Do you remember the opening credits of the successful 1990s sitcom Full House? Danny Tanner, his three daughters, also the crazy Uncle Jesse and weird friend Joey, are cruising the streets of San Francisco in a beautiful red convertible. Part of living the American dream is cruising carefree on an open road, in a beautiful red convertible.
My Dad has been chasing the roofless American dream ever since I can remember. We’ve gone to countless cars shows together to admire, but never buy, the show cars. Unlike Danny Tanner, the last thing on my Dad’s to-do list is to buy a sporty convertible. Until now.
My dad, Don Thompson, has been wrenching on cars, drawing cars and illegally racing down Harrison Avenue in Harrison, New Jersey, since he could see over the dash. He’s a self-made man, a proud Dad to three sons, and now, grandpa to two.
He and I have always been a dynamic duo, a Batman and Robin, of sorts. We work well together. He is wise, practical, thoughtful and focused. I am more fly-by-the-seat of your pants. I’m not sure who’d be Batman, or who would be Robin, but we are a yin-yang to each other. Balance– is a great word to describe our relationship, although, if you ask my Mom, she thinks we’re are all too much alike.
When it comes to cars, my Mom is just a little bit right. We will spend hours, days, weeks, even months agonizing over Car and Driver articles, Consumer Report clippings, just to make sure we have “done our research.” You see, when you finally make the decision which car to buy, the fun part is over. It’s the pursuit and research of buying a car that intrigues my Dad and Me.
Over the years, my Dad has put in countless hours of research but always ended up settling on the practical choice, never the one he actually wanted. He always had a great story about haggling for hours with a dealer until, finally the dealer wanted to go home and would give up. He bragged about how much money he saved. He’d show me how great the car scored in Consumer Reports. It was never a choice of passion but always of practicality.
It took me awhile to catch onto his scheme but I think I figured it out. He never bought the model that he wanted, so his life could be an endless pursuit of the perfect car. Smart guy, no wonder we get along so well.
Times have changed. FINALLY, my Dad chose PASSION over PRACTICALITY! He chose to treat himself to one of the finest desserts in the automotive world, a convertible. Just like Danny Tanner had in the 1990s. Not any old convertible though– my Dad upped the anted on Danny Tanner and bought a bright red 2002 Chevrolet Corvette convertible. With a huge Chevrolet LS1 V8 up front, producing 350-hp, and at the back, a howling Borla exhaust. In your face Danny Tanner.
Danny Tanner finally met his match– Don Thompson. Is it coincidence that both their initials are DT, and they both have three children? I think not. It won’t be long until Uncle Jesse turns 30, takes the shiny convertible out for a joy ride and wrecks it. My Dad, like Danny Tanner, would be upset at first. Although to Dad it’d be a blessing, because then he’d get to start the car search all over again.