Tag: Classic Cars

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I’m often hesitant to recommend the Youtube channel called Regular Car Reviews on the grounds that its host works a bit blue at times. They’re great videos otherwise, with a mixture of humor, history, and literary theory (seriously – the guy was an English major in college and got into cars initially as a bit […]

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Wheeling In – Automotive History On Display

 

Today in my hometown we had our annual classic car show. These are often fun affairs, especially when, like this one, they are wide open to all makes and models, from the brass age to the present. Of course what gets the most attention are the rare vehicles, the sports cars, the supercars we slap as posters on our walls as teens, and the rarities, but shows like this bring out even the more humble affairs.

What is preserved?  What is allowed to wear out, to be discarded and scrapped away?  The everyday cars, the 4-door sedans, minivans, and SUVs that haul us around every day – these are the cars always least represented at these shows.  We don’t preserve our ’87 Ford Taurus, driving it with care and keeping it garaged (and with ours it would have been a futile effort, that car was doing its best to commit suicide).  So for me I was torn at this show – torn between some of the humbler offerings that somehow were preserved and maintained.  The Ford Falcon, Kaiser Manhattan with the “swamp cooler” window A/C unit, and this Olds Holliday – these were my favorites.  The Olds in particular grabbed me – look past its ’50s 2-tone, abundant chrome, and jet-fighter hood ornament.  This is a car meant for driving, yes in comfort and style, but for everyday driving nonetheless.  Look into the interior and admire the way the inside and outside designs tie so well together.  She’s a beauty, and someone has held her together all this time.

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I purchased the 1973 Corvette almost 2 years ago now, wading into territory unknown.  I thought that after much searching I had found a good one – I inspected it to the best of my then-limited ability, was pleased that it was advertised as having a recently rebuilt motor, and within hours of the purchase […]

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In Cuba, every automobile owner is stuck with a vehicle from the 1940s or 1950s. Imagine that person’s delight at witnessing modern vehicles, even without any hope of affording one.  And imagine the delight of American car enthusiasts at obtaining access to this vast hoard of vintage vehicles. Cubans call them clunkers. We call them classics.  […]

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Theseus’s Corvette

 

IMG_0722The great Greek hero Theseus sailed to Crete to slay the Minotaur. Upon his safe return, his ship was preserved as a memorial. By ancient accounts, it was preserved for centuries, though the wear of wind and water began to rot the ship at its moorings. The citizens of Athens replaced the planks of the deck, the mast, the rigging, even the pieces of the hull as time ravaged the old vessel. This led philosophers to ponder a question: was the ship still the one Theseus sailed, even though nothing remained of the original vessel but its shape and memory?

I recently purchased a 1973 Corvette in Blue-Green, and the legend came sharply to mind as I probed its workings. I’m not sure how original this car is, much less how original it will be. I knew its previous owner had replaced the engine and the exhaust system, re-plumbed the radiator, rebuilt the steering mechanism, and replaced all of the shocks and springs in the rear end. He also replaced the differential cover, which — on this car — also holds up the rear leaf spring. But that was only the beginning.

I think that every buyer of an old car starts out thinking “Hey, I’ll just replace a few worn out items and be OK. Hmm… a few hoses here and there, fix that loose trim panel, work on those squeaks…” We’re good at telling ourselves little lies as we peruse the parts catalogs. The first item I ordered was a replacement adjustment knob for the clock in the dash.

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We’ve had lots of car posts on Ricochet – questions about our favorite cars, our worst cars, cars that seemed determined to destroy us, etc.  This is different.  I’m curious about so-called Classic Cars, which seems to be defined as “Cars that are now old enough that people have forgotten why they stopped making them”. […]

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