Tuesday, July 15, 2014

There's a visiting silver Cobra, where I live

With ample time to do it,
I've neglected to lay the
context for my page in its
author's private pleasure,
on the grounds that I've
not regarded it as nearly
so noteworthy as his anger.
Yet if you were to say to
him, Antiquity: Summer, he
would think of ivory Speed-
sters in the lanes of Santa
Barbara, and a cracking in
their fragrant, tufted hides.

There came a time, ages in
a young life later, when an
American hot-shot hoisted a
289 engine from a Ford Mus-
tang, torqued it out to the
height of acoustic jubilation,
and dropped it into the svel-
test machine ever composed in
this hemisphere. "Cat" having
been taken, he dubbed it, the
Cobra; but it's a shame when
any genius is allowed to talk.
It made the Jaguar E-Type look
like the rector ferry it was.
This was too sublime to be nas-
ty. It was unalloyedly naughty,
which is to say, a glory.

Oh, yes, Mr Shelby later laid
a 427 engine into it, but that
was a little compulsively ther-
monuclear. With a 427, the Cobra
did win approval from the Stone
Age wing of the motoring com-
munity, and even Mitt Romney's
father countered with a Marauder.
But you see how rapidly undeft a
sufficient stroke becomes, among
its witless wielders.

Meanwhile, the original rapture-
rod, like Enzo Ferrari's inimitably
sonorous 3-litre masterpieces, dis-
appeared beneath an avalanche from
the Curtis Le May gross displacement
cabal. Well, then. When the neigh-
borhood plays host to an original
Cobra, the strains of nature ring
aloud, and boys do not mistake them.
One is here, now, and there is calm.

And yet there is always ground for
consolation elsewhere in maturity.
I remembered this as I heard a boy,
breathing it out, exactly right.
Was it ever the car?

That's an American car? It's beau-
tiful! No. It's worse than beautiful.

Sven de Vries

AC Cobra 289

NB, a posting for the 16th,
on language police, taken
down, will be restored, but
I did not wish to rush the
succession of this entry.

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