We live in a small town near the larger city of St. George. They have all the larger chains we sometimes need so we go often. The drive isn't far, about 20 miles or so. I have my usual route, I am a man of habits after all. On that drive I have seen an interesting vehicle in a driveway for the last year and a half. I look at it as I drive by and at different times I am struck by different thoughts and different emotions about it.
That is a homemade Trike, built on a Pontiac Fiero chassis. Possible only because the Fiero is a rear engine design.
Initially I scoffed. WTF? Who would build such a thing? What were they thinking? But as time went by and I saw it again and again my view changed. I began to see it in a different light. I looked at it more closely and instead of asking Why I started asking Why Not?
The design seems crude, and in ways it is, but it's also elegant in it's simplicity, inventiveness and creativity.
It's all there, from the shifter
To the original dashboard
To those crude, funky and wonderful handlebars with the motorcycle mirrors that couldn't possibly show more than a view of the aft section.
But the crowning glory is here, at the front of the machine. The builder, and I'm assuming it's a guy because who else would even try to build such a thing, fabricated a Springer front end.
It's neither pretty nor perfect. The front fender is positioned poorly. The metal is rough and it's showing rust in places.
But, to my eye at least, it's a thing of beauty. Rough, functional and unique.
You've no doubt noticed the trailer in the background of some of the pictures. The Wall. The builder is almost certainly a Vietnam Vet. And that also has led me to where I am concerning this particular take on the classic Trike. It's purely and unapologetically American. It's "I really don't care what you think. This is my vision and my creation and I love it."
Someone took a small, rear engined car and made it into something else. Something the manufacturer surely never envisioned. Something no sane person would have considered. It's raw and crude and magnificent in it's outrageousness. No one but an American would have possibly seen that car and thought "I bet that would make a really cool Trike." And then gone out and built the thing.
When I see it now, as I drive by on another mindless task, I smile. I am proud to live in the same country as the man who built this rolling testament to American ingenuity. We are unique, a country made up of countless individuals each with our own idea of what's cool and in which direction our pursuit of happiness will lead us. It may be mundane and it may be, well, this.
I was tempted to knock on his door and try to get him to talk to me about his creation but I didn't. I want to consider this machine from my own viewpoint. My own vision of what America is.
We are still a nation of individuals and I will smile and remember that every time I drive by and see this magnificent rolling tribute to the idea that we are all created free. Endowed by our creator with the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.
May it ever be so.