Gearing up for Arizona Car Week with Nicole

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1930 Duesenberg J Dual-Cowl Phaeton | Nicole James photos

Every time I see my editor, Larry Edsall, I ask him if he is excited about Arizona Car Week. He likes to play the old-man “been there and done that” card, but really who wouldn’t love all the auctions, the concours, car shows, and the social events that are part of car week.

For me, it’s a week of staying up late working on stories that chronicle the day’s activities, walking dozens of miles each day in search of cars I’d take home if I could, and interviewing people about how passionate they are about their cars. I’m already excited for the upcoming week, and as the cars continue to swarm Scottsdale, I’m sure Larry is getting into it as well.

The Barrett-Jackson media preview day has become a soft start to festivities that now stretch more than a week. It also gives me a dose of reality and acts as an alarm, telling me “it’s about to start, make sure you’re ready.”

It gives me time to finalize interviews, make sure my schedule is complete, media credentials in order, and equipment is ready to go because once it starts, its non-stop.

The preview day is also a good chance to see some of the cars featured in the Classic Car News Barrett-Jackson countdown. What I like about the countdown is that I learn about what makes each of the cars special as well as bit of their history, which makes seeing them in real life a more rewarding experience.

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CERV 1

I hear a lot of millennials say they aren’t huge fans of classic cars, and I’ll admit, had I not known what the Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle (CERV) 1 looked like or was, I most likely would have not even bothered to glance at what looked like some sort of old race car. But after learning about how it played such a significant role in American automotive history, I paused to check it out and to take photos. It’s not every day you come in contact with a vehicle that’s made such an impact.

Not every car will get you feeling nostalgic, but I believe that knowing what makes the car interesting is what makes it cool.

I recently celebrated a birthday, and followed by the new year, it got me reflecting on how I have grown and changed over the past few years and how that’s reflected in my tastes.

I’ve always had a thing for the glamorous cars of the 1930s with their massive sweeping fenders, sparkling grilles, and headlights larger than the moon. But recently I’ve noticed myself becoming more attracted to cars of the ‘40s. To me, they share many of the same design elements I find so attractive in cars of the ‘30s, but nicely mellowed. They seem less ostentatious than a Duesenberg or Rolls-Royce but also  more refined and elegant than a late-‘60s muscle car.

imageedit_65_6028609253Am I getting older? Oh, I hope not. But it’s OK by me if my appreciation for a wider spectrum of classic cars is maturing.

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