Friday, June 25, 2004

Well it is the end of the week again and I guess that you all know that we all had a wonderful weekend last week...On the Tampin Run organized by the Volvo Classic Club of Malaysia... It was the first time that I had driven this thirty eight years old classic that far and would like to share my experiences on cars for all to know the beauty and the pleasure of driving.... First remember we are going back in time to the year nineteen sixty six, that year the car was new and the technology was the best that we could ask for at that time... You take the first drive and it was smooth and everyone in it enjoy the ride, there was no air condition then and no one complain, the windows all open to let in the wind as well as to the ventilate the interior, and also at that time there was no such thing as an automatic transmission gear and power steering... It was just fine without the power steering, everything was fine and you enjoy driving your new car on... It just became second nature to you and no one would ever complain of the heat, so out you go to show off your new car, a luxury at that time... The road were normally narrow, Highway was unthinkable at that time especially in this country, so there was no complain if there are pots holes all over or that the road is just covered with laterite... You enjoy the ride as a proud owner of the Volvo of the Amazon series..The Volvo one two two, the new continental car on the road now, and most probably you are the few that own this Swede car in your town... Well that was the day.... One the first day of owning this beau....You showered and got dress, you wore a red tee shirt, put on a pant and a long stocking and a shining polished brown shoe... You filled your pipe with tobacco, light up the pipe and biting it hard,it cling to the mouth, with one arm on the window you happily drive the Volvo around... You drive slowly to show off and enjoy the envy of your friends and neighbors... It was a fascinating scene out of the old movie..... Well at that time it was for real....You are among the few that own this Volvo classic... Every trip whether near or far you would enjoy driving it for there was no other car to compare with... But now it is different... It is another world, a world of the advance of science and technology.... The Japanese borrow the idea of making cars from the west and with their ingenuity they keep improving the car and its performance and soon the country were flooded with inexpensive new cars, not only it could performs better and economical on the fuel, it look great as well.... So like any commodity on the market, people got the best one to suit their budget and their taste.... They do not care whether the car would last or not, if it run smoothly and it give good mileage then it is good enough and normally Japanese cars do not give any trouble for the first five years... And that is good enough for the consumer and at the end of the fifth years a new model is out to lure the buyer to change their cars and soon everyone are with a new cars and soon you no longer see the older model cars... Where have they gone... Sometime I wonder!!!... Well... Who care!!... For that matter the Japanese do not make cars to last forever... It would last and be useful for a short period only... People soon forget about the older cars and it soon became just like any other consumer goods.....It was different with the west when they produce cars they makes it to last a life time and this is why they lost in the war for the cars market.... The Japanese and now the Korean are smart, their strategies works and they soon capture the world markets.. And so as years goes on you no longer see old or classic Japanese cars.... Like the Volvo classic that I own now.... Now we quantum leap to this century....To the year two zero zero four and the day is today..... A new car the latest Honda Civic, with auto gear transmission, with power steering, with power window, with auto cruiser, with the CD player and the latest FM Radio, with bucket seats so comfortable that you enjoy sitting and driving and then you have the choice of color to your liking, with air condition... You just dress simple or depend on the occasion... You just turn the ignition and the engine start in silence...You move the gear to the R to reversed and the D to drive and out you cruise along the road or the highway...With very little energy use, with a finger you could turn the steering and with a powerful engine you could feel the car push forward with ease and take you along into the wonderful moment of driving in this era.....You have no clutch to push up and down and only one of your foot is being use, for the brake and acceleration... There are no gear to move all the time....So you are free to concentrate your driving and enjoy the scenery.....You listen to the radio, Eighteen selected channels and if you are still bored with the radio, then there is the CD player to play your favorite music... Well what else do you need to transport yourself for a point... In your travel or journey...You drive with pleasure and enjoy every minutes that you are in the cars, traffic jam do not bother you any more and at the toll plaza you just pay it by electronic and in Malaysia we use the Smartag auto payment system... You just drive through the toll gate and it allowed you to pass without stopping... You could chat and enjoy the company of all that are in the car....And because of the air condition and the little energy you use, you get to your destination fresh and full of energy... To do whatever you want to... That is the pleasure of driving today's car.... And I love to drive.... It has been an extension of myself since I bought my first car a Fiat Six hundred in the late fifties... I have drive many made and models all through the years and enjoy seeing the development of cars from that era to today...The era of the Lexus technology in the car world... So when I went back in time to drive the Volvo classic, I know for sure that driving cars has never remain the same.... From the day when we human had to use all our energy to get the car running, like moving the gear all the time, when slowing down and otherwise, like trying to park the car with a hard steering without the assistance of any power other then your own hand power, you have to wind and unwind the window using your own energy, well the achievement in our advance in making driving a pleasure has been tremendous and I guess beyond the wildest dream of those that live in the century gone bye....I had that experiences going through all the developments of cars and to me it is a great achievement, that gave mankind it greatest personal tool of transportation since the invention of the wheel.... Cars to me is an extension of myself that I could not live with pleasure without it... It is indeed a great achievement of mankind, thanks to those great inventors and innovators of our times, making getting to and fro places a pleasure.... How do we live without it!!... I wonder!!... Then we all know that the car is here to stay and with the advance of technology we would be driving a better car as we progress....What a world to live on.....And enjoy.....

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