Will Work for Fuel
By Nick Licata – Photography by the Author
I generally try to stay away from current events when it comes to writing this monthly editorial; as luck would have it, I’d start commenting or complaining about the price or situation of something, and when this magazine issue drops two months later, my point becomes moot due to a change of course in the subject addressed. But with today’s high cost of fuel, I’ll take a chance, as I don’t see change coming anytime soon.
As of now (March 2022), in Orange, California, the price of “the good swill” (the higher-octane stuff) we muscle car people need to quinch the thirst of our horsepower-greedy hot rods is between $6.39 and $6.51 per gallon. And to think just a few months ago, I verbally complained to myself (because no one else would listen) when I had to pay around $4.80 per gallon.
Like most of us muscle car folks, I don’t use my Camaro as a daily commuter for a couple of reasons; one being having to worry about someone parking too close to my car only to open their door while fully focused on their phone instead of the ding they are about to put on my quarter-panel. Once in a while, I do get it out for a quick run to the grocery store, but sparingly due to the possibility that the one and only runaway shopping cart will somehow find its way to my driver side door. Vintage muscle cars tend to be magnets to that sort of thing.
So, with fuel prices higher than ever, driving my Camaro now comes down to sacrifice. Apparently, I’ll have to give up something to get the car out as much as usual. Now, I just need to determine what I can do without. I’ve already started by skipping my daily Starbucks visit. Well, I still drink the stuff, but I’ve resorted to home brewing via purchasing the giant bag from Sam’s Club. At over $5 for a medium (Grande to you Starbucks people) in store, that was an easy sacrifice. I thought about pawning my kids off to a close relative, but that’s not likely to fly with the wife. They aren’t bad kids, they just tend to eat a lot, and that right there would be hefty cost cut. I could begin buying dog food in bulk and of a cheaper brand packed with more additives, but the dog didn’t do anything to deserve that sort of punishment. I recently got rid of the lawn guys, but that wasn’t so much about money as it was about getting my lazy butt some more exercise. Every Saturday morning, I wake up and think that move was a mistake, but it’s probably for the best. I could start buying off-brand cereal and go from Honey Bunches of Oats to just Honey & Oates and save a little by skipping on the “bunches.” I tell ya, this sacrificing thing is starting to sting a little more than I thought it, but something must go in exchange for a full tank of premium.
In reality, record-high fuel prices are not likely to deter me from getting the Camaro out for the usual weekend drives and running a few errands during the week now and then. Will I think about how much it costs each time I hammer the pedal? Probably, but it will be worth every penny (er, I mean dollar) as that’s one of the most fun things about this whole muscle car thing.
If you are sacrificing anything to keep your ride on the road, let’s hear about it. Pass me an email at email@example.com.