I’m a reporter and writer by trade, but when it comes time to look back at 2016, it’s my camera that provides the road map. And when people ask me how I’ve put nearly 100,00 miles on a three-year-old pickup truck, I suppose I should just suggest they read the following:
My automotive adventure, 2016 edition, began in Las Vegas with the Bonhams and Mecum vintage motorcycle auctions. Then it was back home to Phoenix for the Arizona Concours d’Elegance, inaugural Future Classic Car Show, and an auction week during which so many of her friends from across the country laid to rest the beloved den mother of the Scottsdale collector car contingent, Stephanie Bourassa.
Motoring Thru Time — get this, an annual car show staged by a city (Phoenix) parks and rec department — and the Concours in the (Fountain) Hills followed before I was off to Oklahoma City to cover the Leake auction.
Next, while visiting my youngest daughter and her family, who had just moved from Virginia to Henderson, Nevada, a mere 4 1/2-hour drive north of Phoenix, I stumbled across that community’s annual and delightful St. Patrick’s Day car show.
Back home, I encountered an amazing variety of vintage motorcycles at my first but the 32nd annual Arizona antique and classic motorcycle show, the surprisingly sparsely attended Cars on Campus show at UTI, and the impressively well-attended Young People & Old Cars: The Future of Restoration workshop staged by the RPM Foundation at EVIT.
Then it was off on my annual trip to Points East: Mecum’s huge auction at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds and the ELK charity rally, which included visits to the Lingenfelter collection, the Automotive Hall of Fame, the Henry Ford museum and its Driving America display, the Soap Box Derby hill and hall of fame, the headquarters of Summit Racing — which is part store, part race car museum — and to the automotive education workshops at Alfred State University in upstate New York.
As long as I was in upstate New York, why not keep going and visit the Owls Head, Seal Cove and new Audrain automotive museums in Maine and Rhode Island (besides, I’d never been to Rhode Island so now I’m left with only Alaska to complete visits to all 50 states).
Once back in the Midwest, I attended my first (but hopefully not my last) Mecum Gone Farmin’ vintage tractor auction, the annual car show at the historic Packard Proving Grounds, and made trips to the RV museum in northern Indiana, the Corvette museum in western Kentucky, the Lane museum in Nashville, the expansive Iola car show in Wisconsin and to the Volo museum near Chicago.
Soon it was back to Nashville to revisit the Lane and to take in the Italian exotics on display at the prestigious Frist art museum.
August arrived so it was off to Monterey for a week before heading back to the Midwest — finally, after three years of trying — to take in a drive-in movie in Hagerty’s 1960 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, as well as the Labor Day auctions at Auburn, Leake’s inaugural Detroit auction, a classic car display at the art museum on the Notre Dame campus, the annual Orphan Car Show in Ypsilani, to preview a classic Cadillac collection before it went on auction north of Detroit, and to stop at the Gilmore Car Museum before heading back to Phoenix — and from there to Vegas for the SEMA Show and a visit to the Hollywood car museum.
Somewhere in there I also did a couple of trips to Florida to see my Mom, who in nine days celebrates her 99th birthday. Guess it’s no wonder the odometer on my pickup is spinning toward six figures!