My name is Roger, and I’m a machine-aholic.

Worse, I’m fond of British cars and bikes, which in the States is only slightly more acceptable than wearing a clown suit to lure kids into depravity. But those of us with the affliction (British cars, not clown suits) make-do the best that we can, despite an unhealthy propensity for our spouses to heave great sighs and neighbors to shake their heads (or their fists).

RamblerMy parents are not car people, though by happenstance they owned some interesting machines when I was very young. One of my earliest memories is of my dad yelling at the neighborhood kids to quit picking at the rust holes in his Rambler American station wagon. I remember a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado, now considered a minor classic, which my mother was caught doing 100 mph in. They also owned some execrable cars: an AMC Hornet, a Dodge Omni. In-between were a lot of generic get-to-work machines.

They were, and are, practical people. It’s not that they wouldn’t like to have, say, a Jaguar, but that it’s simply not a car that they can imagine buying. This practicality extended to their son as long as he was under their roof, so when I came of age, I wasn’t allowed to indulge my budding British car obsession, to my regret. My first car was a 1975 Buick Century whose only redeeming features were two doors and a 350 V8, which I couldn’t afford to fuel. My mother detested that car, and soon it was sold on and I bought a 1977 Toyota Corolla, which was to be my transport until I was 19. It was a reliable, unremarkable car, which I loved at the time because, after all, it was my car. I abused the heck out of it, and aside from clutches burned out learning how to drive same, it was bulletproof. (It was my last foray into practical vehicles until I bought a house almost ten years later, and realized it’s impossible to own a house and not own a pickup.)

I live on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound region of Washington.

If you’d like to get in touch, please email me: rusty ( at )