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When It Rains

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On Saturday past, I went to Cars and Coffee in Ann Arbor with my son. It was the first time he said he’d wake up at 7:30am on a weekend. I peaked in his room expecting him to roll over when I asked if he still wanted to go. To my surprise, he sat up and said “yup.” We took my ’72 914 with a 2.0 liter swap. It was his choice. Read all about my trials with the car here at Groosh’s Garage. Fast forward to the conclusion of the sweat of one’s brow and… the car works. Lights, wipers, horn, turn signals, they all are functional. And that is usually good enough. Except when it rains.

The weather gurus predicted rain Saturday morning but we left under cloudy skies and dry conditions. The parking lot appeared less full than usual and I can only surmise people were watching the radar. We weren’t. We had a good time walking around and decided to go to a local Coney Island for some breakfast. Inside looking north while we snugged sideways in our vinyl clad booth, I noticed dark ominous clouds coming in from the west. I checked the radar and shared the screen across the table of eggs and hash browns. A wall of red was approaching. We’re going to get caught right in the middle of this one. And you know what? I was psyched.

We jumped in the car, buckled up and drove west down Jackson Road, still dry. But a mile into the distance you could see the blurring of trees, a haze in the air. We were heading into a deluge of heavy spheroids. It wasn’t quite a wash-out but it was close. The little 914 wipers flapped back and forth steadfast on keeping the windshield clear. The other drivers kept to their tracks but speeds slowed down a smidgen. It was at this point that I told my son about one thing that didn’t work in this car. It was an amenity often overlooked in a world of Sunday driving. In a world of fair weather motoring. The HVAC. I didn’t have it. Not even a fan.

The windshield started to fog up. But like in the old days in my friend’s VW camper in Seattle, you simply crack the windows to equalize the air temps and wallah, no more fog. That is, until you stop. But hey, this was an adventure. We were safe and sound as the rain poured and the lighting and thunder cracked around us. Traffic lights behind us, 55 mph, clear sights and a few drips on the arm. Then three miles of limestone, dirt, roads to accentuate the escapade until home. I still haven’t washed the car. We pulled into the driveway and just settled there. My son didn’t get out right away. Either did I. We sat there in silence as the rain pattered the Targa top and dripped onto the engine lid. Then he said something I wasn’t expecting. “It’s so peaceful.” Yes. Yes it is.

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