It's red. It's a Honda. It's got 50,000 miles on it -- and it is my oldest daughter's first car.
We got it last week, in one of those rites-of-passage for parents that brings memories flooding back. In my case -- having come of age in the 1970s -- the memories are not good. They are, to be kind, substandard. They are memories of a certain variety of Detroit steel called the 1974 Dodge Dart Swinger.
It was a two-door "sports coupe," which meant it was a slightly-less-unwieldy behemoth than the other cars on the road. It was beige, inside and out, with all the aero-dynamics of the step-in GMC van my father drove to deliver bread. No air-bags, no seat belt. I loved it, for sure -- but when I look back on it, I am not only stunned I survived in it, but that the American auto industry survived along with me.
Last week, to the amazement of many, General Motors announced it was not shutting down its plants for the traditional two week summer layoff period. Orders for automobiles were coming in too fast for the now-downsized manufacturing giant.