Kimberly V. Althage – September 8, 2021
The Dalai Lama says “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.”
Road trips offer many benefits and are wonderful for one’s mental wellbeing. WorldHealth.net details the various ways a road trip improves mental health. In summation, these benefits include a reduction of stress and enhancement of positivity; it boosts one’s creativity and level of happiness; it too brings new experiences to retell.
This is not the case for long commutes, which are linked to stress, depression, and anxiety. Driving simply for the sake of it feels good. “The car functions as an escape vehicle for many people,” says Leon James, Ph.D., a professor of psychology who studies driver behavior at the University of Hawaii. “It can restore the feeling of freedom. The movement of the car in the turns and the desire to feel the engine obey the driver are part of the fun.”
Simply put, road trips embody the marvelousness of the automobile. You can set out impromptu or planned for somewhere or nowhere and be in no particular hurry as you settle into meditative solitude. It enables new adventures and new encounters. These new scenes and experiences are at the root of improving attitude and happiness levels.
“People are more inclined to talk about their experiences than about their material purchases, and they derive more happiness from doing so,” said Amit Kumar, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Telling these stories makes us enjoy the experience even more.
Brandon recently purchased this 1992 Shelby Cobra Replica Kit Car from our St. Louis showroom with every intention of driving it back home to Pennsylvania. Yes, he has seen the look of confusion a bunch of times from a lot of different people. Lots of incredulity. “What?! You’re doing WHAT?!”
You guessed correctly; this is not the first time Brandon has done such a thing. In fact, this was his third time this year. In April, he found a 1987 Nissan Be-1, a retro-styled two-door notchback sedan. Those cars were for Japan only, Nissan only made and sold them in Japan. It is kind of a unique import into the United States in the last few years. There are a few of them here and there, but they are considered quite rare. So, he flew into Milwaukee and met the seller the next morning. Then Brandon drove to St. Louis to see his friend & business associate and spent the night. The next day he continued his drive back to Pennsylvania with an overnight stay in eastern Ohio.
Next Brandon found a 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner. This was a gift for his parents, who were visiting family in Texas at the time and wrapping up their trip there. They drove their vehicle across to Savannah, Georgia and Brandon flew to Savannah to meet them. The next day they picked up the ’57 Fairlane and began the road trip home.
It was a bit of an adventure in itself for Brandon finding Gateway Classic Cars. He first started digging into Cobra replicas on various auction sites. He looked at and bid on a few, he asked questions of others he had met, and he started reading up on them. On a Google search he found the one in our St. Louis showroom.
Brandon would visit its listing from time to time. Through Brandon’s connections he had made, he asked others their impressions or what they thought of the car and asked for any advice in the process of purchasing. Only then did he reach out to the professionals on our showroom floor, Masen Motsinger and Ben Heese on the phone about the car. He then had Kevin Webb inspect the car just down the road from the St. Louis showroom.
What drew Brandon to the Cobra replica was a memory from childhood. One Saturday morning as he flipped channels, he saw a car show about Cobras. As an eight-year-old at the time, Brandon did not know who Carroll Shelby was. He did think Shelby’s $100 challenge was super cool, though. Carroll Shelby was known to challenge people by placing a $100 bill on the dash before he would take off. Anyone who could grab that $100 bill could keep it and that memory stuck. Brandon sought a Cobra replica specifically because as he explained, “I’m not a gazillionaire.”
Brandon has several road trips under his belt and he enjoys it, as the opening of this article details. “I’ve driven across country or half the country before,” he explained. “But I never did it with a classic car or something new to me. That has only happened this year,” he said.
These were little adventures this year. The Nissan Be-1 the biggest for two reasons, first because it was like those in England, being a right-hand drive car, which posed a little challenge on our U.S. roads. The bigger reason was its size, being as small or smaller than a Mini Cooper. Such a tiny right-hand drive car was a bit stressful with 18 wheelers zooming past him on the interstate.
Another minor headache on one road trip adventure was when the Ford Fairlane’s water pump went out just north of Richmond. “We were stuck at a truck stop by the side of the road and got it towed to a shop there in northern Virginia,” Brandon recalls. It was there for ten days or more until he was able to go back and get it and drive it all the way back home.
There were no problems at all with the Cobra he got from Gateway Classic Cars. Brandon said he really enjoyed the whole experience. Both Masen and Ben helped him and as he shared, “if they did not have an answer, they would find it. They were honest about what they knew and would admit if they did not know the answer to a specific question, but then always found out the answer.” Brandon also found communicating with them pleasant. “We razzed one other and definitely gave each other a hard time. I knew I could do business with those fellas because they had fun with me while also providing solid customer service,” he said.
We are happy he had such a great experience. Especially considering intended to travel to the St. Louis showroom with the purpose of driving it back home to Pennsylvania. As Brandon explained, “I don’t buy a car to put it on a trailer and rub it with a diaper. I buy a car to drive it.”