Thursday, August 29, 2013

Woodward Dream Cruise, Friday Night in Ferndale, Michigan

So, I've done it again - been a little lax about posting this summer.  Once Car Season got started, a lot things got pushed to the side.  Then, a few weeks ago, one of my friends mentioned that I had not posted my blog lately.  My response was, "You read my blog!?!"  I was so excited!  So, I have at least one friend who reads it!  Now, if I could just get some folks to comment on it!

I have recently begun uploading the photos that we took while at The Woodward Dream Cruise on August 16th and 17th.  That Friday, I met our friends, Keith and Cindy Faigin, Rich Chaperon, and his friend Matt in Ferndale to see Keith host his Improv troupe's show at Go Comedy.  If you like improv and are ever in the area, you should check them out.  They are very funny.  You can find the schedule at:

While I waited for everyone,  I stood in the median of Woodward Avenue and took a bunch of shots.

I took a lot of pictures.  It took me several days to upload and label just the pictures from Friday night in Ferndale.  If you'd like to look at all of them, go to:

After Friday evening and all day Saturday taking literally hundreds of pictures, Keith assigned me an impossible task - pick my top 10 cars of the weekend and send the pictures to him.  Please keep in mind that these are not necessarily going be the best pictures that I took with my fancy new camera that Hal bought for me for my last birthday; these are going to be the cars I liked the most.  (Also keep in mind, that I discovered that while the new camera is vastly superior to any camera I have ever owned, I have also discovered that I need a zoom lens!!)

The following are the candidates from Friday night, in no particular order:

Click on the photo to see full-sized view.

1964 Cadillac convertible
Big, bold and beautiful.  What's not to love?

 1960s Mercedes 280SL (W113)
Always overshadowed by its predecessor, the Gullwing 300 SL, the Pagoda bodystyle as it's known has recently become more desirable to collectors.  I've loved them ever since Reggie Jackson said it was one of the most underappreciated cars of its era.  (I remember reading that in a car magazine at a swim meet in Pascagoula, MS in the mid-70s.  Some things really stick with you!)

Nash Ambassador Custom
It just looks awesome.

1972 Ford Gran Torino
My sister had one of these when she was in college and let me drive it every once in a while.  Amazing lines for a car designed in the 70s; I still think it's one of the prettiest cars out there.

1968 Chrysler Newport convertible
When the 5 members of my family and our cat lived in lived in a two bedroom apartment while our house in Ocean Springs, MS was being built, the man who ran the Bienville House apartment complex owned a 1968 Chrysler New Yorker.  Recently, those beautiful cars have been making a comeback in my list of favorites. 

1970 Dodge Coronet R/T convertible
Another car that I loved when I was a kid and still do today, the front end of the 70 Dodge Coronets were quite controversial - a love 'em or hate 'em kind of car.  I love 'em! 
1962 Dodge Dart
This is an example of a car that I hated as a kid, but love now.  Virgil Exner had some amazing design skills and went all out in the late 50s and early 60s for Chrysler Corporation.  It's definitely a bit overdone, but in a way only American cars of the late 50s and early 60s could be. 

1971 Ford Galaxie 500
This is a car that had completely dropped off my radar for a long time.  In 1970 while living in the aforementioned 2 bedroom apartment, I saw a magazine ad for the 1970 Full Size Fords and fell in love.  I'd love to own one of these and to find a station wagon version, too!

1965 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser station wagon
Altough I lean primarily Ford and Pontiac in my love for wagons (69 Country Squire or 69 Safari, anyone?), the Oldsmobile and Buick wagons of the mid-60s to early 70s with their Panoramic windows around the edge of the roof are worthy of note!

1948 or 1949 Cadillac
I really don't think I need to say anything.  Just look at it.

Porsche 356
James Dean drove one.  (It's a shame he died in one.)

1971 Buick Riviera
One of the boldest car designs in the history of automobiles.  The boattail Rivieras of 1971-1973 are unlike any car ever made or will ever be again.  Definitely on my list of "one to own before I die". 

I'd love to hear what you think of my candidates. 

If you looked through the whole flickr set, were there cars in there you liked better?

Have a great Labor day weekend!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekend Wheels

A fellow whose blog I follow told me that I need to post regularly if I am going to get folks to read and respond to my blog.  Makes sense.  As I said in my last post, I am attempting to make them "not quite so long", but the post I've been working on is still a work in progress.

So, I thought I'd just post some pics of some cars that I saw over the holiday weekend:

Mid '70's Chevy Nova - I saw this gem while out walking Tiny (my dog).  Now, I know that these were not from the era of well-built GM cars, but I think this generation of Nova was actually quite a handsome car. 

You don't see many of these around, but I think this one wou;d be quite popular on Craig Fitzgerald's Craig was an editor at Hemmings for many years (and the editor of my favorite car mag, Hemmings Muscle Machines), until he struck out on his own. His blog is about regular cars owned by regular folks, which I really like. 

69 Pontiac GTO Judge - I saw this at Zamudio Auto Sales (#3) on Clark St. on the far north side of Chicago.  They actually have several nice muscle cars inside the shop.  If anyone's interested, they are asking $52,500.  The salesman tried to seel it to me.  I just laughed and told him I was just stopping to take some pics, so he left me alone. 

This mean machine (not to be confused with AMC's Rebel muscle car 'The Machine') was intended to be a low buck stripper version of the GTO to go up against Plymouth's inexpensive Road Runner.  By the time they were done, it had morphed into this fancy and relatively expensive beast.  'The Judge' was actually an homage to Flip Wilson's Laugh-In skit "Here comes the Judge!"  For you young'uns, check Flip Wilson out on You Tube. 

1963 Chevy Impala - As my friend Matt and I left brunch after swim team practice on Saturday morning, I snapped this very well-kept Impala.  It all happened so fast (and there were so many people crowding the car) that I did not even see if it was an SS or not.  That fellow in the snazzy hat is the owner. 

Panoz Esperante - Talk about a car you do not see every day.  I don't know much about these cars other than that they are made in Georgia. 

I saw this beauty on my way to Costco on Sunday. (I finally break down and go for the first time in at least 9 months, and I see two cars worth photographing.  Do I have my good camera with me?  No!)

1969 Buick Wildcat convertible - After failing to get a front view of the Panoz while driving on Ashland (you know, safety concerns and all that...) I turn onto Diversey and see this beauty.  I love the 65-70 Wildcats, and this one is a drop top, to boot.  My friend Chris is working on a '69 Buick Electra 225 convertible that is going to be awesome when he's done.  I've never owned one (if you don't count the '68 Beetle convertible I bought for my mom so I could have her brand new '79 Mercury Bobcat), but I think a full-sized convertible is in my future.  They are the ultimate cruisers. 

So, these are my "Weekend Wheels".  What did you see this weekend?

Monday, June 24, 2013

So, I have not posted in over 4 years.  I tried a few posts, but never shared it with anyone, so the motivation died.  I also felt I was too busy, which will always be the case.  I think I had much higher expectations than I should have.  I have been following Larry at, and his posts convinced me that I should just post about the cars I see when I'm riding my bike or anything that really strikes my fancy when I'm out and about.  So, here goes.

Resale Red

Every time you see a classic car that is painted red, someone comments that it is "Resale Red".  All of my Mercurys have been green, so I never really had to contend with accusations that my cars were painted a certain color so that I could sell them more quickly in the future.  Hell, I was NEVER going to sell my cars and I loved the green color of both of them, so it never crossed my mind. 

Then, a few weeks ago I went insane and sold them both.  I did not paint either of them Resale Red because that would look horrible with the green interior on the Park Lane (but now that I think about it, would have worked with the tan interior of the Cougar).  The hows and whys of the sale of the cars that have defined me for the last 9 years will have to wait for another post, but suffice it to say that I bought a 1973 Pontiac Grand Am with a 455 in it.  And, it's red!  Or, I should say, it's RED!! 

One really can't call it Resale Red because the previous owner, who I know through my pal, Mark Nagel, owned it for 9 years and it was red when he got it.  I plan to take it back to the original Ascot Silver this fall, but in the meantime I noticed that a bunch of the cars I have photographed lately have been "Resale Red", so I thought I'd post them. 

This first batch is of a 1968 Chevy Caprice with a 396 in it.  I first saw this car after swim team practice on a Saturday, walking to one of our new teammates' apartment for brunch. 

The 68s are probably my favorite year of the full-size Chevy; although I will admit the 69 and 67 are also in the running.  I love the fastback lines of the Impala and Impala SS, but the formal roofline of the Caprice is refreshing to see. 
I have since seen the car around the neighborhood near the pool quite regularly.

I saw this next vehicle while we were in Texas for Hal's niece's high school graduation.  There is something timeless about the FJ40 Toyota Land Cruiser.  These beasts were built in almost the same form from 1960 to 1984 (but were last imported to the US in 1983).  The family of my neighbor and classmate, Steve King (not the idiot member of the US House of Representatives from Iowa), had a light blue Land Cruiser in the late 70s.  It was cool then, and it's still cool now.  In fact, it is the only 70s Toyota that you will find regularly in Hemmings and on eBay.

 The next five cars were all photographed in Pennsylvania when I flew there to see my best friend. 

The first three were at The Ford Nationals at Carlisle in Carlisle, PA.  This was my second trip to this show, but this year it was raining and I went on the first day, so there were not a lot of cars yet.  Keep in mind that these are not the only pics I took; just the only ones I took with my phone.  I'll post a link to my flickr set with the pics from the show once I post them. 

This bare bones 1972 Galaxie 500 belonged to a nice gentleman I spoke with.  He informed me that he plans to add a "bubble gum machine"  (red flashing light) and side decals to make it a replica of a Fire Chief's car.  I encouraged him to leave this original machine as it is.  I doubt he will listen...

This 1964 Galaxie caught my eye because of the Thunderbolt hood scoop. 

I drove a '79 Mercury Bobcat when I was in high school.  It's the wrong color and mine had Cragar slots, but this '80 Pinto brought back some great memories.

Outside the show on the way out of town, I saw this Volvo P1800 wagon (shooting brake?) for sale.  I have seen one of these in perfect condition.  If only had I had the time, the skill, and the facilities...

This bright red 1973 Prsche 911 was parked across from jason and Rotem's house.  It seems I always find a car in their neighborhood that I have to take pictures of. 

This last car, I photographed over two separate Sundays while doing my weekly 20+ mile bike ride along the lakeshore (Lake Michigan) with my friend, Jani. 

The pictures with the roof up were taken a week ago, while the top down shots were taken today.  Please keep in mind that I took these pics essentially blind.  The bright sun on the shiny phone screen and my polarized non-bifocal sunglasses made it nearly impossible to see the screen.  They turned out ok. 

One of the things that I love about old cars is the amount of detail that went into designing them.  I love the lines on this car, and the chrome trim (I think it's referred to as a sidespear) that accents the body line that begins at the front and dips down on its way to the rear.  This was a Buick trademark in the late 70s.  The Skylark is one of the lesser appreciated of the A-Body (Mid-size) GM cars of the 60s.  As I post more, you'll see that I am much more interested in the cars that you don't see than I am in those you see at every car show that you attend. 

Well, that's all I have today.  I'd love to get some feedback from you on the cars I've shown here.