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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Afterthoughts: The Escape Machine

      Whatever happened to using a car as an 'Escape Machine'?

    Last Friday was a trying day for me. I was feeling quite overwhelmed by the large amount of work due the end of the year, along with trying to figure out what the holidays would bring forth. This would be joined by some personal issues that only added to the overwhelmed feeling. I needed an escape. Something that could let me get away from all these issues rolling around in my head, even for a few moments.


    That's when I made the decision to go out for a drive. I had no destination in mind. I would just drive to wherever the roads would take me. I grabbed the keys to my tester at the time, a Nissan Murano, and just started to drive. I stuck to side roads for this trip and just began to unload my mind. With each passing mile, my mind began to clean up all these thoughts and it was there that I began to have a realization.


    Back in 1969 and 1970, Oldsmobile came up with a new ad campaign promoting their vehicles as 'Escape Machines'. For example, a print ad for the 1970 Oldsmobile Toronado featured this at the top,


    "12-hour day. Meetings. Memos. The midnight oil. Wouldn't it be nice to have an Escape Machine?"


    Oldsmobile was using this as a way to point out their vehicles were perfect to escape the daily grind of work as they were designed and equipped to handle the needs of escape.


    But now, many of us don't see cars as a means of escape. They are more seen as a tool that will get from point a to point b. Now there are some cars we do see as a means of escape, but they tend to be sports cars with sleek styling and high-performance engines.


    Here is the thing, any car can become 'Escape Machine'. It isn't the car that classifies it as a way to escape the world for a little bit. It comes down to you, the driver to make that decision. You are the factor that can make the decision into having a vehicle be used as a tool or as something that can take away.


    As I was wrapping up my drive, I pulled into one of those self-serve car washes to get a picture of the Murano. I posted the picture onto social media with this comment,


    "Sometimes, it's necessary to hop into your escape machine and drive wherever it takes you to clear or process things in your mind."


    It just comes down to you to make the decision.

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    Sadly, with all of the GPS and computers tracking your car's performance and whereabouts these days, the mystery of escaping to someplace completely unknown in your car is over. Just like Oldsmobile. Most "younger" people think their cell phone is the "escape machine" of the 21st century. But no one is really going "anywhere" with their iPhone. I will be doing a multi-state road trip for Thanksgiving week and I really look forward to the drive. The state of mind that one enters during that time is the real escape. Whether or not people can appreciate that these days is another question.

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    I totally get this thread, Just got back from a friends wedding in NH and took an extra week to drive the NorthEast, New Hampshire, Main, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Road Island. I was able to get a Brand New 2015 Ford Explorer Limited 4x4. So going to write up a editorial on my 7 days in that ride. Some impressive points but also some opportunities to improve.


    I agree that with all the technology, it might be hard for some to consider it an escape yet with that same technology one gets to explore areas they have never been in in an efficient manner.


    Rock on to those of us that still understand how an auto is an Escape Machine. :metal:

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    Yeah, pretty much what I feel. I made a strategic shift towards cycling for all movement in around the city, and getting the thrill, but also just being focused on each pedal stroke, I make my own escape machine.


    But yes, when my economic mobility breaks through the roof, I will be sure to get an auto as an escape machine. 

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    The best part of the ad is that it is also marketing an idea that goes with the product. Most commercials these days on tv are nothing more than saying, "remember the 80's and buy our stuff" which really doesn't impress me. The ad itself is a time machine and I wish we could go back to those days of the auto industry.

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    Guest Wings4Life(BANNED)


    Took my escape machine (cuda) out one final time last weekend before covering her pretty body with a cover for the long winter. I am always surprised a little bit at how much fun I forget it can be, followed by how happy I am to get out of it after about 2 hours in it.  Rough riding, loud, rattle trap, constant concern over vapor lock and starting issues, etc.  All part of the experience I guess. Although Fuel injection and premium shocks next year should address much of that.

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