Gorgeous. Really hits a sympathetic note with me. For me, it wasn't a Toyota, but our 1974 Renault 12 wagon. Looked just like this one:
In those years before California passed its seat belt law, I'd climb into the way-back on our way home from any destination further than 10 miles, and snooze back there, looking up through the back window at the passing streetlights. The road noise was quite sonorous back there, and the exhaust pipe under the floor kept it warm and snug (if probably a bit poisonous in later years as the pipe started rusting through).
This comic perfectly captured the feeling. Thanks for linking to it!
I quite enjoyed the comic too. It evokes the feeling of being a kid in the back seat of an old car quite well.
My favorite car memory from childhood along these lines was one time on Christmas when I was maybe 7, and had just gotten into Star Wars in a big way.
These days it doesn't snow every year around Christmastime in Buffalo anymore, but back then (twenty years ago) it did. As we were driving home from a relative's house at the end of the night, a classic White Christmas, Hollywood style snowfall started - very light and crisp.
My mom's car had a sunroof and either it was untinted or you could slide the tinted part away, and the view was really clear. As we passed under streetlights, peering out the sun roof from the back seat the light and the speed of the car made the snow appear to streak across and towards the car -- Star Wars jump-to-lightspeed style. I imagined the noise every time the whole ride home.
I found out as an adult that the effect is fairly common from the front seat if you're driving at night in heavy snowfall, but in that situation you have to focus on driving carefully and you don't have spare cycles to think about the magic of it.
And whenever it started to rain, the first, fine drops would spike across the windows like little swords; ta! ta! ta!
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