Driving off the side of a mountain in Colorado

Charles Platt wrote a funny account of the time he drove a ’68 Olds 442 convertible from NY to CA for a car delivery service and careened off a mountain road in Colorado.

In June, 1971 I was living like a bum in the area of New York City that used to be known as Spanish Harlem. As a 26-year-old British immigrant, I dreamed of driving fast, dangerous cars and visiting all the contiguous states as cheaply as possible. My dreams seemed impractical, but an outfit named AAACon could make them happen. The “AAA” in their name suggested that they were a part of the American Automobile Association, but of course, they weren’t. As for the “Con,” I don’t know what it meant, or maybe they just weren’t being very subtle. They operated out of a one-room office that was almost as small and sleazy as my apartment. A receptionist leafed through a magazine while a couple of young men who looked like failed real estate salesmen talked on phones. My task was to get one of those guys to let me have a free fast car to fulfill my dream.

Auto-Biography: Olds 442 Trans Am Party Time