I had not anticipated buying a new car in this year of 2019, however an accident totaled my 2015 sedan. So, purchasing a new car became a necessity. I had only one day to find just the right one at the right price. So, I purchased a 2019 model. I was astonished to find so many “high-tech” features as are now on these new cars.
I learned to drive at age fourteen – my mother taught me to drive on a 1940 Chevrolet Stylemaster. This automobile was, I thought, way ahead of its time with “vacuum shift” ( a $10.00 addition ) and “knee-action” front suspension. The vacuum shift made the steering column shift lever easier to operate, as opposed to floor shifts like in trucks.
The year was 1950 and it was on my fourteenth birthday that I passed all the driving tests and obtained my first driver’s license. I have been driving ever since and can boast of not having an accident, and only one speeding ticket in over seventy years of driving.
Back to the new automobile. When I first sat down in the driver’s cockpit I was confronted with a number of new fangled gadgets totally unfamiliar to me.
First, there is no ignition key now days. So, how does one start a car with no ignition key? Well, you must have your new “fob” at least within three feet of the car, press down on the brake pedal, and push on a button….it starts! Reminds me of my first car, a 1950 Chevrolet coupe. It started by pressing a button, too.
I am sure glad that the dealer told us about this one. When you stop for a red light, the engine will shut down if it idles too long to suit the car. I assume that this feature helps save gasoline by not running in “idle” at the light. Neat..!
Now, get this one. My new auto has a back-up camera that comes alive when you shift into reverse. Now I can back out of my driveway without ever looking back. My wife really likes this one. Now if I could just teach her to use the rear view mirrors..!
A new feature allows me to hook up my cell phones to be heard through the radio speakers. I can also charge and talk on my cell phone, provided I have a “smart” phone, which I do not.
This new car is pretty smart. Every time I put the car in “park”, a voice reminds me to look in the back seat. I guess this is to prevent me from leaving a baby locked up in the car. Clara and I have not had any babies in sixty-five years, so we won’t be paying attention to that little voice.
Now I will see at a glance which direction I am traveling. I now have an on-board compass which keeps me constantly informed. This feature could come handy in my later years when I might get confused and not know where I am, much less the direction in which I am traveling.
Not only does it inform me of my traveling direction, it shows me the outside temperature. Now I do not have to wet my finger and hold it out the window to guess at the temperature. I can just glance down at my handy dash for the answer.
One thing I am especially appreciative of is this…you don’t have to restrict your driving speed to fifty-five miles an hour for the first one thousand miles. I recall this was a requirement for any new car purchased back in the 1940s and 1950s. That was called “the break-in period”.
I am sure that my new car has other neat features on it that I have not discovered yet. But, I still can’t make myself stay below the fifty-five mile per hour rule…..it’s just ingrained in me from years ago. I only have another five hundred miles to go before I can put the pedal-to-the-metal.
“Hey! Get that bucket of bolts out of the roadway so I can pass!”
“THE NEW CAR”
By: NEAL MURPHY
P.O. Box 511
San Augustine, Texas 75972