A survivor car is a pretty narrow category in my opinion. It means that a vehicle has come through the years with all of the originality that made it highly desirable in car guy world. Lately, the definition of a survivor car has been diluted down to a wishy-washy. I watched a TV program that featured survivor cars and tried to include a repainted car in the collection as a survivor model.
So let’s re-establish a set of basic ground rules about what makes the grade as a survivor car.
Horns have always been a very important part of a car. They were invented to warn drivers of other drivers on the road. Horns were also invented to assist the middle finger in descriptive impromptu editorials that register drivers’ displeasure with other drivers on the road, and to engage in general non-verbal communication with other traffic participants.. History does not appear to have recorded the chicken/egg side of the equation which would sort out which came first in the automobile horn/middle finger debate.
Car horns have saved lives and cost teeth, depending upon the traffic circumstances and emotional control of drivers. An errant car horn can be an instant turbo-boost to uncontrollable road rage under the right conditions, but we still love them. Let’s see how much we do.
You have decided to jump headfirst into the old car game, and you are anxious to pull the trigger on the process by buying a four-wheeled blast from the past. Ahead lays a very cruel path of pain and disappointment if you make a bad decision.
The initial purchase price may be well within the price range of most car guys, thus many of them may begin to get buck fever about the vehicle. This is the exact point where emotion might blind side common sense, and where a car guy finds himself to be the proud owner of a four-wheeled nightmarish money pit.
The first step is to truly understand the consequences of an old car purchase.
I realized how far we have come off the tracks from that golden era of miles per hour when I had to cuff my over-30 nephew after he asked how many kilometers were on a large 1972 Chrysler Imperial. Those of us from a kinder and gentler time knew that old Impy was a miles car – not a kilometer kar.
Canada used to be a miles per hour country, until we recklessly elected Pierre Trudeau to run our country from the late 60s until the early 80s, with an-all-too-brief timeout from the guy in the late 70s.
Hate is a powerful emotion. Sure, its impact has been diminished by its new fad-like use as a term for everything from mild irritation to medium discontent, but I am still old school about the term.
If I hate something, I really hate something in that full-on way that respects the power of the emotion. Hate is not something to be treated lightly as a term, and people who accuse others of hatred should realize that it is considered to be a major decision to accuse somebody of hatred. If there is one thing I hate, then its new cars at classic car shows.
One of the worst kept secrets in show business is actor Tim Allen’s legendary love of cars, an affliction that has almost reached Jay Leno proportions. In fact the Toolman made his car addiction a major part of the storyline for his classic situation comedy “Home Improvement”.
‘American Graffiti’ exploded onto the movie screen in the early 70s, a little over 10 years after it happened 1962, according to the movie plot.
“Where were you in ’62?” became the question of the day in the movie trailer. Back when, most of us wished that we had been old enough to cruise around in the cool ’62-era iron shown in ‘American Graffiti’. Today, we wish we would have been born after that.
Cars are a little bit like pets. The years are not kind to either over the long run. The wear and tear begins to take a toll. They have less spring in their step, and moving around gets painful.
We notice the changes and hope for the best with a little more time together, but time waits for no one and no machine or pet. Sooner or later tough decisions have to be made and the pet or vehicle become a fond memory with a little heart-break when the decision to say goodbye is made at the end of the relationship.
In 1980, Chrysler was headed into the financial whitewater rapids of a 2-year recession, paddling a leaky canoe full of weak sales. Their products weren’t moving, and the survival life raft full of government loans was a year away.
They needed customers in the worst way, and in early spring 1981, 18-year-old Don Sutherland saw a brand new black T-top 1980 Plymouth Roadrunner sitting in the corner of a local Chrysler-Plymouth dealership. This was his first brand new car.
Some of the greatest car collections are not public friendly for a very simple reason. You can’t trust the public. That’s why some guys keep their collection on a “need to know basis”.
This is one of those cases where you don’t seem to have it. Not to worry, we smuggled-in a camera.
Survivor cars are the new gold standard for car collectors. The ultimate dream for collectors is finding and purchasing a documented low mileage 427 Vette. You can do a ground up restoration, but a 1967 427 435-horse Sting Ray is original only once.
After that, what you have is a different car by varying degrees because it’s like an organ transplant in humans.
Car Collector's Corner: Hatfields and McCoys 2012 - A Chevy Guy Brings a 1956 Chevrolet Into a Mopar Family
Years ago, Tim Sinclair married Sherry Swainson, and they lived happily ever after except for one issue. The Swainsons are a hardcore Mopar family.
So hardcore that their Chrysler allegiance extends over several generations. Also, Sherry’s family has owned and operated a Chrysler dealership since 1971.
Tim is a hardcore Chevy guy. His first car was a 77 Camaro, so this transition from single Chevy guy to mixed marriage GM-Chrysler couple had bumpy ride written all over it.
It got worse when Tim ventured into the old car world.
Lee Stronach has two passions in life. He’s a military history buff, and he’s a vintage vehicle buff. This Jeep M-38 was the perfect marriage between this afflictions. Ford built the Jeep M-38 under contract for the Canadian military; its relatively low numbers make this military machine a fairly rare piece of military history.
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