Students take pride in their unusual cars – Mill Valley News
Four students drive cars markedly different from the average student in the Mill Valley parking lot
When the bell rings at 2:55 p.m., hundreds of students rush to the parking lot to get into their cars and separate. These students include juniors Keegan Gracy and Charles Beal and sophomores Cannon Rhodes and Kenten Laughman. One thing clearly distinguishes these boys from others: they d
don’t own your typical sedans. These four unique cars, whether inflated or simply old-fashioned.
Gracy owns a 1981 Chevrolet Camaro with a unique brown color that he has owned for a year. Gracy takes pride in the appearance of his car, especially its style and color. Gracy said he liked the look of this particular car and was already looking for a vintage car to buy at the time. The Camaro remains with all of its original parts except for a new exhaust.
âI loved the look of [the Camaro] and I was looking for a cool vintage car to buy, âGracy said.
Likewise, Beal’s blue Nissan Datsun 260z from 1974 remains largely original. Besides small fixes such as cracks on the interior dashboard, the Datsun is the same as it was when new. Beal, his father and his brother are all interested in cars. These factors are part of what drove Beal to buy the Datsun two years ago.
As an older car, Beal’s Datsun has unique features that are less common today. The appearance and operation of the car is very different from that of newer cars. The exterior of the car has an elegant and clearly vintage look. The interior doesn’t have the high-tech screens, heated seats, or Apple CarPlay that many are used to.
“I like the fact that it’s a standard transmission … and an old car [that] has many features that are not in modern cars, âsaid Beal. “For example, pop-up windows.”
Like Beal, Rhodes drives a Nissan, although Rhodes’s is slightly newer. Rhodes owns a 1995 Nissan 240 SX SE, which he has owned for about nine months. Likewise, the Rhodes family’s passion for cars is what led them to buy their car.
âI’ve grown up around cars my whole life,â Rhodes said. “My grandfather had one [of these cars] when I was a kid, and I loved it, so it became the car of my dreams.
Rhodes says his car is one in 500 which makes it a very rare, in demand and popular drift car. What makes the Rhodes Nissan even more unique are the modifications it has made. Rhodes added a sports exhaust, coils to lower the car and a cold air intake for the engine.
Laughman’s 2010 BMW 328, the most recent of the four student cars, has also been modified to his liking. He did all the work himself, and it cost him about $ 1,300.
“I lowered it, I have wheels, I have a ski box on it, [and] a cold air intake. I did little other things [like] lights and blackouts [the car]”Laughman said.
For Laughman, his BMW is more than just a car and he thinks it represents itself in a certain way.
âI think it shows a bit of me.
[I] sort of made it mine. It’s not just out of the factory, âLaughman said.
Before he bought his car, Laughman had an idea of ââhow other people built them, and that’s part of the reason he bought it.
âI liked the way it drove, I thought I needed an all-wheel drive car for Kansas, and I liked the way some people built them, so I decided I wanted to do it, âLaughman said.
These vehicles seem to be every car fanatic’s dream, but they also have their issues. Older cars require more maintenance and can have problems in bad weather.
“[My Camaro] likes to break down a lot and takes forever to turn on the heater, âsaid Gracy.
Beal has a problem similar to Gracy: he also has problems with the heating of his car.
“In winter [older cars] often have a hard time getting started on a cold morning. This is usually the worst. As fall and winter approach, driving to school in the morning can be a real pain sometimes, âsaid Beal.
Specifically for Beal’s Datsun, the car only has two seats, and most cars today can accommodate four or five. The small size of the vehicle can be unsettling, even comical for Beal.
âIt’s always really funny when I walk away,â Beal said. “I look back and it’s just completely overshadowed by all the cars parked around.”
Despite these drawbacks, these four vehicles have unique backgrounds. Whether it’s a shared family passion for cars or a search for the perfect car to modify, these students show a bit of who they are every time they drive.
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