FEBRUARY 17, 2013: HOW TO ADD THE DESPERATELY NEEDED COOL FACTOR TO A KID IN HIGH SCHOOL

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We live in an era where a new generation of kids has gone completely nerd and embraced the Internet highways while abandoning time behind the wheel on real highways.

 

There is something very tragic about this situation because an IPad will never make a kid cool in any sense of the term.

 

A kid who wastes his time playing video games in a fantasy world of cartoon heroes and villains has missed the boat on something that could actually make him very cool: an old car.

 

It is time for a kid seeking a cooler public image to think about horsepower and not terabytes.

 

Sure you can put together yet another Youtube video and seek out cyber-world fame with yet another “ironic” video that is code for boring and unfunny, or you can put together an old car that is the complete opposite of boring in the real world.

 

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Most of us can still remember our high school days where we fought a battle to stand out in a crowd while we conformed with the style and behavior rules inherent in any adolescent generation. Today a kid could stand out in his crowd in a big way if he made a smart choice not to become a computer nerd and picked some of these cars to give him a fighting chance for coolness.

 

The truth is any car from a decade when their parents were young would be a suitable addition to a kid’s cool factor, but here are a few examples of cars that would make the grade:

 

A 1968 Charger would be off-the-charts cool for a kid in high school and all he would need to do is convince his parents that a second mortgage on the house is a small price to pay for their kid’s coolness. A ‘68 Charger would be one of a kind in almost every high school parking lot on the planet and the young owner would go from invisible nerd to Steve McQueen cool the minute he pulled into the lot.

 

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A Model T would be a very cool car for a kid and it would not be a huge investment. More importantly, it would have speed limits imposed by a long-past engineering era where high speeds were roughly the same as most speed limits on modern residential streets. Nobody drove a T to school even when I was in high school-and I took two classes with Fred Flintstone. A Model T would be off the chart cool in high school during my time or today because they are such a huge example of independent thought.

 

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The truth is any muscle car or convertible from the 60s or 70s would also be a good choice but I would suspect that most parents would be reluctant to let Junior and his 12 seconds of driving experience get behind the wheel of a muscle car from any era. Especially an era when handling and braking took a back seat to brute force big block power in cars that were meant for arrow-straight roads.

 

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The best bet for a kid on a budget would have to be a four-door sedan from a bygone era. He should buy the kind of car that his parents’ parents drove and used for hauling his parents around during an ancient time when the kid’s parents were too young to drive themselves to school.

 

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The more-doors from the past are still affordable for a young car guy and the old sedans have the retro look that is ultra cool on today’s streets. That cool factor is directly transferable to a kid behind the wheel and just about every kid in high school could use every tool available to make them stand out in a crowd in a good way.

 

An old car just happens to be a great way.

 

Jim Sutherland

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