Everything old is renewed again.

Last week I made my annual trek to the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. My 11th straight year.

Every time I go, I see ideas that look suspiciously familiar. Sometimes I poke around the archives to confirm hunches. Other times, it’s as obvious as dropping a toaster in a tub full of water.

Metropolitan_CTandT 00-10-51

Here’s an idea that was already 50 years old. The only update is that the CT&T vehicle is fully electric. Plus, it’s built in China and South Korea.

Of course, electric cars have been around since the early 1900’s, so in the scheme of things, the idea of using cars specifically for parking patrol is relatively new.

I found this car on Electric Avenue, the place in Cobo Hall specifically for electric vehicles. More posts about the latest NAIAS coming soon.

Just had to share

Old cars are fun to drive. When I’m behind the wheel of my Metropolitan, I get smiles and waves. I get all the ego strokes a guy could want.

But there’s a dark side. Even while I’m smiling back and giving the Queen wave to awestruck admirers, I know that my Met will try to grind my gears. Break my spirit. Crush my soul.

It happened this past Saturday night. My American Motors product broke down. The gas stopped flowing right at a major intersection. Two good guys helped me push my rusting, Unitbody-constructed hulk into a parking lot. Then I called the tow truck.

Met on tow truck

Then I forked over $70 to The Man.

Todd pays up

When you have an old car, breakdowns are inevitable. Sometimes you have friends with you who can help. Sometimes you’re driving solo. Many times, you’re just SOL.

This incident made me wonder how you feel every time your classic orphan ride leaves the garage. Joy or dread? Fun or fear? I’ve re-activated the Comments section of the blog (below). Tell me your story! I’d love to hear how you deal with the inevitability of mechanical failure.