These Are The Coolest Cars Your Dads Owned

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Photo: Gwafton, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Coolest car. Either a blue MGB he had before kids were around or a 1956 Nomad he and I worked on in high school, but had to sell before it was finished because of kidney issues (my brother gave him a kidney, he’s still kicking).

Coolest vehicle. 1978 Honda Goldwing. IMO that old touring bike has aged pretty well. Round headlights, big Vetter faring, saddle bags, and trunk bag. I still think they look good and I’m partial to black. We did a few trips on it when I was younger. At one point we broke down on the Canadian border (literally, the clutch went out about 300 yards past customs). This was on the North Shore of Lake Superior in the mid 1990’s, we were coming back from Thunder Bay and probably still at least 8 hours from home. A trucker hauling logs gave us a ride from the border to Two Harbors, about a four hour ride. They sat up front and talked about life and the land and work. I sat in back and drank Pepsis in the trucker’s sleeper cab. My dad still calls me every once in a while and asks “What was the truckers name?” Vince Utenberg was the name.

There was no vacancy in any hotel that weekend, but there was an old lady who used to run a boarding house who took us in. I remember hanging out with her, eating cookies, watching Matlock, getting some good second hand smoke (menthols), while we waited. Her name was Dorthy. A couple days later my mom and one of my brothers were able to come up and get us. A few weeks later that same brother and my dad borrowed a Toyota 4×4 SR5 (that was & is a cool truck) drove back up to that customs station and retrieved the Goldwing. The next year my parents went up and stayed with Dorothy in Two Harbors on purpose, apparently a lot of people she took in did that.

My dad got the Goldwing fixed and had probably another decade of good travels on it, but that North Shore trip when I was 12 was my last motorcycle trip with him, and since I’m a bad combo of adventurous and clumsy, probably my last motorcycle trip period. I like staying on this side of the dirt, so I’ll stick to adventures that are more likely to just screw up my joints—trail running, mountain biking that sort of thing.

When he sold the Goldwing, he bought a Honda Silverwing and is now on his second Silverwing. With what is basically a commuter scooter capable of highway speeds, he has traveled from Minnesota to New Brunswick on the Atlantic and Vancouver on the Pacific, with many other trips in between—Moab, Rocky Mountain National Park, Glacier. I’m probably forgetting a bunch.

It’s not the vehicle that makes you cool. It’s what you do with it.

A Gold Wing is inherently cool on its own, but a story like that certainly makes it even cooler. Modern GLs may be the ultimate touring bike, with their CVTs and fairings and Apple CarPlay, but you can still rack up the miles on an old one.

Submitted by: Wierdisgood


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