I think he was just musing over the lost days. I think about the moonshiners, the moonrunners. In the 1930's you could buy (At least most of) a Model T out of someones' yard for $10 and get to work hotrodding it to out run the little 4 bangers the local sheriffs were going to chase you with even when you were carrying an extra 2-4,000 pounds in alcohol. "Rapid Roy" Hall would race under an assumed name because they were after him, he'd run right at the roadblock to scatter the cops and use the parking brake to turn the car around in a powerslide and take off. By the time the deputies were in their cars it as too late. But he wasn't just a moonrunner, he did 3 years for bank robbery. What a scamp, eh?
Today, damn, you can't hardly find a place to GO 100mph, let alone wheelie. Most people can't afford a track day.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC!
- Arthur C. Clarke