SEPTEMBER 9, 2009: HEAPING SCORN ON SOME CLASSIC 50’S IRON – WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS

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Old vehicles are like a religion-they have cult followings and different denominations but these subgroups are part of a bigger concept.

 

You have Chevy guys, Ford guys, Dodge guys, Rambler guys, and MG guys…. you get the point.

 

 

‘Bottom line- we have specific automotive preferences but we love old iron of any kind. It’s like football-you need two teams to have a game. Anything less is a football practice – no fun and no competition… much different than a friendly Ford-Chevy rivalry.’

 

That’s why I didn’t understand this guy I met at an auction preview.

 

I have to preface this by saying that I’m a typical old car guy-I like everything from a 1902 Holsman to 1970s bumper cars like a 1975 Mercury Marquis simply because these cars are a big link to the past. A past that deserves respect…

 

I lean towards late 50s styling-particularly the Exner era fin cars from Chrysler but anything from that era really gets my attention whether it’s a ’58 Ford Fairlane or a ’59 Buick. These cars rock my world.

 

 

This auction had 4 Chrysler 300 coupes for sale2 1955 models (total production 1725) 1 1957 (total production 1767) and 1 1960 (total production 969).

 

Do the math-that was rare iron even when it was new and 50 years later these cars are scarcer than integrity in Hollywood.

 

 

I was looking these cars over and this older gentleman showed up-he looked seasoned enough to remember when these cars were new so I struck up a conversation. It’s a reflex I have because I love to gain insight from guys who “were there” so to speak when these cars were in the showrooms.

 

 

I didn’t count on meeting an idiot-he kept calling them DeSotos even though I corrected him a few times plus he had no idea how rare these 4 cars were. To him they were just “Chrysler junk” and he kept wondering, “why anybody would waste time restoring them”.

 

 

When he questioned why the car had a 150-mile per hour speedometer I knew I was dealing with a 75-year-old nerd.

 

 

They didn’t have computers back in his youth to lose touch with reality but I’m guessing this cat spent his time buried in books or getting beat up in high school back in the 50s. That didn’t soften the blow for me so I finished up my assessment of these classic cars and left this would-be witty guy behind.

 

I don’t know exactly what cars he did like and I sure didn’t ask because his opinion was worthless to me. I like an era and a brand like 50s Chrysler fin cars but a rare ‘69 Torino fastback also gets my attention faster than the speed of light. A ’51 Hudson will affect me the same way. When you stack these cars up against the bland and boring era we call 21st century automotive styling the old iron will win every single time for one simple reason-they’re disappearing faster than smuggled-in Big Macs at a fat camp.

 

So I have to end this by recalling what Larry, a car buddy of mine said at a recent Ford Mustang meet-he works on cars for a living and his blood is Chevy red white and blue but he loved the Ford show. Larry couldn’t understand why “guys come to a good show like that and hack on the cars because they aren’t Chevy or Dodge”. He hated that automotive sectarian split and strongly believes that you can always like an old car no matter what badge it wore.

 

I kid Larry a little bit about his GM leanings but I also couldn’t agree more-especially after my auction experience.

 

So I hope that those rare Chryslers go to a good home and stay out of the reach of my “auction buddy’s” hands.

 

Jerry Sutherland @mystarcollectorcar.com

ADRIANA:”these cars are scarcer than integrity in Hollywood… they’re disappearing faster than smuggled-in Big Macs at a fat camp… very smart and very funny!”

CINDY:”Can we say – COMPLETE IDIOT!!!!!”

 

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