I’m quite tired, but also delighted, because the First North Carolina Autopian Meetup and Changli Rodeo happened, and it was, I think, a smashing success. For one thing, we did extremely minimal planning for this, and the parking lot in Changli-distance we used was not, how would you say, officially sanctioned. Because we didn’t actually ask anyone. But who needs asking when you have so many fantastic Autopians, driving their amazing cars to meet, look at cars, talk about cars, and, yes, maybe see my gross surgery scars!
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Considering the short notice, we had a great turnout of people and cars, with members of the Triangle Rad group showing up with a number of fantastic, Rad-era cars, including a great Nissan 200SX, maybe the nicest (and fastest, since I was told this thing makes something like over 280 hp at the wheels!) Ford Escort GT!
The 200SX has some really delightfully ’80s-style taillights, too, with an integrated Venetian-blind/louvered effect on the upper tail/brake light section. Oh and there was also this amazing Subaru-powered VW Vanagon:
Those bumpers, by the way, are absolute battering rams.
Oh, and this fantastic entire family showed up! I had the Changli out and available for anyone to take a little spin in, and they all piled in for a go. Then they showed me their incredible family car:
Yes, that’s a JDM Toyota Land Cruiser Prado! This looks like a second-gen one. It’s smaller than a regular Land Cruiser, but still very capable and plenty roomy. It’s such a fantastic family car! Those kids have it good.
Look at this fantastic ’69 MGB! Three wipers and all!
Look at all these car-loving car lovers out there, loving cars! My Pao is back there, too!
Look at this fine-looking crew, braving the cold! What’s behind them?
Why, it’s our own Stephen Walter Gossin’s very own $225 Dodge Stratus, covered in pizzas! It’s like a dream, realized!
Also, did you realize just how incredibly well pizza boxes burn? They’re so well-soaked in grease, these babies go up like pressed napalm. But better-smelling!
It meant a lot to me that so many people showed up, and that so many had nice things to say to me regarding my still being alive after the aortic dissection. Generally, many seemed in favor of my continued living, which was a huge relief, since if my not being alive focus-grouped better, David might very well choose that path for me.
Seriously, though, thanks for coming to everyone. It was a blast, and we’ll do more!