Doane Yawger: Writing about cars a dream job

April 21, 2012 

Doane Yawger, Sun-Star reporter

MERCED SUN-STAR

Many people have enviable jobs, working with cars. Journalism has always been my first calling, but it's fun to ponder some interesting positions available in the automotive field.

Now and then you see a light-duty truck hauling a flatbed trailer with a large advertising sign around Merced. That would be a terrific job, just cruising the town with a big sign tagging behind, kind of a sandwich board on steroids.

An even cooler undertaking might be as a tour guide or docent with a car museum. Such a job would require some study of the history of the cars on display and keeping an eagle eye on the visitors, who hopefully would be on their best behavior.

I'm not sure I'm up to some other driving jobs, such as piloting taxis, limousines or buses. That's a lot of work and involves staggering responsibilities keeping everyone safe, as well as maneuvering big vehicles in tight spaces.

Being a courier would mean logging many miles behind the wheel. I'm more enamored with the vehicles themselves than just racking up the miles.

One of my longtime goals has been to ride with a long-haul truck driver, hopefully on a lengthy jaunt across the country. It takes considerable training to drive a big rig, well beyond my scope of talent.

But it would be fun to tag along as an 18-wheeler negotiates the highways.

Selling cars and trucks has seemed mildly tempting in the past, but my math skills are somewhat lacking and I don't have the aggressive personality necessary to seal the deal with prospective customers. Sales people also have to memorize a staggering amount of information about the vehicles they sell, such as miles per gallon, engine sizes, color choices and options. And you may not get to take a car home at night anymore, which was part of the charm.

Sadly, I've never had any mechanical skills, so being a mechanic is totally out of the question. Working at a carwash would expose you to plenty of cars, almost all of them modern, but it would be too much like work. Jobs with auto parts stores or hobby shops sound tempting, but you may be so busy you don't get to enjoy any of the trappings of your surroundings.

On further reflection, I may already have the ideal job: writing about old cars and trucks. That's always fun, a welcome break from other writing pursuits. You see terrific cars and trucks and get to hang out with enthusiastic and fun people who share your love of vintage vehicles.

I'll stick with writing about cars but I can't help but wonder what it would be like to dabble in some of these other interests.

Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or dyawger@mercedsunstar.com.

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