I'm living in Switzerland; I will be 65 this year. I'm an automotive engineer and I, since a child, was interested by cars, especially by the 1950 Studebakers and othere US cars. My parents were living in a rural part of Switzerland (in the French part) and cars were rare, US cars even rarer. Most of the farmers had a Volkswagen; I still cannot understand why so many were sold: such an ugly, noisy and impractical vehicle is beyond my understanding, then and now. To perfect my own situation, my parents had no car, which was not unusual in the fifties in Europe.
When most American kids can drive at the age of 16, I had my first car (a 1965 Opel Rekord Coupe) when I was 25. My first US car was a 1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass Coupe which I bought new.
I began to work for GM in 1970 and was put in early retirement when I was 57. My last job was Service District Manager for...US vehicles.
Very early I began with the construction of car models; the body was...cardboard. In 1963, I began the construction of a Studebaker Avanti; this time, the body was polyester. When this model was completed, I began the construction of a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado, a car which was revolutionary then. This model is extremely complex with electric windows, an electric engine inside the V8, a transmission, functionning suspension, steering, emergency brake, and so on. In 1982, I was a little bit tired of that car model and I began to restore a 1956 Cadillac Sedan de Ville. During winter season, as it was too cold to work in my "garage", I continued with the Toronado.
Once the de Ville finished, I began to restore a 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham with its infamous air suspension. I was busy for 7 years with this car. After that, I began my last project: a 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz (nice rust is its name); I had 10 years to reconstruct it. I still have my 3 Cadillacs, but the Olds was sold in 2006 when I bought a 2000 Cadillac DTS.
After I was put in early retirement, I had a look at my old Avanti model and I desired to refresh the paint and do better wheelcovers. What was a quick job turned indeed as a reconstruction at 95% with very few parts rescued. Last year, when I saw that it was almost finished, I took the decision to do a very last one: a 56 or 57 Mark II.
Thank you for those who read until the end; I will try to add pictures from my cars (the ones I can sit in).
Edited by West Peterson, 04 March 2010 - 07:42 PM.