People of my generation are old enough to have known the automobile in its infancy. We remember a car that had to be cranked with a handle in order to start—and once moving, was temperamental, cramped and offered a bumpy ride.
We took this discomfort in stride. We appreciated the miracle, the absolute wonder of being able to move through the countryside in something other than a horse drawn wagon. And how taking hours to travel a few miles was never considered a hardship.
Some of us recall the coming-of-age experience of buying our first car. Others, living in the newly-built suburbs of the 1950s, remember the convenience of driving a car (instead of taking a train) to get to work. And families, moving to the city from farming communities, considered the car, not only a necessity, but a symbol of freedom and status.