Rise and Drive – July 2017

     Sunday morning, about 7am, the smell of freshly brewed espresso still hangs in the silence of the kitchen as I take the last sips of it from my cup.  I quietly gather my camera, an extra battery and a water bottle, mindful not to wake my still slumbering family.  The golden morning sun casts long shadows through the house, dust dancing in the beams of light like glitter.  I make my exit through the back door and head to the garage, leaving the glitter to swirl in my wake.  The garage smell is a blend of fuel rich exhaust, oil and grass clippings.  Already being warmed by the morning sun, the air in the garage hangs thick and humid.  As the overhead door rattles open, a curtain of bright golden light enters, and the dank aromas quickly give way to the crisp cool morning air.  

      Here too, glittering dust swirls about in the sunlight, some of it settling onto the surface of the RX-7.  I grab a bottle of Final Finish to dispatch of the dust and proceed spray a fine mist onto the glossy black surface.  The rhythmic dance that ensues; the clouds of mist settle on the paint in tiny droplets, a wipe of the towel turns the droplets into streaks, a flip of the towel and final wipe leaves behind a glossy and dust free shine.  I take a moment to measure the result once it’s done, admiring the way the black paint shines with intensity at the front half of the car, reflecting like a mirror the sun in the sky.  The back half obscured in the garage’s shadow, appears a deep pool of black ink, giving the impression it could run down the lines of the rear quarter and drip onto the concrete floor.  I open the driver door carefully avoiding finger smudges on the freshly dusted surface, remove the steering wheel for easier ingress, and slide into the felt fabric lined shell of the Sparco bucket seat.  Popping the wheel back into place with a firm clunk, the door replies with it’s own solid thunk, and with a turn of the key the engine roars raucously to life.  

     I pull slowly out of the garage, an anticipatory grin already on my face, as it is time to make my way to another Rise and Drive meet.  As I turn toward the expressway, I wonder what will be inside CCG today, who will show up this month, and what unique cars might appear in the lot?  Nearing the expressway, engine is still not warmed up, it coughs and barks grumpily, but I know it will be warm by the time we hit the on-ramp.  My mind wanders to the previous day’s Super Car Saturday meet, and what I might post or write about it on the blog.  The on-ramp nears, the engine feels happier now, I glance at the gauge to confirm what I can already feel, it is up to temperature.  

     The engine lets loose a sharp grunt as I blip the throttle to downshift, and holds an angry buzz rounding the cloverleaf, it feels like an anxious greyhound tugging at it’s leash.  The anxious droning explodes into an explosive howl as I bury the pedal to merge onto the nearly empty expressway.  The rear wheels step slightly to the left before biting into the asphalt and pushing the car forward with an urgent shove.  A satisfying chorus of wailing exhaust and whistling turbo is soon followed by an equally satisfying hiccup on upshift and whip-like crack from the blow off valve before the howling quickly resumes full throat.  ‘This is what it’s all about’ I think to myself as I allow the engine to settle into a cruise, the howl calming to a steady hum.  This is what it’s all about, I love Rise and Drive Sunday mornings.

– photos and writing: Robert Sixto

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