At The Wheel: Mike And 'Mabelline'
My name: Mike
My age: 42
My profession: Nurseryman
City/town: Vancouver, BC
Relationship status: Single
Sexuality: Yes! Gay
What is the best thing that you like about your ride?
It's a 1958 Chevy Apache ½ ton longbox pickup truck. “She's got style, she's got grace, She's a winner. She's a Lady. Whoa whoa whoa...” Sometimes she reminds me of Marg Simpson’s sisters – cigarette dangling with a smokers cough obsessing about MacGyver.
Do you like to take road trips in your car? Describe your favorite road trip -- where did you go? What did you do?
Absolutely! I love takin’ the dog and driving old highways or backroads through farmlands, the mountains or along the ocean. My favorite road trips are going camping. I hook up the 1959/60 Shasta travel trailer (aka “The Shaggin’ Shasta”) and head out. So far the nicest trip has been going to Porteau Cove just north of Vancouver. I took the scenic route and the camping was fantastic – surrounded by mountains, right at the ocean’s edge. The best trip was going to the gay campground – Shadow Falls. Lots of fun for Lucy’s trailer. I’m heading off to Seattle for the Pride Weekend later today with the truck & trailer.
Do you like tinkering under the hood, or do you leave repairs and routine maintenance to your mechanic?
I do most repairs myself. I don’t trust mechanics. Right now I’ve gotta climb under the truck and install a new speedo-cable so I know how fast...or slow I’m going.
What special touches have you added to your car that reflect your personality and individuality?
Just the fact that the truck is vintage is a reflection of my personality and individuality. I prefer to keep the truck to stock but I’ve added a few things to add character. I found an awesome vintage California sticker that seems quite “risqué-gay” for its time. A Betty-Boop antenna ball and a magnet for the dash which states, “What if the Hokey-Pokey IS what it’s all about!” I also added an original 1958 BC License plate, although it’s technically not legal. The Shasta travel trailer is also a cool special touch.
What is the most you’ve ever paid for a car? What is the most you would ever pay for a car?
$10,000 for a new VW Fox...which was a piece of junk. I like to work within my means.
Do you have a great memory of a date that relates to you(r) car? Describe that night (or day).
A few. One guy referred to my truck as a “phallic symbol” but I’m not sure what that was all about. There is a hot latino guy I know and we’ve had a late night drive or two.
Do you find yourself more attracted to people with similar car tastes to your own? Or doesn’t it matter?
I seem to attract bears. My taste in men is quite a bit different and unfortunately the guys I’m attracted to have no interest in vintage vehicles. I appreciate vehicles that are vintage or unique. It tells me a bit about the person and they are willing to break from the pack and express their own individuality.
If you had an unlimited budget and could change anything you wanted on your car, what modifications or accessories would you add?
I’d replace the wood bed in the back of the truck instead of the piece of plywood and a paint job with re chroming. The only modification I’d do is get a spliced in ipod for the existing am radio.
Do you think your car has a personality or soul? What kind of sound or behavior does it have that makes it unmistakably your car?
Personality!...and she reminds me of it all the time. She has her moments where she’s not into going fast or takes a moment to get going, especially in the morning. I guess the two of us are not morning vehicles. Her most character-like sound is when I park her after a good drive and she lets out this sigh. Shhhhhhhhhssss. She makes lots of rattle sounds, clanking noises and the engine sound is unmistakable.I can also make her backfire on “Queue”.
Do you have a nickname for your car?
Have you upgraded the car stereo? What is your "dream" sound system?
Yes, I installed new tubes so that it works. A “dream” is a spliced in ipod so that when I go on long trips and don’t have access to am radio, I can listen to the ipod.
What aspect of your ride most attracted you when you decided to own and drive it?
She was calling my name. The body is straight but her exterior is deliciously gay! She comes from an era of winged Cadillacs, curvey fenders and added features...none of which she has.
Have you ever pushed your car to its performance limit? What was the fastest speed?
Yes! I think I drove the I-5 to Seattle and reached 70mph at one point. She was telling me it was a bit too much.
Are you a member of any car clubs or other auto related organizations?
What was the first car you ever had? Do you ever get nostalgic for it?
Datsun 1200. Yes – I saw one the other day that was restored.
If you could trade your ride in for any other car, what would it be, regardless of the price?
1936-1938 Mack Jr. ½ ton pickup or 1934 Hudson Terraplane K-series pickup.
If you share a burning passion for your car like thousands of other gays, now you have a chance to let the world know. We don't just want to see your auto obsession, we want to hear all about it!