Urban, er Suburban Mid Life Thoughts


Recently I had the opportunity to make a major shift in my garage.  I don’t mean the man cave buildout on CoolToys, I mean a shift in cars. The 1966 Mercedes SL that I owned for over 20 years finally found a new home worthy of its grace.  The 2016 Jeep Wrangler JK had finished it’s term with KuhlToys and it was time to move on to something else.  

Over the years I have had cars, trucks and motorcycles that ran the spectrum.  Looking at my empty garage, admiring my wife’s new Jaguar F-pace, I realized the car was a statement of who she was or rather who she is today.  I realized that each vehicle I drove over the years was a simple testament to where I was in my life.  Most of the time, I was lost and my vehicles were somewhat utilitarian and a wandered aimlessly through life. I see that in all kinds of people when I see their cars. The “mall queen” Jeeps and Range Rovers that are never dusty come to mind.

When I got my first Harley Davidson XL1000, something changed.  I didn’t find a new direction or way of life on purpose, I just fell into it.  Ten years and three Harley’s later, I sold my last one (and favorite) and moved out of the area.  I moved to an area not really fit for riding, and didn’t see any bikes around.  It was sort of a clean cut from the Harley family. I missed something about the lifestyle, but I was distracted building a new business.

Returning to California is always a challenge. Especially moving to Southern California to live the Beach Street Life. We left a much larger home, sold nearly everything and scrapped into a house near the beach the size of my old garage in Texas. My friends laughed when they saw it and thought I was nuts. I had a Super Crew F-150 that was so big it blocked the entire house from the street. Mostly it sat on the street because it was too big to drive anywhere. Eventually I sold it after I picked up a smoking lease deal on a Chevy Volt. But something was missing from my motoring life that needed fixing.

At the end of 2015 I was looking for my next CoolToy. After a little soul searching I went with the Jeep JKU. When the 2016 JK showed up, it was a perfect statement of where I was in life.  I didn’t realize it then but I do now.  Realizing that I was the tip of the proverbial spear of first world problem children the Jeep JK was the right statement.  It was still highly utilitarian for someone who hadn’t figured everything out, and nice enough to show I had something figured out.

Being raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles has all of the classic signs pointing out a problem will happen.  We were just far enough from the city to not fit in.  In the 70’s and 80’s LA didn’t even have a real “downtown” area, so Urban in LA was sort of a misconception.  Since then the inner suburbs have become Urbanized with high rise buildings, trains and all the features of an east coast city.

In the suburbs I grew up riding around in the back of huge cars like Buicks and Cadillacs.  Our garages were quite large to fit these fifteen foot long behemoths.

There are people who where born and raised in the city who never leave.  They are truly urban, but when it comes to fashion and lifestyle they can run the spectrum from Hip-Hop to Urbane.  

As a whole they love the city life.  The energy of night clubs, the pageantry of plays and the morning buzz of the local coffee shop. For true urbanites, cars are slowly becoming a nuisance as they swipe through ride sharing apps on their smart phones.

Then there are the urbanites who love the outdoors.  They toil away at desks enclosed by walls and windows with climate controlled somewhat filtered air.  They try to sneak out as early as possible a Friday a month or so, and run to the mountains.  They fly past the suburbs and live a split life of Urban work and Rural Play.  Because they are mostly Urban I think of them as Urral’s.  

Urrals dress to impress both at work and at play.  You know them in the woods because the brands names are sewn into the back of their jackets.  They drive Subaru’s and Range Rovers always seeking to fill a void created by the urban life. There are two cars owned by Urrals, Jeeps and Subaru’s. More of them have Subaru’s because they fit better in urban parking spaces.

The point of this is two fold. Life changes, we change and thus sometimes our cars change. Fighting change is silly, so you may as well embrace it and enjoy your ride even if it only drives your ego.

Resto Mod Camaro
170k Resto Mod Camaro – Really??