Losing Our Way

Once any high school graduate could own an American-made car powered by a jet turbine engine and designed by the aerodynamaestheticians who put the heat ablasion vents on the Gemini capsules, and not that every thing in the old days was as cheap and good, but the high-school car dollar today only buys a snap-tite shitbox that farts tar if you ask it to run the cheap gas for once. Good Guys' hot-rod association even puts a year on the point where American car power capsized—1972, when Nixon opened China and OPEC was getting ready to choke shut the oil valves, and maybe that pointed to the future better than we realized at the time.

And while I personally wouldn't mind a '73 Torino to sleep in sometimes, Good Guys lines up such a monumental survivors rally of uncontaminated American automotive excellence that even I must surrender to their impulse for purity. (“We truly live the American dream,” Good Guys president and founder Gary Meadors once said.) This inaugural OC event brings to the OC fairgrounds the kind of reverent sled worship that draws hundreds of thousands to steamy parking lots nationwide—all years classy American (or American-powered) vehicles at parade rest the way they used to do it with tanks in Red Square, which they don't do anymore because for 50 years America made machines better. But now the streets outside look like a toybox and if I work hard I can afford a Yaris, and if I go to this I will sicken at the prosperity that was removed from us.

Goodguys Orange County Get-Together at the Orange County Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa, (714) 708-1500; www.good-guys.com. Sat.-Sun, 8 a.m. $13; ages 7-12, $6; under 7, free.

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