Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kool Cars


For the last couple of weeks, this car has been haunting me.

It's a pink and black 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner (I know, because I looked it up), with the most amazing paint job I've ever seen. And this thing, it seems, has been following me around town.
Maybe you've noticed it. I mean, maybe it's following you too.

It just seems like every time I pull away from the curb and drive down the street, I come face to face with this car and its vanity plates, smokey ghost flames running down the side, suicide doors and a hemi up top.

I don't even know if I'm using the right lingo, and honestly I don't care. I'm not a car person, have never been 'into' cars, but every time I see this car (and I've seen it like 3 times this week already), I stare, my mouth drops open, and at least once I failed to go when it was my turn at the intersection because I couldn't stop looking at this car. I never got a good look at the driver. I thought it was a woman. My husband says it was a man with a beard. Which is weird, because now that I've looked it up, I know Ron Lim is the (justifiably) proud owner of this spooky beauty, and he's neither a woman nor a long haired man with a beard. So yeah, that's weird. I guess everyone is just so taken with this striking car's details that the person behind the wheel is sort of a phantom. Or maybe someone's taking it out for a spin when Ron's napping.

This car is just so beautiful and unusual, and you just don't come across cars this cool every day. Unless it's the 3rd week of April and you happen to be in Redding. And then not only do you come across cars this cool every day, these cars pull up beside you at every stop light in town. They're not just cool cars, they're Kool cars. Because it's Kool April Nites, and suddenly everywhere you go, kool classic cars are revving up their engines at every street corner, strutting their stuff, acting all awesome, like gas is still sixty five cents a gallon.

Kudos to the organizers of Kool April Nites. Mainly because right now I desperately need to find a reason to fall head over heels in love with Redding again, and Kool April Nites is doing it for me. Thirteen years ago this very week when I moved to Redding, it was right in the middle of everything Kool, and I was fascinated by all the proud automobile fanatics who brought their lovingly restored babies out for a spin and a park & shine. Suddenly, these sweet cars are showing up all over town again, and will be shining in all their glory in parking lots all over the city and cruising down the streets through the weekend (click here for the schedule). As I type this, one just revved up its hearty engine a few blocks away on Placer, and I might've just swooned just a little bit.

God I love Kool April Nites. Almost as much as Rodeo week. And that's just one more notch in Redding's bedpost. Thank you Redding. I love you a little bit more right now.

Today's playlist pays homage to the 4-wheeled vehicle with a combustible engine, that thing we call a car. Just click in the box below to stream the Kool Cars playlist, and feel free to suggest your own favorite car driving tunes in the comments section!
Kool Cars by Valerie Ing-Miller on Grooveshark


  1. Roadrunner - The Animals
  2. Drive My Car - Bobby McFerrin
  3. Mercury Blues - David Lindley & El Rayo X
  4. Little Deuce Coupe - Beach Boys
  5. Just What I Needed - The Cars
  6. Car Wash - Rose Royce
  7. Mustang Sally - The Commitments
  8. '57 Chevy - Buddaheads
  9. Somewhere In My Car - Keith Urban
  10. I Got A Car - George Strait
  11. Big Chief Pontiac - Omar
  12. Cars - Gary  Numan
  13. Brand New Car - Rolling Stones
  14. Long Line of Cars - Cake
  15. Little GTO - Alex Chilton
  16. Thunderbird - Stevie Ray Vaughan
  17. Jaguar & Thunderbird - Chuck Berry
  18. Black Devil Car - Jamiroquai
  19. Bass & Several Cars - Kruder & Dorfmeister
  20. Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
  21. The Car In Front Of Me - Luke Bryan
  22. Drive My Car - The Beatles
  23. Phantom Car - The Surfcoasters
  24. Drag Racing The Devil - Angry Johnny & The Killbillies
  25. Pontiac Blues - Magic Dick & Jay Geils
  26. The Pontiac - Tom Waits

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