Super busy week so I declared a Holiday for the ‘Couv’ I can do that, right? Well day off or not, I am reaching into the archives for this week’s post…
Originally posted on May 1st, 2013, by Rod Sager
Cars and the ‘Couv’
I have been a resident of Vancouver for a dozen years and I am amazed to this day at the variety of cars and auto enthusiasts that frequent the streets of the ‘Couv’.
If Portland is a city of bicycles then Vancouver is no doubt a city of cars. One only needs to traverse the greater Clark County area a few times to see that we have a great road and highway system that is clearly superior to that of our larger neighbor in that other state.
Our south of the border friends have shown a desire to create an environment that is friendly to bicycles and public transportation. Where they have succeeded very much in that endeavor, much to my chagrin, it has come largely at the expense of our nation’s preferred mode of transport.
As the weather begins to turn sunny and warm, we see the denizens of the ‘Couv’ rolling their wheeled masterpieces out onto to the endless asphalt of our ample paved surfaces. It is quite fun to drive about gazing in wonder at all the amazing cars that people only drive when the weather is fair. This is one of my favorite pastimes here in America’s Vancouver.
Some of you may be thinking that it is classics and hot rods to which I refer. Yes, and that would be correct, but incomplete. I have lived in many cities and traveled across these United States. My observations have been that different communities tend to have their own style among car owners. Some cities have that country pick-up truck crowd. I have been in cities that have a hot-rod and drag racing culture. Some towns fancy the restored antique cars like the Model T and Model A Fords. I have lived in very affluent places where the sight of a Bentley or Ferrari is oh so “ho hum”. Of course in some of our more urban cities it’s the Japanese hot-hatches that drives the cruising scene.
What I find so interesting about our car culture here in the ‘Couv’ is this; All of the Above. Every day I see those hot rods and muscle cars roaring down Fourth Plain, the ground shaking like a 6.0 quake as they pass. Routinely I spot the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” type driving an Aston Martin or a Maserati, sometimes in neighborhoods that don’t seem to fit the profile. I spot youngsters buzzing through traffic on Mill Plain in their pumped up Civics with the body kit and the big muffler tips. I see a Chrysler 300 sporting 24 inch rims and deep dark tinted windows rollin’ phat on Andresen. How about that four wheel drive pick-up truck lifted so high I can drive my car under it. I see it all and I see it every day. We have an amazing pageant of motoring going on in this town and I like it.
Many people may wonder how a city the size of Vancouver USA can have such a diverse culture of personal transportation. Those people may simply be living in the shadow of our larger rival across the river. The city of Portland has some 600,000 people within its borders. The ‘Couv’, however is more than just the ‘city’ of Vancouver. Unlike the Rose City which is nearly fully incorporated edge to edge, our charming and eclectic city is actually an omnibus caboodle of many neighborhoods. We have so many unincorporated areas within Vancouver. Hazel Dell, Salmon Creek, Felida, Orchards, Sifton and on and on the list continues. Our fair city when gathered to the strength of all her citizens, has a population approaching 300,000. With that many people residing within our fifteen postal zip codes propelling themselves down perpetual pathways of pavement as wide as a PDX runway, I ask this. How can we not have such a multifarious manifold of all things automotive?
Enjoy the fair weather, drop the top, turn up the tunes, and cruise like it’s 1955 in the ‘Couv’.