of age was in a very small town in Northwestern Ontario in (Gasp) the 1980s. Back in the stone age we didn’t have Twitter or Cell Phones, if we wanted to talk to someone we had two options pick the phone off the hook on the wall or go bang on their door.  Also our entertainment options were rather limited.  Growing up in a border town, we could go see a movie in the States if it suited us or make out with our girls in the single theater that my town had in Canada.

But most nights as soon as our pack of unruly teenagers got our driving license we spent our days and evenings much like the kids of American Graffiti. Cruising up and down the main drags of our town and trying to find girls or trying to find a place to pull off the main road to make out with the one we had in the passenger seat.

Most of us teens wanted bad ass cars to spend our money on, well because it was cool. Sadly the Trans Am I lusted after with a 400 High Output engine in it was not my fathers idea of safe or cool so he refused to co-sign a loan with me.  Instead I ended up with a Dodge Turismo 4 speed. Cheap to buy and cheaper than a 8 cylinder to keep in gas.

At the beginning I didn’t really like the little grey beast, but it was a two door hot hatch with a respectable 2.4 Liter engine. Once I got to know my little dragster I was kicking ass on the larger 8’s in a quarter mile being light and with a stick transmission.  I could hold my own on many of the larger cars in my town.

But now I come to the second part of my thesis, a kick ass tape deck. I saved my pennies working at McDonald’s and although I couldn’t afford a high end Alpine deck like some of my friends I in typical Bob fashion cobbled together a pretty sweet rig with a booster and 7 channel equalizer a good thumping sub in the hatch and sharp tweeters in the dash with mid-range in the passenger seats. I figured if they couldn’t hear my engine coming down the road they bloody well better be able to hear my stereo.

I can still remember finally getting everything assembled and the first tape I put in the deck was Beverly Hill’s Cop 2.  Shakedown thumped from every fiber of my being and I felt like I had accomplished something.  My friend Darren who also had a low slung hot hatch Ford EXP could out handle me in the turns by a mile but my bigger engine was always faster.

God I long for those days again when all we worried about was a fiver for gas to cruise up and down in our little town.

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