BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - I'm about to experience a serious dose of car envy.
And I trust I'm not alone.
"Cruisin' the Coast" has easily become one of my favorite events on the coast.
For me, it surpasses Mardi Gras and possibly the Peter Anderson Art Festival (and I thoroughly enjoy the art fest).
But there's something about those classic cars that's tough to top.
I spotted my first "cruiser" on Highway 90 this morning, four days before the event officially begins.
You see, I drive Highway 90 to and from work every day.
And I don't alter my route during "Crusin' the Coast".
I don't mind the slower traffic and increased travel time, because I love the classic cars.
Again, car envy.
I can't get enough '57 Chevys, '65 Mustangs and '72 Camaros.
Maybe I enjoy it so much because I'm something of a classic myself.
I guess when you're born in the 1950's (even if it was the tail end of the '50's) you can't help but love the classic rides.
Seeing the cars does indeed transport me to my youth.
And that's an enjoyable trip.
My dad is a diehard Ford man.
So, the memories flow whenever I see an old Fairlane, Galaxy or Mustang.
I owned my share of "classic" rides as well. (some more classic than others I'm afraid)
My first car was actually a truck.
I learned to drive in an old 1950 Ford pickup.
It had a "three on the tree" and was an ugly light green.
But it was my proud ride.
I got a ticket one afternoon for burning the tires while leaving high school.
The charge was "too fast for conditions" as I recall.
I think it cost me 25 dollars and some of my pride, since the traffic stop happened in full view of a bus load of fellow students leaving high school at the same time.
Among my biggest regrets in life is parting company with my '66 Ford Mustang.
It was reddish orange with a 289 under the hood and a thoroughly classic look.
I sold that car for 600 bucks to a kid who burned the clutch out the following week 'cause he was driving like an idiot.
The other car I'd love to have back was my 1972 Camaro.
It was a killer blue with black racing stripes and mirror shiny mags.
I'm lucky I didn't meet my maker in that car.
I had it up to 116 miles an hour late one night on a straight-as-an-arrow country highway near Nokomis, Illinois in corn country.
Lucky to survive the ride and lucky the Illinois State Trooper wasn't prowling the country that night.
Forgive me for reminiscing, but "Cruisin' the Coast" makes me do that every year.
And I love it.
My wife and I have talked about buying a classic car from the year we both were born.
Unfortunately, it appears we missed the mark by just one year.
You see, we were born in 1958.
So I'll be seeing countless '57 Chevrolets in the coming week; but not too many from my birth year.