Category archives: My Classic Car

My Classic Car: Roxy’s 1951 Chevrolet Bel Air

The 1951 Chevrolet Bel Air, lowered and upgraded V8 powertrain
The 1951 Chevrolet Bel Air, lowered and upgraded V8 powertrain

In 1958, I turned 16 and got my first car, a ’50 Chevy convertible my two older sisters had abandoned. I fixed it up, and for the next two years it was my cruiser for school, and most importantly, the drive-ins at night!

Back then, on the west side of Denver, the hot spots to cruise were Berry’s Drive in, 2 Frosted Scotchman’s, The White Spot, and a couple more. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351

The Mustang Boss 351 is said to be thoroughly and correctly restored
The Mustang Boss 351 is said to be thoroughly and correctly restored

Now that we know Mustangs are the most-searched-for collector cars in the U.S., here’s a roaring example of the Ford pony car as pure muscle.

The Pick of the Day is a 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351 coupe, the beneficiary of a ground-up restoration and powered by its correct Cleveland 351cid, four-valve V8 with Toploader four-speed manual transmission. All the ingredients needed for a hot trip down the quarter mile, on a straight-ahead back road or, if unlucky, to traffic court. Continue reading

My Classic Car: Wounded veteran’s dream of owning a ‘55

James' dream is to own a 1955 classic, such as this Chrysler New Yorker
James’ dream is to own a 1955 classic, such as this Chrysler New Yorker

(Editor’s note: Today is Collector Car Appreciation Day.)

My story isn’t one of a specific car, but classics in general.

My parents grew up in the ’50s and always spoke fondly of the first cars they drove. I fell in love with ’50s music and culture as a little kid and even had a fund going for a ’57 Chevy. I think I made it to about 50 dollars. Ha. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro COPO clone

The Camaro is powered by a 427cid V8
The Camaro is powered by a 427cid V8

Ever since I wrote about the 1969 Chevy Camaro ZL1 COPO coupe at Mecum’s upcoming Denver auction, I’ve been thinking about ’69 Camaros with big-block engines. The authentic ZL1 is the featured highlight of the auction, expected to go for north of a half-million dollars.

The COPO Camaro is a legendary creature, a back-door effort by gearhead insiders at GM to defy the corporation’s racing ban and create a handful of cars with outlandish performance capabilities. Just 69 COPO Camaros were built in 1969, with only a few remaining in original condition. Continue reading

My Classic Car: Dad and Jay Leno compare their Morgans

Jay Leno and the Lafford family | Peter Lafford family archives
Jay Leno and the Lafford family | Peter Lafford family archives

(Editor’s note: Lindsay Lafford’s life with cars was profiled in a three-part, My Classic Cars series in 2014.)

In January 2013, my father, Lindsay Lafford, then 100 years old, was 15 months into his residency at Friendship Village Healthcare Center  in Tempe, Arizona, following a catastrophic fall in Dayton, Ohio.  My sister, Julia, was visiting and as she and I drove up Loop 101 we noticed that Jay Leno’s February appearance was advertised on the Talking Stick Resort/Casino marquee.  She commented that she had always thought my father, an auto-enthusiast with a lifetime of interesting stories, would have been an interesting guest on his show. Continue reading

My Classic Cars: Thad’s Chevys — ’57 Bel Air and ’71 SS 454

Both cars were found through ClassicCars.com advertisements | Thad Martin photos
Both cars were found through ClassicCars.com advertisements | Thad Martin photos

In the early 1970s, when I was 5 years old, my grandmother bought a ’71 Chevrolet Chevelle.  She told me I could have it when I was old enough to drive.

Ten years later, the Chevelle was sitting in her driveway.  It had four flat tires, a bird’s nest built under the hood, and the interior was filled with returnable drink bottles.  My dad got it running, we got it painted and I put a nice set of wheels and tires on it. It was just a two-door Malibu with a 307/2-speed Powerglide, but I loved that car. I drove it for many years and, in fact, still have it. Continue reading

My Classic Car: John ’s 1964 Buick Riviera

The '64 Riv is a great weekend driver | John Loghry photos
The ’64 Riv is a great weekend driver | John Loghry photos

I was 16 years old when the Riviera first appeared at the local Buick dealership in Redding, California. My brother Pat, my best friend Tom and I would go to the local new car dealerships in town to check the new models.

We checked out the new 409 Chevy impala, the new Ford Mustang, and a red Falcon 4-speed V8 convertible. We finally found our way to the Buick-Pontiac dealer and discovered the new Riviera. Continue reading

My Classic Car: John’s 1949 Chevrolet 3100

Truck is restored and will be driven cross-country to family reunion in 2018 | John Schneider photos
Truck is restored and will be driven cross-country to family reunion in 2018 | John Schneider photos

My 1949 Chevy truck came into our family in the summer of 1981. While living his dream of a cross-country bicycle trip, my brother Peter stopped in the village of Preston, Missouri, for a cold drink. During that stop he asked if anyone knew of an old truck for sale. He had always wanted one, and figured a truck from that area of the country would be in better shape than anything similar that he might find on the northeast coast, where we live. Continue reading

My Classic Car: Mark’s 1978 Oldsmobile Toronado

Low-VIN car now needs a lot of TLC
Low-VIN car now needs a lot of TLC

I worked at Clark Oldsmobile in West Palm Beach, Florida, right after graduating high school in 1978. This (formerly) beautiful but still rare and unusual Oldsmobile Toronado came in for service and oil changes.

I gave the owner my name and number and told him to call if he ever wanted to sell it. In 1980 he did, and my dad purchased it. They drove it very little. Continue reading

My Classic Car: Scott’s 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

This 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 was in primer gray when purchased for $12,000 | Scott Dendy photo
This 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 was in primer gray when purchased for $12,000 | Scott Dendy photo

You ever feel like you’ve done something awesome before you have really done it?

My ’68 Z28 has been talking to me and I’ve been listening. For two years now, I have been taunted by a Camaro Z28.

$12K got me a solid, rust-free body, 302 motor, 4-spd, primer grey, black seats great condition and 28,647 on odometer. Continue reading