For the last few years, I’ve been spending evenings with my 11-year-old son, Rhodes, looking for interesting cars online that we could “Fly and buy” and have a fun road trip, and then a father son project to work on together. Continue reading
I bought my 1964 Buick Riviera in 2012. The owner told me the car was purchased new by his aunt and uncle in Glendale, California. He told me his uncle died one year later and that his aunt parked the car in her garage where it remained until 1995. He went to California and brought the car to Texas, where he began restoring it.
The odometer showed 27,000 miles at the time. The engine would not turn over, the tires were rotten, and the headliner was sagging. Continue reading
I had a 1988 Pontiac Formula Firebird when was a young man, but we live in a city where there are many hills and rear-wheel drive is not ideal. It was my everyday driver and I had to sell to get a front wheel-drive car. Continue reading
Growing up in Detroit my dad would take me to the Sport Cars in Review show at the Henry Ford Museum. One year there was a D-type Jaguar on display. Jags had won Le Mans and the D-type was the hit of the show.
When I was in Grade 7, my father was an engineer for Chrysler and they did a lot of work with the Carlini Brothers body shop. The Carlini Brothers happened to be cousins to Hank Carlini, Ford Pantera director and right hand to Lee Iaccoca.
Sitting in their body shop under a soft cover was Hank Carlini’s De Tomaso Pantera. My dad lifted the cover and asked if I wanted to see a beautiful car. I immediately fell in love. I told my father then that one day I would own a Pantera. Continue reading
I am the second owner of this car purchased in 1976 from a retired Air Force colonel who had been stationed at Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, Oklahoma. He swore the car had never been wet… During military training he had been struck by lightning, so he said that, “every time if I’m out and I see storm clouds brewing, I rush home and the car goes back in the garage.” Continue reading
I was 11 when I first saw a new yellow Lincoln convertible in the school’s parking lot in San Mateo. It belonged to one of the teachers at my elementary school. The top was down, showing its white interior. It truly was love at first sight. I swore that someday I would have one.
My campaign at home to buy one didn’t go over too well. My father had a solid white-collar job. My mother didn’t work. But because there were two children and a dog, we belonged to the obligatory station wagon set. I even presented the “used” car idea. Continue reading
When I was in the Navy and stationed aboard ship at Mayport Florida, I knew an officer who owned a Mercedes just like I now own. I would see him driving on base all the time. I thought that car was the most classy thing I had ever seen and would love to have one.
It was out of my reach at the time, but I never stopped dreaming. I eventually got one real cheap, but it was really ready for the scrap heap, and I sold it for such. Continue reading
When I was in junior high school, I read a Scholastic paperback called The Red Car by Don Stanford. It told the story of a teenager in Colorado who bought a wrecked MG TC, rebuilt it with the help of a mysterious mechanic named Frenchy, and raced it in an early road race. I was very taken with that story and identified with the main character, Hap.
A few years later I started working after school for a car dealer who also had a storage garage. In that storage garage, covered with dust, sat a small red MG. I know now that that MG was a TF model, not a TC, but for me it was The Red Car incarnate. Continue reading
My most amazing barn find — and it was a gift!
My friend Bill from church had been after me for over a year to come look at a truck he wanted to give me. I had been to his house in the past and remembered seeing a late ’70s GM 4X4 in his yard that had been used as a work truck. Quite honestly, I wasn’t looking for a project and had put it off. But he asked again and said I would, because I figured I could help him get rid of it. Continue reading