I used to live on quiet Marrowstone Island for ten years while building our house. It’s a lovely area about 12 miles from the beautiful Victorian seaport town of Port Townsend, WA. There are no freeways in this area so to get to PT; I would drive five miles down the island, over a bridge and through the blinker light at Port Hadlock. It’s a mile to State Route 19 and then another seven miles to PT. Do I have a Pet Peeve? In those ten years, I’ve driven all the way at the posted speed less times than the fingers on my right hand, and I’m not missing any. A typical trip goes like this: Down the island to Port Hadlock, speed limit: 40 MPH. I’m always behind a late model island car clunking along at 30 MPH. Once through Port Hadlock and onto # 19, it’s a 40 MPH for a mile and then it’s 50 MPH until the city limits of PT are reached. Once again, I’m usually behind a 300+ HP late model Behemoth V-8 roaring along at 35 to 40 MPH. There is no opportunity to pass, none. I finally calmed down and realized that I must start for PT much earlier, pretending I was going to Kingston (35 miles away) or I would be late for appointments. I eventually gave up and moved closer to town.
I sent a letter to the Port Townsend Leader (which wasn’t printed) suggesting that everyone get rid of their expensive gas gulping Ye-Gad mobiles and buy a car better suited to the driving speeds of East Jefferson County. Suggestions: Model T and Model A‚ Fords, Fiat 500 and 600’s, Citroen 2CV’s, electric cars and classics such as Duisenberg’s and Doble Steamers. Cadillac’s from the 1950’s would be near perfect. How about a 1956 Chrysler 300? I pointed out that not only could these vehicles reach and maintain the speeds required here, but would appreciate in value, unlike the big gumdrops that are now clogging our roads. They would also be a great addition to our beautiful scenery. If we only had a Contemporary Historical Vehicle Association around here, we could check the For Sale‚ section in the newsletter. Meanwhile, my wife more than keeps up with all the slowly driven new cars with her Spanish Seat 600D, a 27 hp machine, just right for this time and place.