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car of the night: what would vinny barbarino drive?
by Michele Christopher
Someone emailed and asked that I devote one night to the Trans Am. Here you go.
Back in the day I had this friend Vinny. You know Vinny. Muscle shirt, tight jeans (we're talking circa 1977 here, so I'm sure the jeans were of the designer variety), white sneakers, a little too much body hair and a penchant for saying shit like "what the fuck you lookin at?" Vinny walked with a swagger, talked with his hands and had a feigned accent ripped off straight from John Travolta in Welcome Back, Kotter. He liked his girls pretty and vacant, drank malt liquor, smoked no filter Camels, spit on the ground every ten seconds and had the IQ of a hubcap.
Vinny drove a Trans Am. Every Vinny in America drove a Trans Am during that time. And they all spent every Saturday washing and waxing their cars and Saturday night cruising up and down the highway leering at girls in tube tops and challenging random people to races or fights as if they were living some modernized version of American Graffiti. And on Sunday they would stumble out to the driveway and pop open the hood and spend the whole day pretending to be actually doing something to the car while a few neighborhood girls gathered in Vinny's driveway to admire his muscles and his ability to look like he knew how to work it under the hood when all he was really doing was fondling the dipstick. Ocassionaly he would stop to adjust his balls and take a swig of warm beer and spit on the ground and say something like "Hey, Theresa babe, why don't you run your cute little ass into the garage and grab me another brew?"
One day I had a fight with Vinny about his car. I argued that my dream car (the 70 Chevelle) was a far superior automobile. I told him that the Trans Am was for suburban mamma's boys who listened to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and, from what I heard, had a serious problem with dropping the clutch a bit too early, if you know what I mean. I explained that the Chevelle was the Yankees and the Trans Am was the Mets. He started to defend himself again and I cut him off.
"Dude. You have a fucking bird on your car."
I hope my emailing Trans Am fan is satisfied.