A Cosworth Journey
Borrowed from the CVOA magazine, 2001
This is a story about a journey in a Cosworth.
Not in a car, nor on the road, but in a life. The tunnels of life, not those as in the immigrant dug and railroad abandoned mountains of Western PA, or the mile high Rockies, or under century old Redwoods, nor under rivers into Manhattan, but rather those tunnels that connect different locations and times of a single life.
These tunnels are not marked off in the klicks of an odometer, but in the pulses of time and heartbeats of individuals.
At one end of the tunnel is a young fellow on the far cusp of twenty and a good job and ambition. Autos are important but not as much as working for the money to acquire one nor as important as the decisions influencing his life for the next 25 years.
At the other end of the tunnel is the same but older fellow, beaten a little, successful a little, and restless a lot. Restless for the lost opportunity that the distant end of the tunnel presented those years ago, the journey through it not as exciting but much more invigorating than he could have imagined at the start.
The younger folks at work, to whom a president named Reagan is a history lesson, can't make the connection yet. Their benchmarks in life are still in the creation stage, so close at hand that the clay of experience is still supple in their grip. The molding of their future still awaits their own learning.
The older members of the Cosworth owner fraternity, those with the jobs and the foundations in life 25 years ago to have actually purchased their desires back then can sense the distance in time; but not the reality of only owning a car in one's memory. For them the Cosworth journey has been their trip in their gondola.
But a Cosworth at the near end of the tunnel, even a Cosworth with Twenty-Five years of toil and dirt and rust on it still connects. Sure it is an individual connection, not something that society as a whole honors nor understands except in the market place of nostalgia.
What the Cosworth represents as it leaves that long tunnel is the ability of ownership to have it, to have a car that was priced so far from the reach of that forty-something-now, twenty-something-then, that its acquisition today is like an old friend that waited for you till you were worthy of their friendship. Sure the Mercedes is more expensive, owning an expensive car says that one could afford it now, but reveals so little about its owner than a suit of clothes in today's style that the acquisition becomes the burden. Today's clients could never understand that this Cosworth was the only car that you could truly not afford. Then, at that time, for that briefest moment in time that the factory sold them, you could not have one. Not that the car's virtues would never be seen again but rather that time in your life and that car at that nexus would never come again.
Now the Cosworth is your car, your choices of a career that didn't use your hands and skills doesn't count now, you can re-visit that time without the expense or the useless competition of the "real" car collecting names.
And when you fix that Cosworth with the friendship of Club members and their aid given freely, when you chase parts at the parts counter and the fellow says "Vega -- a real Cosworth ?-- those where something". You know he is talking more about his own time in his tunnel and his journey and that the memory wall plaques in his life include only a memory of a Cosworth from a magazine that printed an article 25 years ago, never seeing one but remembering when it was THE unattainable rare car from the factory.
And when my mind's eye and arm can reach out and touch that time at the tunnel's start (almost but always out of reach) but returns to the Cosworth in the garage and knows that the young fellow from 25 years ago is still there and still aware.
But now he owns his Cosworth.