Back in April I hopped on a plane and headed down to Arkansas for a whirlwind weekend. For months, a group of car-fanatic friends from the US had been planning a roadtrip through the Ozark Mountains northwest of Little Rock. I decided to join them, enticed by the chance to meet these guys I had been exchanging with for years and perhaps crawl behind the wheel of the McLaren MP4-12C that belonged to the trip organiser.
In the end I didn't grab all that many photos of the vehicles in our convoy (including the McLaren, a tuned Mustang, a rental Chrysler 300C and a motorcycle), because we were simply having too much fun driving to stop for many photo opportunities. At one stop something DID catch my eye, however: a graveyard filled with an assortment of VW Beetles and Vans. The 'Bug' has always been and will always be a car that puts a smile on my face, so I wandered over to take a peek.
A 'Keep Out' sign made it clear trespassers weren't welcome, and the small town we had stopped in for gas felt exactly like you might think a small Arkansas town might feel like. The locals appeared friendly and extremely curious about the McLaren, though many hadn't heard of the make before and thought it was a Lamborghini. At one point, I'm pretty sure I heard banjo music off in the distance, and I definitely saw more than one old man sitting on a rocking chair on his front porch.
While I exaggerate slightly, it really was a unique and exciting trip. I got as close as I could to the VW graveyard and saw a few really cool oddities, including what appeared to be a homemade tow-Bug with an odd harness hanging off the back, as well as an old red VW Van with my last name written on the side! As much as I would loved to have gotten closer to the vehicles, the banjo music seemed to die away as I approached the barrier and I'm convinced I heard a few shotguns being cocked...
The trip was short but sweet and I know I've made some friends for life. Once again cars have brought me closer to other fanatics like myself, and this time it lead to me discovering another corner of the US that I didn't know before. If I have the chance one day to visit the Ozarks again I gladly would, but before I go, I'll take some banjo lessons so I can converse with the locals in their native tongue!
Welcome! My name is Paul, and I am an old-fashioned, low-pressure, low-buck car fan with lots of automotive stories to tell!