Last Wednesday I had lunch with Aaron Robinson from Car and Driver magazine, A.R. for short. Actually that’s not true. I’ve never called Aaron “A.R.” or anything for short. I’ve never even pronounced his name with one “A” instead of two. But here I was driving down recollection road to the town we commuted that construction-riddled-freeway-summer of 1989. We worked together at Automobile magazine. However, I wasn’t going downtown to Fourth and Liberty where Automoible set up shop. A great location for walking to lunch and shopping, a horrible location for driving in and out of. Crap the test fleet for Automobile was located on floors six through nine in the parking garage next door. Around and around she goes, where she stops nobody knows because you just wasted five minutes trying to find a parking spot and forgot where you parked. It was our job as motor gophers to keep tabs on the press fleet and I’m pretty sure I’d exit the garage elevator once a day and said “crap, where did I park it?” C&D’s headquarters is located near the mall. Their 20+ loaner manufacturer rides were all backed neatly into spots eminating feet from the main door.
So I pulled up and parked my Montero in the last remaining spot feet from C&D’s main door to meet Aaron. They would probably appreciate such a relic out front. Not every spot was meant for their fleet? I mean they have visitors. It was my first return trip there in almost three years which previously lead me to buy Larry Webster’s 1987 Porsche 928S4. You remember when I named dropped Larry, the former editor of Road & Track magazine now heading up Hagerty, as owner of the red automatic 928 I bought right? He got busy running a magazine and left it sitting on their back lot for about a year before I decided it was better sitting in my driveway. It has since been resurrected to solid driving condition and stored indoors in case you are worried.
The Montero was actually well received by a few of the guys who stepped outside in 20 degree weather for a smoke break. Yeah, people still smoke in Michigan. It came as a bit of surprise to Aaron who lives in So. Cal. where death sticks have twindled faster with all the no smoking areas including beaches. To each their own. Quite frankly the smell reminds me of college parties, not really a bad thing. “How many miles on the truck?” one of them piped up. Aaron was the one that found the truck for me out in California. I’ve had it since 72,000 miles and it just flipped 150,000. “Not bad.” I’ve done all the wear items once or twice. The big thing coming up is another timing belt. I’m not sure how long I should push it before changing it. Seems like like between 60K and 90K is about right. We left for lunch in the new Jaguar XJ. Lots of legroom in that car. I’m sure you can read all about it in an upcoming issue. Jumping back in my Montero after lunch was a bit of a wake up call just how nice new cars can be. But regardless, I love the truck. A big shout out to “A – A – Ron” for hooking that up for me. And thanks for lunch.