With all the hoopla about autonomous and electric vehicles, it figures that interest would be waning in cars with steering wheels and internal combustion engines.
But if you believe that, you would be very mistaken. A pair of events that take place each summer a couple of thousand miles apart contradict the idea that no one cares about conventional automobiles.
Nine days ago near Detroit, the motor capital of the world, more than a million spectators stood or lounged along Woodward Avenue, delighting in the thousands of cars that participated in the annual Woodward Dream Cruise.
Wonderful cars of the past and present paraded up and down the famous avenue, much as they did decades ago, I'm told, when Woodward emerged as the heartbeat of American muscle car culture.
The Dream Cruise has occurred every year for almost a quarter century and it is a pure celebration of the automobile. Car owners and car lovers make the pilgrimage every year from all over the country.
Meanwhile, near the sleepy town of Carmel, Calif., a considerably smaller event was to have taken place last weekend that is no less significant. Every year, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, on the 18th fairway of the famous golf links, is jammed with a couple of hundred magnificent cars from automotive history.
These two events — as different as can be — are teeming with great enthusiasm for all things automotive and offer proof that the automobile is alive and well.
So, despite many companies and individuals trying their utmost to declare the automobile dead and buried, it is quite the contrary. If there are any doubters, I suggest they check out the Dream Cruise or Pebble Beach or the many other car shows that dot the country all summer.
You will notice that events such as the Woodward Dream Cruise draw thousands of young people. So if the automobile is dying, as some say, it would seem to be at least a half century before we shovel the last dirt on the coffin.
Happily, people of all ages seem to still be in love with the automobile. And that is a good thing.