Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Secret of Potential "The automobile’s potential is its greatest secret—an open secret and yet, it often seems, a forgotten one. The big SUV in my garage may occasionally make a 10-mile trip to Walmart or 2-mile run to the volunteer fire station when the siren sounds. But it has the potential—the size, the power, the range—to take me, my friends, and our bicycles over the mountain to a distant bike trail, or 1,100 miles with a load of furniture and books to my son’s house in Florida.

A century ago, the gasoline-powered automobile revolutionized personal mobility. It did it so profoundly and swiftly as to make it a routine aspect of our daily lives. Wide-ranging mobility is so normal that many people, particularly in the anti-car crowd, have forgotten its importance. On whatever day you may happen to read this, Americans will travel 11 billion miles in their cars, going to work or to lunch with friends, shopping, visiting the doctor or dentist, picking up materials for a home project, transporting kids to soccer or a pet to the vet—compacting into a few hours tasks which, had they even been contemplated before the automobile, would have taken carefully planned days or weeks."

If you like driving, this is a great column. The cars and trucks we drive are capable of so much more then we need them to be, and we love it that way. Excess capabilities are fun to have. Sports cars don't always race, most trucks seldom tow, and very few SUV's make there way off of pavement.

I remember a Nissan commercial campaign a few years back, and the tag line was 'Not that you would. But that you Could." That really sums up what we want from our vehicles, the tools to bring what our mind conceives into actions we can accomplish, maybe with some air conditioner included.


Sra. Madera said...

Okay this is like the Jeep commercial we saw last night. The Jeep was on the road cruising rather than off-road enjoying the wilderness, such unfulfilled potential. Actually it is a lot like our lives...

Gino said...

and dont forget the cool sound system.

great post PB.

Palm boy said...

Madera, and the Jeep looked good doing it, because, well, its a jeep. :D

Gino, just what good is a drive without some amplified music?