Associate Editor Craig Cole's Picks
The perfect car for my dad has open wheels, a mid-mounted engine and no roof, but if you think he’s interested in an IndyCar or some kind exotic convertible you’d be as wrong as the jury that acquitted O.J. Simpson. The perfect car for pops isn’t; he has no use for anything with doors and a low ride height. His ideal vehicle is a motorcycle.
Dad is a die-hard bike enthusiast the way Rush Limbaugh is a die-hard jackass. He’s clocked hundreds of thousands of miles on his cycles over the decades riding across the country in all weather conditions. Rain drops don’t stop him, nor does cold weather or drunk drivers in Pontiac Catalinas. If he were to get a new hog today his pick would be a factory-fresh Harley-Davidson Road Glide, with a thundering V-twin engine and an aerodynamic fixed fairing. Too bad they’re equipped with fuel injection; he much prefers carburetors.
Of course he’d also love a vintage four-cylinder Indian from around 1940. About 30 years ago he restored a ‘41 Scout military bike but to him a four-banger is always the one that got away.
But you can’t ride ‘round the calendar, not in Michigan anyway, so dad needs something with an enclosed cabin and heat. Since he’s a no-nonsense, blue-collar-to-the-bone kind of guy a truck is his vehicle of choice, but not some leather-lined, chrome-plated yuppie pickup. He works for a living and needs something with suitable utility. He doesn’t care about features or amenities; to him functionality comes first.
The 2014 Chevy Silverado would be his top pick. He’d order it in the most basic work-truck configuration, complete with manual locks and crank windows. The only options he’d spring for would be air conditioning and four-wheel drive. Pushing utility he’d undoubtedly opt for an eight-foot bed, a regular cab and a V6 engine. Like I said, no nonsense.