On Corvettes and Rumble Seats

A couple of years ago, one of my son’s friends invited me to take a spin in a borrowed Corvette. At first, I hesitated, but when he promised to drive under the speed limit and take corners gingerly, I agreed. The first thing I noticed was how low the car was to the ground. This I didn’t realize until I fell into a bucket seat. I was okay with it however, in fact having fun, until he accelerated from 5 miles an hour to 50 in approximately ten seconds. The trip, which lasted a mere ten minutes, seemed like an eternity to me. Once home I felt great relief as I attempted to get out of the car. It was a bit like trying to emerge from a deep barrel, and I couldn’t have done it had he not come around and yanked on my arm.

As with many new adventures I experience as one who is ‘aged advantaged’, this one caused me to reflect back to another time. It was the early 40’s and I was invited to ride in the rumble seat of a 1938 Chevy coupe. (A rumble seat was the open air gizmo located where the trunk is today.) In order to get into it, I had to step on the running board, then on the fender after which I jumped into the seat. I remember being terrified at every step. Once settled, I breathed a sigh of relief and looked up to see that joining me on this dangerous mission was none other than my then middle-aged Bubbie who took each hurdle with remarkable ease and grace. (So much for inheriting her athletic genes!) That experience convinced me that, were she here today, she would have jumped at the chance to ride in a Corvette.

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