Yesterday was officially the first day of summer. For some of us, this author included, that means cranking up the A/C and lying, shorts-clad, on the kitchen floor, surrounded by several boxes of ice cream, hoping to just sleep until the Mean Yellow Face goes away in mid-October. But some of your like summer, even calling it your favorite of the four seasons. So if you’re wondering what to drive while you’re out soaking up the skin cancer glorious golden rays of freedom, here are some suggestions:
E Body Barracuda Convertible
Any muscle car would fit this category, but something about the ‘Cuda just screams summer. If you can find one of the rare drop tops, you’re in good shape. If you can find a convertible with an original Hemi, you’ll probably come away sad. Unless you have a half million bones in your back pocket.
Summer cruises mean miles racked up, and these days, that’s expensive. Toyota’s little two-seater doesn’t have the horsepower or richie cred of a Lamborghini, but the engine’s in the same place, and the cash you save at the pump will be worth the downgrade. Targa versions aren’t hard to come by, so you can carve canyons with the breeze in your hair.
B Body Station Wagon
Summer means vacations for the kids, and you can’t (legally) fit many of those little guys in an MR2. A Buick Roadmaster, however, will gladly haul them all, plus your stuff, to wherever you’re road-tripping this year. Third row seating? Jump seats did it first. Comfort? The billowy suspension shrugs off speed bumps. Power? The LT1 won’t let you down when you’re mounting that interstate. Though if you wanted to swap in an LS1 and a six-speed, no one would mind.
Admit it. You drive it without the roof and doors all year long. But it’s a little more pleasant in the summer, isn’t it? Your friends have to park and then walk to the beach? Adorable. Your brother wants to take his Hyundai Accent camping? Silly of him. The Wrangler doesn’t just get you to the destination. It is the destination.
Good Human I Scream Truck
Endorsed by the legendary Gene Winfield, the “Good Human I Scream” truck can keep you cool this summer, and not just with the treats it can store in the working freezer compartment. It has a blown 468 big block that spins up to 700 hp, which is plenty enough to get some breeze blowing through the open roof. It’s probably the only ice cream truck you’ll find with an Edelbrock carb and Mickey Thompson Pro-Streets.
The last thing you need in the summer is a bunch of heavy clothing. You tend to peel off the layers you don’t need and feel the breeze on your knees. Such is the philosophy behind the sandrail dune buggy. Many are street legal, too, so you can take one on vacation, even if the nearest sand is out of state.
1948 Town and Country Convertible…Viper
Summer’s the one time of year when you don’t always have to be in a hurry. You can just cruise, like the livin’ is easy. You can’t do it much more stylishly than in a 1948 Chrysler Town and Country convertible. It has more wood paneling than the Santa Maria, and every bit of it is real. Thankfully, if you do happen to be in a hurry and beat the crowds to Six Flags, this one comes with the V10 out of a Dodge Viper Pickup.