Saturday, October 28, 2023

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Riding Into The Past

When my mother’s parents were married in 1928, my grandfather’s family told my grandmother to buy a car.  Any car she wanted… as long as it was a Pierce-Arrow.

I’ve seen old home movies of my grandmother and my great uncle carrying my mom as a baby and getting into a car that looked very much like this one: a 1930 Pierce-Arrow Club Sedan.  So I imagine Mom’s first car ride was something like this.

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Family Car

When my maternal grandmother married my grandfather in 1928, she married into a well-to-do family in St. Louis.  They told her to buy any car she wanted as long as it was a Pierce Arrow.  We have family home movies to prove that she did.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Floating Fun

The Amphicar has been a feature at the Lake Mirror Classic Car Show, and I’ve seen them up in Michigan, too.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Wagon Train

It’s Saturday, so that means it’s time for my weekly shopping trip at the supermarket.  It’s also a good time to take the Pontiac out for its weekly drive to keep the juices flowing and the battery charged.

Here’s a collection of wagons that do more than just get the groceries.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Friday, February 24, 2023

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Art Deco Weekend On Miami Beach

This is the only time I can get a good parking space on Miami Beach: when I take the Pontiac to the Art Deco Weekend car show.

This is from 2020, but you get the idea.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Happy Friday

January 6, 1989 was also a Friday.  It was the first full day that I had my new car: a 1988 Pontiac 6000 Safari that I purchased from Hertz Car Sales in Traverse City, Michigan.  My dad had found it for me — he bought his company’s sales cars from Hertz — and when the wagon came out of the rental fleet and went up for sale in December, he first offered it to my younger brother, who had a growing family in Toledo.  But my brother had his eye on a Ford Taurus wagon, so Dad called me up and asked if I was interested in the Pontiac.  I was living in Longmont, Colorado, and my car at the time was a 1984 Subaru wagon, which had served me well.  But it also had its share of problems, including being woefully under-powered at high altitudes.  So I told Dad I was interested, and he got me in touch with the sales manager, Ernie Pobuda.  Ernie quoted me a price of $12,700 out the door, including taxes and tag.  I closed the deal with a verbal handshake, sold the Subaru back to the dealership that had sold me the car four years before for $3,000, and got a loan from the credit union for the rest.  I bought a one-way ticket from Denver to Traverse City, arriving on the afternoon of January 5.  Dad took me to the car lot and I saw the car for the first time, cleaned and ready to go.  When I sat down with Ernie to fill out the final papers, he asked how much the airfare was for the trip to pick up the car.  I told him $200, and he knocked that off the price.  We shook hands, and as I drove out of the lot, I noticed the mileage was 5,386.

Thirty-four years later and some 255,000 more miles, I’m still driving the Pontiac.  I’ve posted about taking it to various car shows since it became an antique ten years ago, and it’s been through its fair share of repairs, maintenance, and scares.  It’s been registered in four different states — Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, and Florida — and while it may not be a 400-point car at an Antique Automobile Club of America meet, it does very well in the Driver Participation class, which is where it should be.

My family will tell you that my fascination with cars goes back to near infancy when I could identify different makes and models before I could read.  To be fair, in the 1950’s and ’60’s, it was a lot easier to tell the difference between a Pontiac and a Chevrolet or a Studebaker from a DeSoto.  But my affection for this machine that provides transportation goes beyond a childhood enjoyment, and as any car hobbyist or collector will tell you, there is something between a car and its owner that goes beyond rational explanation, and the willingness to spend far more money than it is worth to keep it running may not make financial sense.  But then, some things defy logic.  It’s like jazz: if you don’t get it, I can’t explain it.

I took the picture above a few years ago for the Pontiac’s annual January photo shoot to commemorate its anniversary.  This is the view I first saw when I sat behind the wheel.  There have been a lot of sights seen through that windshield, ranging from the mountains of Colorado to the deserts of New Mexico, the lake shores and pines of Michigan to the Florida Keys, and many other places in between.  I’ve owned the car for nearly half of my life, and I hope to keep it for the rest of it.

See you on down the road.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Friday, December 2, 2022

Happy Friday

The car show season is starting, and I’m going over to the other side of the state to help kick it off.  I’ll be a judge at the Gasparilla Concours d’Elegance.  It starts with a parade through Safety Harbor, then the concours itself on Saturday.

I’ll be judging pre-war domestic cars, including a 1936 Packard 120-B convertible.  The car pictured below isn’t the one I’ll be judging, it’s what one of them looks like.

So, it will be a fun time, and I’ll have pictures.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Friday, October 14, 2022

Happy Friday

For the first time since 2019, I’m going to Lakeland, Florida, for the Lake Mirror Classic Concours and Car Show.  A couple of changes this year: I’m taking my 2007 Mustang instead of my 1988 Pontiac for the Open Show, and I’ll be a judge at the Concours.

The Pontiac is staying home for two reasons: First, I don’t want to tempt karma again.  The last two times I took it to Lakeland, I didn’t get there.  In 2018, we were an hour on the road when it developed a leak from the transmission cover due to loose bolts.  A year later, we turned around at almost the same point when it developed a problem with the injectors and timing that required an engine rebuild, which was completed in December 2019.  Second, it’s in need of a good detail job, so it’s not quite ready for the show field.

The Mustang has a new top, the dents and dings have been removed, it has new tires and battery, and it has both air conditioning and cruise control.  It’s ready to be shown, and so, Dog willing, we will be on the field on Saturday.

Judging at the Concours is a first for me, and I get to see some amazing cars: American Performance from 1970 to 1972, including Mustangs, GTO’s, LeMans, Roadrunners, and all in spectacular condition.

If you’re in the area, stop by and say hi.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Random YouTubery

October marks the beginning of the car show season here in Florida, and what better time to take a look at the history of the auto industry from the land that gives us snowbirds.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Random YouTubery

Since I recently came across a picture of me with Jay Leno at a previous Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance, I thought this video would be fun to share.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Random YouTubery

This was literally a random pick, but in light of the fact that tomorrow we have our Cars in the Garden show at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, it’s apropos.  I have no idea who Mike ‘n’ Gina are, but they have fun at the new AACA Museum in Hershey, PA.