Dream Cars: Driving Lessons
Filmmaker and writer dream hampton launches a new video series for Gotryke.com.
A few weeks after I leased my 2011 Ford Edge, I let my daughter take her first drive. I lived in New York for two decades and my daughter spent her first 13 years there. We moved home to Detroit for a myriad of reasons; for family, for a book project, because the rent was too damn high. But there were two things that affected our relocating home to Detroit that were bigger than the rest: I wanted to be a part of the rebuilding of my beloved city and I wanted my daughter to spend her teenage years like a proper Midwestern teenager—learning to drive. Though I’d owned and leased Honda Accords in New York, moving home to Detroit meant choosing a domestic car. Loyalty to the “Big Three” is still a big deal in the Motor City. I chose to lease a Ford partly because they were the only company that didn’t go to Congress with their hat in their hands. I chose the Ford Edge because it talked to me (literally—the Synch voice activated technology has saved my life as I push my home office of a car around the city) and because the panoramic vista roof transformed the already impressive interior. My daughter’s first time behind the wheel was on Belle Isle, in the section the Grand Prix organizers have cordoned off for their spectator benches for the annual race. Belle Isle means the world to me and other Detroiters; it’s where we cruise year long. As you can see in the video, Belle Isle was snowy and even icy in some places her first drive. Learning how to drive in a city where there’s a real winter with ice and snow can be a challenge, but prepares drivers for any weather condition. Unlike me, who’d sneak my parents’ car out when I was 14 because I couldn’t wait to drive, my daughter was incredibly nervous about learning to drive and put it off as long as possible. I love this video, shot by me in the passenger seat because you can see her shift from feeling unsure and overwhelmed to enjoying herself, and wondering aloud what “the big deal ” is about driving. Of course, driving is a big deal. I love that her first cruise was on Belle Isle, in a brand new Detroit made, cutting edge car. A couple of weeks ago, when my daughter turned 16, we got her a used Ford Fusion (pictured above). If you see her on the road, be nice, she’s still learning.