We’ve been asking–actually, begging and pleading–for a ride in this monument to Americana but James Chen always found a way to politely turn us down. He is, he says, willing to share his Ferraris and Lamborghinis and Cadillacs, but he and his family enjoy such a personal relationship with this particular car that he seldom shares it with outsiders. He finally gave in.
In 1967, Glenn's parents special-ordered a silver Saab Sonett II from a Florida dealer and, as a result, Glenn spent his childhood riding to school not in Detroit’s muscle cars of the 1960s and ‘70s but in a 1500-pound Swedish sports car with a 70 horsepower, two-stroke engine. The Sonett has followed Glenn through life. In 1980, when he was eighteen years old, Glenn bought the car from his parents for $300 and, with the help of his father, gave the car enough energy to carry Glenn through college and into adulthood.
The average American driver puts 13,500 miles per year on their car. Mr. Scott Fisher of Las Vegas, Nevada, added that many to the odometer of his 1967 Datsun Roadster in just the first three months of a recently-completed road trip that ultimately took him to forty-eight U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces. By the time Scott pulled into his garage in Las Vegas for the first time in eight months, he had covered 37,850 miles of the North American countryside.
Mr. Winston Dabbs is a product of his time. As a young man in 1970s Compton, California, he was swept up in the local enthusiasm for British sports cars, tasteful status symbols among young black men of the time. Winston's own entry into the world of British cars was modest – a Bugeye Sprite which he bought from a friend for $75 – but it sparked a passion that has stayed with him to this day, a passion that led to a career in automotive restoration.
You could say that Jason Cammisa knows cars. With a day job at Road & Track, he has full access to the world’s best vehicles—but still comes back to his humble Volkswagen Scirocco. “This car definitely changed the path of my life because it forced me to be a mechanic,” Cammisa says, “I was in college…there was no way I would have been able to keep this car—I don’t think I could still have this car—if I had to pay somebody to work on it.”
After some searching for a rally car, Jake Auerbach and his father settled upon a 1951 Chrysler New Yorker, a car which had previously run the famed La Carrera Panamericana race in Mexico and the Pike's Peak Hill Climb in Colorado. They began adding their own miles to the car's odomoeter, running the New York-to-Vancouver leg of the Trans-America Challenge in 2012 in addition to numerous other events. This father-and-son team covered more than 10,000 competition miles together.. They never, however, managed to win any of the events they entered together. In 2012, Jonathan Auerbach died at the age of 70. Shortly after, Jake entered the first rally he'd ever run without his dad. He won.