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Five Parts Museum and One Part Utility

September 6, 2014

“In another lifetime she must have owned the world, or been faithfully wed
To some righteous king who wrote psalms beside moonlit streams”
– B. Dylan, from I and I

A friend drives a new beautiful and powerful Audi 5 convertible. It’s fast, very comfortable and fun, but not even the flagship in the family garage. That would be the Maserati, which just replaced their Audi R8, the 500 horsepower two-seater that they just traded in. Audis are very popular in the Bay Area. They are a dime a dozen on the roads. A few years ago, nothing screamed the name of the town I live in louder than a sparkling white Mercedes or a shiny black Audi. (These days, Tesla seems to be favored.)

Leicestershire car thieves are fond of Audis also. It seems the car manufacturer and the drivers makes the thieves’ project a little easier by putting a spare key in the glove box. No joke. You can read about it here if you like. Perhaps Audi’s common sense department was out of the office the day the company added this feature in their cars or maybe they had a little too much faith in the car buyers’ ability to get there on their own, but they are now unfortunately drawing attention from the local press and police. Here is their sage advice for us to consider when parking our cars, even the shiny expensive ones.

Audi is absolutely committed to setting the very highest standards for security. However, no vehicle is immovable if its key is accessible. So, we advise all drivers never to leave spare sets in their cars.


The spare key used by the auto mechanic. He locks the car and places the key under the driver side floor mat until I pick up the car after hours. The shop is in a relatively safe neighborhood, but assurance that the car will still be there when I arrive comes mostly from the fact that the car is a low value target.

My car’s glove box is five parts museum and one part utility. There are all sorts of things in there, most of which have not been used or even touched for a long time. Spoiler alert, there are no gloves. Here in the moderate Bay Area climate, there’s no good reason to keep them at hand.


It’s time to take a look at just exactly what’s in here.

When we were new drivers, one of my childhood friends drove one of those many large General Motors cars that used to be so plentiful. He used the glove box for gloves exclusively. Nothing else- cigarettes, matches, maps, pens, and any other items were stashed elsewhere. I got a kick out of it then and it seems, I still do. Knowing him, his glove box may still be single purpose.

The glove box is a pretty simple unit on my car. It’s well built and doesn’t have too many features – a single light bulb, a small mirror that pops up from the door when it is pulled open and a round indentation intended for a cup. There’s also a lock on the door.


Pages 8 and 9 of the owner’s manual. You can see that Volvo didn’t have anything to say about item 11, “Glove box.” There’s no reference to another page to learn more about this most useful compartment. I guess that they concluded that we could figure it out for ourselves.

I think I will start something new here on Ram On. “Check the Glove Box” is now a new series. More to follow.


Today’s odometer reading. Most days, I don’t notice the short crack that leads to the trip odometer. I talked with my mechanic about replacing this window, but we never got to it. That was almost ten years ago.

  1. Your town is the West Coast equivalent of mine. I believe that the value of the cars in the supermarket is greater than the GDP of many nations.


  2. Sort of what you’d find in many a woman’s pocketbooks, including mine.


    • Where you can always find another quarter for the parking meter, the mints, cherry-flavored lip balm, dry-cleaner claim ticket, nail clipper, tissue, cloth to clean the sunglasses……..


  3. 400,000+!! Wow! Would love to see a picture.


  4. You know we were just in the glove compartment the other day and could not believe the junk stashed in there over 3 years. Of course we just looked at it and didn’t toss any into the garbage but we did shove it back in to clean out later. You inspired us. This week we will clean out the glove compartment, it’s long overdue.


  5. Tell pub to keep an eye out for the good stuff.


  6. Nothing out of place or unnecessary in this fellow’s glove compartment, my friend! Of course, my rides don’t have the history or memories that your classic Volvo has. If she could talk…

    Do I see actual “paper” maps in there? Save those for future study…or at the very least, something to share with the Grandkids, for the day they say, G’Pa…what’s a map? 🙂


    • The stuff has piled up. Stay tuned as I dig through it here on Ram On. Yes, if the Volvo could talk (and write) we’d have quite a blog to read.

      I like the look of your glove box. That’s exactly the look in my other car. Two items. The owner’s manual and a pen. But there’s not much to blog about that, so the old Volvo got the part.


  7. I can’t ever hear the words glove box or glove compartment without a knee-jerk thought reaction of “oh, they mean a jockey box!” I always thought it was a regional thing, but it turns out lots of us call it a jockey box…with a history going all the way back to when drivers of carriages or wagons were called jockeys, and they kept a box up front to hold their stuff (possibly even gloves). I’m looking forward to hearing the stories generated by things you discover in your jockey box.


    • Regional differences are fun. I like “glove box,” but I think “glove compartment” is generally preferred by most. And now, “jockey box.” I never heard it before. I guess that means we have a “jockey seat” behind the driving wheel.


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