Daily Features

SEPTEMBER 18, 2012 LOST STARS: CAR GUY ODYSSEY-A PHOTOGRAPHIC LOOK BACK AT 60 YEARS OF CLASSIC RIDES

By on September 18, 2012
sept12-donimgp7792-001

sept12-donimgp7792-001

 

Most car guys have no trouble identifying the one or “ones” that got away.

 

There is nothing that’s more permanently imbedded in a car guy’s mental hard drive than a beloved old ride from those youthful, carefree days.

 

In most cases, these automotive icons are confined to mental memories because most people skipped the part where you took a picture of your car.

Don Durand is the exception to the “no photograph” rule.

 

Don’s been a car guy since he was a kid but he’s also been a camera guy over the same period of time so when he talks about cars that really meant something over the years, he produces a scrapbook of great pictures.

 

sept12-donimgp7783-001

 

His first car was a 1933 Ford Coupe. The line forms on the right for these cars because hot rodders embraced these early Fords from the first day they rolled off the factory line. Part of the reason was the V-8 and the biggest reason was the incredibly high cool factor.

 

Don was 19 when he bought this ’33 Ford and he had some great memories of his first car. He recalled, “I liked it because it had that V-8. I paid 400 bucks for it and had to borrow that from my Dad and I can’t remember if I ever paid him back. I wasn’t crazy about the brakes in the Ford but I sure liked that V-8″.

 

Despite its iconic status, a ’33 Ford was somewhat outdated in 1951 so Don looked for a car that represented more new tech as he explained, “I traded it in on a ’34 Plymouth for 50 bucks plus the Ford. I liked the hydraulic brakes and the sealed beam headlights. That Plymouth was pretty rare even then and I’ve never seen one with dual fender tire mounts like that one had.”

 

sept12-donimgp7785-002

 

There was only one real problem with the Plymouth,I drove the wheels off it and I guess I over-revved that flathead 6 so I ended up blowing it to pieces. I put a new motor in but I couldn’t get the starter to fit so after that I had to hand crank it with a 6 foot crank every time it stalled. That was pretty embarrassing when it happened on a busy street but that old Plymouth drove like a dream. The only thing I did to it besides that was add a strut across the grill to stabilize it and because I thought it looked good”.

 

sept12-donimgp7784-001

 

Don upped the blood in the game with his next car. He recalled, “It was a beautiful 1948 Chrysler Town and Country convertible. I paid $1600 for it and it was the first time I’d ever financed anything. This was in 1954 and I remember my Mom wasn’t too impressed because she always told me if you don’t have the money saved then don’t buy it. Dad was pretty quiet about it but I don’t think he was too happy either”.

 

sept12-donimgp7787-001

 

Don, on the other hand was thrilled with his classy new ride and he didn’t waste any time before embarking on a big road trip, “I drove it south to Las Vegas and then headed to Los Angeles in it. The straight 8 was pretty tough on gas but it was a beautiful ride. I blew a tire and it had safety rims so you couldn’t break the bead. I had to talk a guy into working on it because it was after hours and he wasn’t too happy about how hard that job was. Its tires were about the same size as a ¾ ton truck so it rode pretty harsh”.

 

sept12-donimgp7790-001

 

The trip wasn’t without pitfalls, “It started knocking on the way down so when I got to Southern California. I had it fixed but it started knocking again in San Francisco on the way back”.

 

sept12-donimgp7791-001

 

That was the famous final scene for the ‘48 Town and Country as Don explained, “I traded it on a 1950 Buick when I got home but I know I should have kept it because those things are worth crazy money now”.

 

sept12-donimgp7793-001

 

The 1950 Buick was a brief relationship;I needed to haul a trailer so the Buick had to go. I didn’t keep it that long but it was a pretty nice car”.

 

The next car was a 1956 Mercury Meteor Niagara. Don has a special fondness for that car, ” There was a movie back then called The Long, Long Trailer and we lived that adventure. We hauled a 45-foot trailer with the ’56 Meteor. It had a huge equalizer hitch mounted right to the the axle housing. We hauled that trailer over some of the worst roads imaginable because I was in the oil patch and we went to some pretty remote places. It was rough because the stress bent a 10″ frame but we got it there in one piece”.

 

sept12-donimgp7794-001

 

The Meteor did its job but Don became more realistic as he explained, “I got a truck to haul the trailer and traded the Meteor on a VW Beetle”.

 

Don became a huge disciple of the VW Beetle in that period. He admitted, “They could go through muskeg to job sites because they rode high. I could get to jobs in the bush 3 times faster than a 4×4 truck and if they got stuck they were easy to pull out. I had them rigged with tow points to yank them out of trouble. I lent one to a survey crew and they couldn’t believe how they could get around on the roads because the Beetles were so narrow”.

 

sept12-donimgp7795-001

 

Eventually Don went to the VW Type 3 Squareback because of the extra space but the results were the same as he explained, “ We went over a big hump in the road and got 8′ feet of air time before it landed but the car never quit. We could pound them down roads so bad the floors buckled but I’d just stop and pound them back down. You couldn’t kill these things. Guys used to laugh at me until they saw how these VWs did on a job site. They’d power out before they’d quit climbing any hill”.

 

sept12-donimgp7798-001

 

Don’s last nostalgic “gone but not forgotten” car was a 1961 Lincoln Continental. He was working in Calgary Alberta in the early 1970s, “Because the Viet Nam war was on good pickup trucks were kind of scarce so I went to an auction to bid on some trucks”.

 

sept12-donimgp7800-001

 

There weren’t any good buys on trucks but this ’61 Lincoln came up so I threw a frivolous bid on it. I got it for 600 bucks but I only had 50 bucks in my pocket so I went home to get more money. I phoned my wife and she wasn’t too happy but I put a little money in it and broke even at 800 bucks. It was a beautiful car, red vinyl roof and red leather interior but I couldn’t keep it”.

 

sept12-donimgp7799-001

 

Don’s trip down Memory Lane is one that was well documented plus he still has a passion for old iron. Have a look at three of Don’s cars in these links because he didn’t just photograph his cars…

 

He kept a few.

 

 

Jerry Sutherland

Follow us on Facebook at-http://www.facebook.com/MyStarCollectorCar

Follow us on Twitter at- https://twitter.com/#!/MyStarCollecto1 

print

8916 Total Views 2 Views Today

About admin

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Facebook

Featured Ads

Rear View Mirror

OCTOBER 28, 2015: QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK ABOUT A CHOP

  One of the trickiest equations in the car hobby is the custom look.   One car guy’s concept of a dream machine may be another car guy’s idea...

October 28, 2015 View more...
52 imgp2908

APRIL 21, 2015 (MAY 2015): A 1952 CHEVY PANEL: THE PURPOSE-BUILT TRUCK FROM THE GENERAL

  A 1952 Chevrolet panel (sedan delivery) was not built for fun family outings.   It was a working vehicle with many applications in the practical world.   These...

April 21, 2015 View more...
68 igp3671

OCTOBER 29, 2014 (FEB 2015): A MOPAR GUY PUTS HIS MECHANICAL SKILLS INTO A 1968 DODGE TRUCK PROJECT

  Mark Klein is a transmission expert and a big fan of 60s-era Dodge pickups.   He spent his childhood on the family farm where the trucks of choice...

October 29, 2014 View more...
jr-g001

APRIL 23. 2014 (MAY 2014): 1962 DODGE STATION WAGON: THE REAL STORY BEHIND “VACATION”

  The movie “Vacation” was based on a typical baby boomer family vacation to Wally World with some Hollywood overtones like motel robberies, hostage-taking and armed conflict with police....

April 23, 2014 View more...

Most Viewed

My Star Showcase

news-mill-jjmscc_Neon-001

SIGN UP FOR THE MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR DAILY NEWSLETTER!

SIGN UP FOR THE MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR DAILY NEWSLETTER!   Are you too busy to check out MSCC regularly? That’s too bad because MyStarCollectorCar is updated every day.   You don’t...

October 25, 2017 View more...
mill-jjmscc_Neon

MSCC MARKET REPORT 2018

  MSCC MARKET REPORT 2018   Welcome to the MyStarCollectorCar Market Report.   This will be a regional look at prices for collector vehicles based on actual sales so...

August 3, 2017 View more...
products-IMGP5647

MSCC Products and Services Showcase

These are all great businesses and they support MyStarCollector Car through their advertising  so we can continue to bring you our  insight into the old car hobby 365 days...

July 13, 2016 View more...

More At My Star

MSCC APRIL 20 FIVE FOR FRIDAY—FIVE UNDERRATED CLASSIC CAR TAIL LIGHTS

    There will always be a debate about what was the coolest car ever built because there are an infinite number of choices.   Some guys may see the Hyundai Elantra as the peak of automotive style—that’s the beauty of a free society but most guys dig a little deeper for what they consider See More

BYE BYE TRI-FIVE: THE DAWN OF THE 1958 CHEVY

    The 1950s became famous when the finned car era took flight in the back nine of the decade.   GM joined in the reindeer games in a big way with their lineup and car guys witnessed the evolution of the fin on the 1955 to ’57 Chevys.   The three model years became See More

WHY THE SHOEBOX FORD WAS (AND STILL IS) A HOME RUN

  One of the most famous cars in automotive history is the Shoebox Ford.   This iconic car from the Blue Oval boys was introduced as a 1949 model and built until 1951.   The car represented a giant step in the post-war automotive era because 1949 was the first year for new car styles See More

MSCC APRIL 18 “WHAT’S IT?” WEDNESDAY: HEADLIGHTS, GRILLES –IT ALL ADDS UP

.   WELCOME TO MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR “WHAT’S IT?” WEDNESDAY FOR 2018   This is the third year for MSCC “What’s It?” Wednesday.   This feature was an overnight success back in 2016 so the only thing to do was keep it rolling in 2018.   Look for the first clue at the top of the section See More

Editor’s Picks

tail

MSCC APRIL 20 FIVE FOR FRIDAY—FIVE UNDERRATED CLASSIC CAR TAIL LIGHTS

    There will always be a debate about what was the coolest car ever built because there are an infinite number of choices.   Some guys may see...

April 19, 2018 View more...
TWO

REALITY IN THE HOBBY—WE’RE DOWN TWO MORE CAR GUYS

  The car hobby is a great world but one of its biggest enemies is found in the demographics.   There are a fair number of car guys in...

April 13, 2018 View more...
59

DO IT YOURSELF CAR APPRAISALS—YES, YOU CAN HANDLE IT

  I had my first experience with vintage car appraisals back in the late 90s with a ’59 Plymouth.   I needed an appraisal for insurance and they definitely...

March 29, 2018 View more...
duke

TALKING CARS WITH CATHERINE BACH—YES, DAISY DUKE IS DEFINITELY A CAR GIRL

  The Dukes of Hazzard ran from 1979 to 1985 and in that time this TV show became an icon to car guys.   Car guys liked this show...

March 13, 2018 View more...

Car Shows and Events

ST1
SAINT ALBERT ROCK’N AUGUST—THE BIG SHOW RETURNS AUGUST 7-11

  Rock’n August is one of Western Canada’s biggest annual car shows.   The whole community gets behind this week-long event because this is a showcase for the best...

December 16, 2017
IMG_4818
JULY 28, 2018 19th ANNUAL MICHENER ALLEN CLASSIC AND COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION

FEATURE CAR—THIS MONSTER ’69 CHARGER       The 2nd Generation Chargers are widely seen as one of the most iconic muscle cars ever built. They looked fast from...

June 19, 2017
EG-ED2018
JUNE 23, 2018 Our 11th Annual Calgary Premier Collector Car Auction at the Grey Eagle Casino!

  EG Auctions Is Proud To Present: Our 11th Annual Calgary Premier Collector Car Auction at the Grey Eagle Casino! SATURDAY MAIN EVENT June 23rd – 2018 INDOORS!!!! CONVENTION...

April 21, 2017
116-003
APRIL 2018 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR

  APRIL 1: KAMLOOPS, BC VCCC Kamloops Chapter Easter Parade   APRIL 1: EDMONTON, AB The Edmonton Antique Car Club will be Celebrating Easter with our 55th Annual Easter...

October 5, 2015

Ads

Ads responsive