The third week in August is “Car Week” on the Monterey Peninsula. Dozens of various car events throughout the area lead up to the famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, “quite simply the finest exhibition of show cars on Earth, . . . an annual gathering of rare and antique automobiles, international automotive luminaries and motorcar enthusiasts from around the globe,” according to the event’s official website. Car shows, auctions, rallies, and soirees attract car lovers from around the world.
For my dad and I who are obsessed with “rolling art,” this week each year is a very special time. When I was a kid, my dad found old BMW and Volkswagen steering wheels from various junkyards and attached them to the wall in my room so I could pretend to drive. He even commissioned a custom dashboard with a BMW steering wheel, gear shift, speedometer, exhaust pipe, working headlights and signal lights, key, and key slot, allowing me to vividly imagine racing on the Autobahn or cruising through the German Alpine Road in the comfort and safety of my room.
I worked at a classic car consignment when I was in high school. I had always enjoyed 50’s music and pop culture and dreamed of owning a vintage car of my own. My dad was originally against the idea, primarily because older cars lack safety features such as crumple zones, airbags, and ABS brakes. I had my eye on a light blue and white 1953 Chevy Bel Air and I convinced him to give me the green light by telling him that we would bond over working on the car together. However, while we know how to operate cars, we have no idea how they work. We lifted the hood, I pointed to a part of the engine and asked, “What’s that?” He responded, “I don’t know.” That was the end of our bonding through working on the car.
I named my Chevy “Maybellene” after the Chuck Berry song, wore a bowling shirt and a fedora hat, and cruised around listening to oldies music and made frequent trips to Reggie Jackson’s Dugout Diner, a 50’s restaurant that used to be located in downtown Monterey. Country music star Allan Jackson sings, “My first love was an older woman,” in reference to his first car – I can certainly relate to that sentiment.
Twenty-one years later, I still drive around in Maybellene on a daily basis. My dad and I have successfully molded my six-year-old son into a fellow car aficionado. One morning, as my son and I were sitting in Maybellene waiting for her to warm-up, my son said: “Dada, when you die, I’m going to get Maybellene, right?” I was quite stunned by the question. I told him, “That’s not going to happen for a long time so get that idea out of your head!” Apparently, my first grader has a keener understanding of estate planning than I had imagined . . . for better or worse.
KRASA LAW, Inc. is located at 704-D Forest Avenue, Pacific Grove, California, and Kyle may be reached at 831-920-0205.
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