It’s just four wheels!

We raise such a ruckus about our cars in America. They’re part of our “brand.” They advertise our status. They get us laid (some of us, at least). But is there really such a vast difference between one car and another?

Take a look at these two beauties. One is a Mercedes SLK55 AMG. The other is a 1934 Austin A4. Both are stunning, elegant examples of the leading technology of their time. On the surface, you would think they were nothing alike. Inside the Mercedes you’ll find more computers than in NASA and enough horsepower to pull the Titanic. Inside the Austin, you’ll find push rods and copper wiring and, very possibly, hamsters. Yet they’re both sheet metal and glass and tires. Yes, just about every car made on this planet shares that one thing: even with all the evolved technology, they all meet the road on rubber tires…or, as we say in Britain, tyres.

My point is, both cars are elegant. Both are works of art. In some people’s eyes, so is a Honda Civic. When you’re in the car, you can’t enjoy its lines. Only the drivers to the left, right and front can do that. So what difference does it make what you drive? As with almost everything else in this world, it’s not what you have, but what you do with it that makes all the difference.

A car is a canvas in motion. If I drive to a meeting in a Mercedes and I’m angry and running my gob at every other driver on the road, I’m crapping all over my canvas. If you drive your 1934 Austin or your beat-up Dodge to work and you’re enjoying every turn in the road, you’re creating something beautiful. A car is just a tool, and life’s not about the tools. It’s about the journey.

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