Now and then, a certain question gets struck up during a conversation.
If you could have any car in the world, what would it be?
There has never been an instance where I struggled or hesitated to respond. Each time I am asked, the answer is always the same.
The 1996 Silver Nissan Altima.
If the person asks me why, my reason is simple.
Because the 1996 Silver Nissan Altima is the greatest car in the world.
I do not kid; I genuinely believe the 1996 Silver Nissan Altima is the greatest automobile ever created in human history. If one took me to a special car lot and made me decide between a 1996 Silver Nissan Altima or an Aston Martin DB5 from James Bond, I would leap for joy and hug that Altima as if I were reuniting with a family member I have not seen in years.
I hold no good reason for this other than from age 16 to 18 a 1996 Silver Nissan Altima belonged to me and me alone.
When I look back on the 1996 Silver Nissan Altima, I do not see a car. I see a time portal.
I see Texas summers driving with my windows down because my AC could not produce a semblance of cold air. I see myself hearing certain sounds and thinking to myself, “I don’t know if cars are supposed to make that noise.”
I see myself ignoring the turn to go to my house so I could drive just a couple of minutes longer. I see my friends laughing and not having a care in the world. I see myself not having a clue what the future held, and being excited at all the possibilities.
No other vehicle on the face of the Earth can bring what the 1996 Silver Nissan Altima gave to me. No other car will replicate that first time sitting in the driver’s seat, grabbing the wheel, and realizing for the first time, “This belongs to me and me alone.”