Ford F100 sits under tree at White Rock Lake in Dallas.

Writer Sarah Hepola sits on park bench beneath a tree in front of classic red Ford F100 at White Rock Lake.

I have always loved taking road trips—creating the perfect playlist; buying the Cheetos, Dr Pepper, and three candy bars at the gas station; and feeling liberated from daily schedules and to-do lists. But when it comes to cars, well, the joke in my family was to never ask me what kind of car someone drove because all I’d know was its color. And yet, despite my ambivalence, I’ve had a lot of memorable moments in memorable cars.

In high school, I drove a ’66 Mustang handed down from my mom, who had purchased it when she was 16. What it lacked in air conditioning, it made up for in style and power—though when many a male classmate asked me questions about horse-power, speed, and, I want to say, torque, I had not the foggiest clue how to answer.

At my wedding, my husband and I drove away in a ’55 Chevy meticulously restored by my grandpa. He spent five years rebuilding the car to match the one my grandma drove when they got married in 1956, down to the factory turquoise-and-white paint job. He’s since gifted it to my dad.

These days, my most fulfilling drives come when I borrow my husband’s Ford Ranger to run an errand. There’s nothing like charging across the Hill Country terrain in a truck to make you feel like a real Texan. The fact that excursions of any kind have become infrequent over the last several months only adds to the thrill.

This issue is a celebration of car culture, from the hot rods that inspire hobbyists and fashionistas alike, to the ubiquitous yet iconic pickup truck, to the historical guides that first nurtured our fascination with road trips. Whether your journey is about the destination or the car you drive to get there, you’ll find plenty of inspiration to hit the road.

Emily Roberts Stone
Editor In Chief

From the February 2021 issue
The February 2021 cover of Texas Highways Magazine, The Return of Car Culture


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