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WHAT WAS THE RIDE THAT STARTED YOU IN THE HOBBY


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At West's suggestion I am starting a new thread on the subject. I think many of us had that "first ride" that sticks in their memory and put us on the path toward antique vehicle stewardship. Mine came at my first Crosley Nationals when I was invited to ride along with a member and his kids in the Keystone Region Road Rally. I had bought my Hotshot, but it was not yet in my posession. That ride not was memorable not only for being the first in a "fine car", but for the pure fun that everyone was having. Here was a group of people, not sitting in the grass somewhere while people paraded by, but out enjoying their family, friends, and having FUN!!! Afterwards the Ohio Region "Crosley Games" just reinforced the experience. I was and continue to be "hooked" on the hobby.

What about yours???

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:D 1972 Chevelle, I bought it to shut my wife up. She had a 71 when we married. I bought her a new Olds. and gave her Chevelle to a kid in the army to help him out. Had no idea it was worth anything. For the next six mo. I heard (I used to have one of those ) every time we saw a Chevelle. I got tired of her kvitching and bought a pos 72, now a Grand Nat. first.:eek: A few years at Hershey ,my own 65 Buick GS and guess Im hooked:D
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See the "ride of a lifetime thread" for my first ride in an antique car. Only additional comments are that it lead to a lifetime hobby that started the next year with a $600 1941 Plymouth, in a little different shape than the 1939 Packard is today but still an antique car..

The Model A, well my dad's friend passed away a couple of years ago but his son who is a good friend of mine (and a talented restorer) has the Model A. Still love that car...

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Playing "hide and go seek" in my dad's 1931 Dodge Brothers coupe in the garage got me started. It graduated from there when my dad took our family to the Henry Ford Greenfield Village Old Car Festival. I still own that '31 coupe (my first car) and am still into the oldies.

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Well, mine wasn't a ride, but a magazine. Went to the drugstore with my older sister, I was 13 years old, picked up a copy of Hot Rod magazine. On the cover, a red Model A phaeton hot rod with Santa in it. Somehow, that picture made me want an old car.

And, in a twist, I became a purist and not a hot rodder. A couple months later, I talked my father into buying a 1931 Chevrolet tudor sedan to restore. Two years later, the Chevy almost finished, he bought me a 1925 Dodge coupe, restored, to drive while I finished the Chevy. At 15 in Louisiana, with my drivers license, I drove the Dodge to junior high school for two months! There was no student parking lot (no one else in JHS had a car), they wouldn't allow me to park with the teachers, so my spot was right in front of the school at a drop off zone...........a special concession to the crazy kid driving an old car.

That was the start, and here I am with a garage full of cars, about 180 cars owned in between........

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I was 9 when WWII ended. Up the street from us in NJ lived a Swiss family. They had some sort of car that would get them someplace on an A ration sticker. In their garage, on blocks, was a '34 Packard sedan, waiting out the duration so it could be fed again. The Swiss kid and I were the same age, and we spent hours pretending to drive that Packard. Soon after the war ended, my father got a job change that moved us to Canada. I never saw the kid or the Packard again.

Gil Fitzhugh, Morristown, NJ

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For me it wasn't one particular car that started my interest in the hobby. Rather it was a change in the auto industry. I had grown up with traditional full size cars. In 1977-78 GM downsized its full and midsize cars. I thought this was a horrible thing. I couldn't see how anyone could prefer a smaller boxy massively pillared 1977 over a 1976. In 1980-81 GM restyled the cars to make them more attractive. This got my approval. But then in the meantime, Ford and Chrysler shrunk their cars. Then the final blow. In 1985-86 GM took all of its nicely restyled cars and basically chopped off the front and rear ends. Leaving very unattractive boxy little things that made the 1977-8's look like works of art in comparison. Also at that time more imports were being seen. I decided then that my first car would never be one of these boxy chopped downsized things, nor would it be foreign. I wanted traditional American size and luxury. IMO the last "real" American cars before downsizing, bean counters, and your choice of three colors, and any body style you want as long as you want a 4 door pillarmobile. I owned only traditional pre-1979 cars until 2004. Giving the auto industry the finger. 25 years have gone by since then. A few brighter spots have appeared in the industry. But even the best of the new bright spots pale in comparison to what they try to copy from pre-1979. The pre-1979's are now too special to be relegated to everyday use. But I still drive a midsize American Buick that is 16 years old. Still giving the finger to the auto industry. And I love going to shows and seeing all the "real" cars. Wishing someday it could go back to being like that. But I know it never will. And I still wonder how anyone could have traded in that 1984 Park Ave for a 1986, or 1979 Town Car for a 1981.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)
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OK, by way of this thread, come on Marty, when I met you Citroens were the center of your car universe....you need to step up and explain how you saw the light!!!.......and you know my respect for you.....but those 2CV's, those SM's, those DS21's....fun.....

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for me it was my grandmother's '37 packard 120 4 door.... back in the 50's it may have been just an ol' boat... but WHAT A BOAT!!:) when she sold it in 1962 (for $200) i was heartbroken.... the whine of that transmission as she drove down the middle of the street.... looking down the long hood with the hood mascot in the far-off distance... and riding on the runningboards when moving the car in the driveway...:o

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In 1977 the general manager of the company I worked for told me I had to hire a janitor for the second shift 3 to 11. I interviewed a few people and the last person was a 65 year old gentleman. He realy fit the bill. I had a crew working one saturday fom 7 am till 12am so I asked Hollis my new janitor if he would like to come in from 1pm to4 pm. I was in my office and walked by the window just as an old car was pulling into the parking lot. It was Hollis getting out of the car. I went outside and looked the car over. I found out later from Hollis that it was a 1928 Buick 7 pass open touring. The paint was a little worn in places from being polished so much. He told me he knew of an old car for sale and asked if I was interested. That was the begining. A 1932 Hupmobile.

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In my dad's world it was the 1930s even if it was the 1950s and 1960s so we always had an old truck or car cut down into a truck, always patched tubes after breaking the tire from the rim, and always seemed to be involved with one form or another of the scrap business. I can only remember one brief period in the years of living at home that my dad had a vehicle built during the same decade we lived in.

You might say I have always been involved with old cars, the hobby that surrounds them, and the people who seem to have rust in their veins. I gravitated to old vehicles when I started driving because they were cheap to buy and easy to fix. I was also fascinated by the designs, the dash layout, and the direct link to the past that they represented.

As the years went by I still used old vehicles as daily drivers. However, now it was more out of my love for history and the fact that each vehicle was a living, breathing time capsule. This was especially true when driving Route 66 or one of the other great highways like US 12 in Michigan.

The first truck purchased was a 1942 Chevy in 1976 and in the next four of five years I acquired a half dozen of these trucks. When it came time to settle down I was fortunate enough to find a wife who enjoyed the simplicity of the old vehicles and the bargain they represented when compared to car payments.

When my dearest friend and I were dating in the early 1980s, I drove in from the ranch in my 1946 GMC. Then we would double date to the drive in or go on a picnic in the 1926 Ford touring car.

We celebrate 27 years married this month (three more years of being married to me gets her sainthood) and my wife just stepped up to a 1998 Cherokee after using a 1973 Olds as her driver for 16 years. She still loves to drive the 1968 Dodge Adventurer.

Over the years our stable of daily drivers has been long, mostly trucks. There was a 1956 Ford F100, a dozen or so Advance Design models, 1954 Dodge, 1964 Dodge, 1970 Chevy, 1970 Charger, 1956 Fairlane, 1969 Cadillac, and 1968 Galaxie.

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It was in 1986. My buddy went to a house where a guy had been collecting cars for 40+ years. He bought a '36 Buick from him and drove it home. He came by my house with the moss-covered Buick and I asked him where he found it.

He told me where and then just happened to mention that this guy had a Nash-Quad truck sitting beside the house.

I know it sounds weird, but I always wanted one but of course had never seen one. My dad and I went there the next week and I bought it from the old guy for $1000. Since I was only 22 at the time, the owner didn't believe me that I would restore an animal like this.

My dad and I worked on it for two years. It's a great truck. In fact, it was so much fun, I bought another Quad a few years later and restored it as well.

It's strange how you get the bug.

Edited by 19caddylimo (see edit history)
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I wrote this piece this morning and took off for the barn (where the cars are - a 120 mile one way) to pickup the Marmon Sport Coupe and take it to the little local show that i mention later in the post, So I was actually thinking about this story when I came upon the previous thread and felt compelled to share. some fabulous stories have popped up since I left. Well the truck, trailer, Marmon and ( just to bring something weird to show) 1938 Norman Moped are safely in the driveway and at the request of the editor of the greatest thing to ever show up in my mailbox, West Peterson, Here it is again..

In 1980 or 81 The North Alabama Region hosted their first national meet with a young (my age now) strapping Ron Barnett as meet chairman (his first national activity and title) there was an event planned for midday Saturday that was a road rally for brighton cars. A very elderly gentleman with a long Rip Van Winkle beard and duster and goggles approached my father at the same time that I was hitting him up for snack money and expressed concern that he would get lost while driving his original condition 1903 curved dash olds. Now it's important in this story to note that I had played with cars with my dad for the last four years, had ridden hundreds of miles in a 34 Chevy and pushed growing piles of car parts around the garage but had always been fascinated, as was my father, by the Brass autos. So dad, for those of you that remember him, cocks his head back, cocks an eyebrow - looks at me - looks at the owner - back to me- pulls out the pipe - lights it - looks at both of us again - the owner patiently wondering what he's thinking - me wondering if I'll get that funnel cake or not (i was 12 or 13) and says "my son here knows the roads fairly well- why don't you take him with you to help". Without a pause the man says "OK c'mon". I spent the next hour and a half riding around Huntsville in this Olds and had the time of my life!!! I can hardly see the words curved dash and not channel this experience not to mention the memories that Steve Moskowitz's "Murphy" brought back for me at Louisville. We didn't win the rally - we were apparently too fast for the ten mile an hour rally timing but that ride comes back every time I see a kid looking with wonder at a car. It hooked me and will always work on boys/ most girls/adults/grandparents and random strangers. I will be attending a small local non-AACA show put on by some muscle car buddies in Central Alabama and am bringing the 27 Marmon rumble seat coupe. We have recieved permission from the city to give rides around the park to all interested kids of all ages and look forward - heck hope I'm lucky enough - to seeing that look on another kids face. That'll make it worth it!!! As Paul Dobbins tag says - If you don't drive 'em (and share them) might as well collect clocks.

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Speaking of Mr. Barnett, I know there are tons of stories about him....I'll tell one of mine. There was a tour in my hometown of Alexandria, Louisiana, and I first met Ron on that tour. While talking at the base motel, he mentioned his interest in fire trucks. I knew of a really old fire truck a couple of miles away, in fact it had been converted from a horse drawn ladder truck to a tractor pull in the teens.

We got in my '31 Pierce, and as we did Ron mentioned, very diplomatically, that he had never really cared for the frog-eye headlights on a Pierce. As we took off down the highway, he admitted he'd never riden in a Pierce, and further said "David, those lights look a lot better from inside the car........" and he liked the way the car went down the road. He also liked the fire truck, and it was for sale, but cost and logistics kept him from going any further with it......

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1930 Model A Tudor, very early 1950s. It was my mother's car, we lived on a corner lot and she would leave it parked just off the side street with the keys in the ignition. When the seat upholstery wore out she made a new cover out of denim. I remember sitting on the fender watching my dad change the spark plugs, and I was hooked!

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I am certainly jealous of all of your great stories.....I don't have one to share. I would give anything to have some of the experiences that some of you have had. I always just figured I was born in the wrong era. I have always loved mechanical things. I don't think you can get more mechanical than early autos or steam trains. The raw mechanics of the early years, as well as the basic form and function of them hooked me. I know by reading some of the posts on this forum that many people here have a pretty good life. But the one thing I have learned here is we all share the same feelings towards early autos. I just purchased my first one a year ago. I have since purchased a 1930 Pontiac. I have been working on my 1928 Chevrolet truck off and on the past year. My father never had a mechanical bone in his body. So I don't know where I picked up everyting that I have learned. Must be from farming. Grew up in a small farming community. No old cars around that I knew of. Never saw any other than in books. I have just always loved them. I have never even rode in a model T. I got my wife a ride in one. She loves old things as much as I do. Unfortunatly her health is very bad now, so I don't think we will get to share this hobby together. I was born in 62 and I think that is the oldest car I have been in. Count yourself as lucky to have all of the memories that you share with all of us that have been less fortunate........Believe me I love reading about them....

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my dad bought me my first car in 1972, i was sixteen and had my driver's license. first car was a 1962 chevy impala sport sedan, 235 six and powerglide. but the old car that got me into the old car hobby is the 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina that i bought from the original owners in 1973 for $150.00, it was my second high school car, and i still have it today.

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Well, since no one else has gone back this far (though I'll bet there really are lots of us in this camp), I'm stating that my interest in old cars pre-dates any ride that supposedly got to me. Yup, I'm convinced that old cars were in my genes right from the start. Will concede however that being brought home from the hospital in a new '31 Model A tudor couldn't have hurt either. When I was only 5 dad moved up to a new '36 Chevy, but I still remember the A and how he would put a match stick in the choke rod hole to keep it from rattling, and the rear window that wouldn't roll down because the handle was broken. Character! My toys were all cars. Entered the D. C. Soap Box Derby and made a decent showing. I had a collection of weekly photos of wrecked cars from the Evening Star newaspaper. Finally, at 14 I bought my first car, a '35 Pontiac. No matter it had no wheels or windows. Cars were scarce in '45 and this one was in my price range, $15. It had been the neighborhood vandals target while reposing dead in an alley for over a year. It was dragged home rolling on the spare and 2 wheels from a friends parent"s '41 Chevy, plus the spare from my Dad's '41 Chevy. From there I went through a succession of old cars that weren't antiques then but now are. Wish I still had all of them, especially the '41 Ford convertible. What really clinched it for me was the vision of a '37 Cord in the neighbor hood of my parent's friends. And then, in 1949 or '50 I saw an XK120 Jaguar for the first time and was awestruck. Well, guess what my first 2 antique cars were and still are...... And though I can't prove it, I suspect the Cord is the one I saw way back when. Hopelessly addicted.

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Right after I was born my father bought and restored a 34 Ford Pickup and after that we always had Model A's. I had two favorite's a 30 Ford Pheaton and a 30 Pickup Washington blue with an oak bed. Between the antiques and the time he let me sit in his friends modified race car. I was hooked. We still attend car shows together.

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Dad is a mechanic by trade, and owned his own repair shop for many years, pretty much guaranteeing my DNA was mixed with gas and oil. In 1969, when I was a one-year old, he bought a customer's 1948 Dodge Custom four door sedan for $277. A year later, his everyday driver, a 1965 Olds Starfire coupe with a factory 4-speed, was stolen, and we used the '48 as our family car for several years, until he picked up a nice, used 1967 Chevelle.

The Dodge has played an integral role in our family lives. My sister was driven home from the hospital in it after being born, and dad drove her to church in it on her wedding day. Dad also drove her and the grandkids home from the hospital after their births. Last year, we had it repainted and rechromed, and she's a regular fixture on the local cruise nite and car show scene.

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I have loved cars for as long as I can remember, so no ride "hooked" me on antique cars. In fact, it was just the opposite. When I was 3-4 years old in the early 50's, my uncle had a '37 Plymouth coupe as his every day driver. I was scared to death of that thing. I absolutely hated it. That was the oldest car I remember riding in as a kid.

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Shortly after graduating from high school, we used to drag race on a wide street near the school. We would block off the street and line up 4 abreast and one student would wave a white hankerchief for the start. I had a very fast 37 Ford that always got the jump on everyone, but a doctor's son often brought his dad's 1939 LaSalle sedan. Once he hit second gear, all we saw were the LaSalle tailights. The poweful flathead V8 was always a winner.

That was in 1950. It took me 18 years to afford one, but in 1968, I finally bought an identical 1939 LaSalle sedan and restored it, painting it the same dark green color as the one owned by the doctor. I kept that car for quite a few years, finally selling it due to lack of space. During the interim, had many antique and classic cars and became a life member of the AACA, as well as a member of many other car clubs.

About 4 years ago, I bought and restored a 1939 LaSalle 2-door convertible, which has won numerous awards and is on display at work in our car museum. See www.tpcarcollection.com for pictures. At this time, I own 7 antique cars and my son owns 5 or 6, so we have plenty of things to keep us busy. Attached are some of our cars at present.

Fred

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It was this car in my signature, a 1970 Buick Electra Convertible. It was just a high school car (although a cool convertible) when I got it, and then a college friend suggested that I attend the AACA car show at Saint Simon's Island, Georgia. I took 3rd Place, and from that point on the convertible became part show car, and a daily driver.

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For me there were several things that got me going, but most of it was my dad's doing. We often would visit friends in Michigan's upper penninsula who had a 1930 Ford Fordor in their yard. My sister and I played Bonnie and Clyde for hours in the front seat of that car. I recall that my dad drove in a parade in downtown Marquette Mich in a flower delivery truck owned by Dick Luty (who recently sent me a photo of the truck, thanks Dick!) and that really got me going. Later, my dad re-purchased his first car, a 1926 Ford Model T Fordor (we still have it) and that really kindled my interest in old cars. A couple years later my dad told me about a lady who owned a 1966 Lincoln Convertible. Watching the top go up and down was facinating and no doubt led to my ownership of 9 (and counting) of the 1960's Lincoln Convertibles. Dad often would reminisce about his second car, a 1929 Franklin 137 Limousine. Three years ago the exact car came up on e-Bay and I was able to purchase it, though the condition of that car is truly horrible. It is very nice that we now have my dad's first and second cars in our collection. Today I am a volunteer at the Gilmore Car Museum. Driving a variety of cars ranging from an English Taxi, to a Ford Model A to a variety of Model J Duesembergs has been like a crack addiction for me. It is truly heaven on earth. What a great hobby!

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Don't remember when but think my dad had a '53 Buick. Do know I had been in a lot of cars but was too small to see more than sky out the window (this was long before child seats). Then there was some kind of a fair (this was in Baltimore) and a gentleman was giving rides in an MG (TC or TD, not sure which) and for the first time I could see out.

Had forgotten that until saw the thread.

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My Dad restored a '37 Jaguar SS100 when I was a kid back in the early 70's.

I have many memories of riding in it.

Even let me drive it a time or 2 on sparsely traveled roads well before I was of driving age. ;)

Definitely what cemented the old car bug in me.

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  • 3 weeks later...

1966 Rambler American with 3000 actual miles that was due to be shredded. It has been half completed for about 12 years. Too many other projects now.

<a href="http://s118.photobucket.com/albums/o115/pacerman_01/misc%20AMC/?action=view&current=039.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o115/pacerman_01/misc%20AMC/th_039.jpg" border="0" alt="1966 American 220" ></a>

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