WASHINGTON—Taking advantage of the warm spring weather Monday, Vice President Joe Biden parked his 1981 Trans Am in the White House driveway, removed his undershirt, and spent a leisurely afternoon washing the muscle car and drinking beer.
"This baby just needs a little scrub down," said Biden, addressing a tour group as he tucked the sweat-covered top into the belt loop of his cutoff jean shorts. "Gotta get her looking good so I can impress the chicks when I'm cruising down Pennsylvania [Avenue]."
White House aides said that Biden pulled into the driveway shortly before noon, the chorus of Night Ranger's "(You Can Still) Rock In America" blaring from his car's stereo. According to witnesses, Biden spent several minutes maneuvering the Trans Am into the perfect spot, and was observed drumming his fingers on the steering wheel until the song came to a close.
The shirtless 66-year-old then entered the executive residence and greeted employees with a round of high fives and a variety of nicknames.
"Hey, hot stuff, looking good," Biden told a passing aide. "Would you know where I could get a little bucket and sponge action? My mean machine needs to be cleaned."
After acquiring the necessary washing materials, the bare-chested second-in-command returned to the driveway, where he spent several moments staring in apparent awe at the firebird decal on the hood of his car.
Biden, who purchased the white Pontiac in 1983, has made an annual tradition of taking time off each spring to wash and tune-up his vehicle. In 2008 alone, the veteran politician reportedly missed two dozen Senate sessions in order to spend some quality time "taking care of [his] baby."
"He does this every year and it really seems to rejuvenate him," Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) said. "Back in 2001, the car was up on blocks in the National Mall, and he was so busy rotating those tires that he bailed on the confirmation hearings for secretary of state."
"What're you gonna do, though?" Dodd added. "That car rocks."
As Biden gently applied a sponge to the hood and moved it in small circular motions across the car's contours, a number of White House interns walked by and caught the vice president's attention.
"She's a real beaut, ain't she?" said Biden, popping open a wide-mouth can of Coors Light and tilting back his head to take a long drink. "Back when Smokey And The Bandit came out, everyone wanted the black paint job, but looking back now, I'm thankful the dealership didn't have it in stock."
"Oops, looks like I got a little brewha in the flavor-saver," added Biden, referring to his wispy, four-day-old mustache. "Any of you girls care to join me for another tallboy?"
Biden then spent the next 15 minutes boasting about the features on his Trans Am.
"They don't make kick-ass T-tops like this anymore, sweetheart," said Biden, shaking his head in exaggerated disappointment. "And check out these gold snowflake rims. They're a real bitch to clean, but they're totally worth it."
"Back in the day we used to call 'em panty-melters," Biden continued. "One babe caught a glimpse of those rims after a Cinderella concert in '86 and she couldn't get into that backseat fast enough. If any of you girls wanna take a ride, just let ol' Joe know."
For the remainder of the day, Biden occupied himself with hosing off his car, giving the side doors an extra coat of wax, and throwing out a variety of items from beneath its front seats, including crumpled-up fast food wrappers, a number of soft packs of Doral kings, an issue of Cheri magazine from 1991, and Senate bill S. 486.
According to White House officials, Biden was still hanging out in the driveway long after dusk, revving the engine at passersby and explaining the intricacies of a turbocharged V-8 motor to anyone within earshot.
As of press time, Biden had convinced Jennifer Britmore, a 41-year-old mother of four visiting from Indiana, to let him show her around D.C.