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From the Desktop

by Trish Utter, Publisher & Chief Bottle Washer

If you know me, you know that I have a passion for cars. It started as a child, as my father would take me to dealerships where he would spend hours looking at vehicles. We lived in England and his dream cars were all American. He came to the U.S. and bought a 1982 Oldsmobile Cutlass Station Wagon, and had it shipped to London. My father had the car converted so it could be driven on the other side of the road and we had to have our brick wall around our garden removed to fit the huge car in the driveway. Needless to say that this massive vehicle would not fit into our “Mini Cooper” sized garage! At the time, it was the only American station wagon in Britain, and caused a lot of head turning as we drove this huge monster down the narrow roads. My father would be worried about how much petrol he was using and if he could find a parking spot in London large enough to fit the car. The car would always draw a big crowd of Brits wondering what “Rock Star” was visiting their village! I would sit in the 3rd row seat that faced to the rear of the car, wearing my cowboy hat and longing for the day I would live in America.

My father with his Oldsmobile Cutlass Station Wagon in London England!

Whenever we visited the U.S. my father spent all of his time looking at cars. We would always return to London with our suitcases filled with car dealer’s brochures. During the early 1980’s, all the cars in England were either grey, black, or white and they were all stick shifts. American cars were colorful and full of style. I was just a kid, but I still remember that we had never seen a car with electric windows or air-conditioning before. Oh, how times have changed.

Trish Utter age 15 on a Ford Contina in London
that belonged to her high school boyfriend.

When I got older, I had many friends in London that owned Lamborghinis, Lotus’s, and Ferrari’s and so I was lucky enough to drive them and got to love the gated gear box on the Ferrari I drove. I remember complaining that it did not have a car stereo and was promptly told that Ferrari expected you to listen to the engine! To this day, when I hear the sound of an engine, it is music to my ears. I have passed this passion onto my kids. My son, Colt, owns a Chrysler Crossfire SRT. He often drives it to car meets like Gainesville Car Friends and puts it in car shows. My daughter, Brooke, who at first did not understand our love of performance cars, now likes to borrow my 4 Series BMW. So, the passion has been passed down to another generation. We all see the beauty in the design of cars, just like a museum quality piece of art. It is a great way to spend family time at car meets. You get to meet some interesting people and learn about their vehicles. In every town, you will find car get-togethers, which are usually free, and people, of all ages and backgrounds, who share a common interest.

So rev your engine and live the ……….Good Life!