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What Was Your Most Memorable Car Ride ?


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Ir’en’ee du Pont II gave me a ride in his 

1936 Oldsmobile Touring Coupe which

he received from his Father on Christmas

of 1935 when he was 15 years old.

 

It was a brief ride from the garage at 

the family estate up to the home but I 

will never forget it.

 

At the end of our visit - he took my

small hand in between his bear paws

and looked me square in the eye.

 

He thanked me for sharing my afternoon with him - I was just floored.

 

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Mr. duPont was born in 1920.

He has four cars that he has owned

since new.

 

There is a 13 minute video here:

 

Mr. Ir’re’nee du Pont Jr. Talks About His Cars


 

What is your most memorable car ride ?

 

 

Jim

 

 

 

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I may have mentioned here before - most memorable ride at speed was with Austin Clark in his type 35 Mercer raceabout on the North Sea Road that runs between Southampton and Sag Harbor , N.Y. about 40 years ago - we were clocked on the police radar trap there at 95+ mph . Can add to that another friend ,noted modern sculptor Richard Lippold had a 4 1/2 litre Bentley tourer that we drove up from long island to Tarrytown, NY and back and on the Cross Westchester Expy. we did 80 mph for a stretch.  A ride in a circa 1904 Stevens Duryea in eastern Wales with the Atlantic ocean in view while in the front fold down seat was a thrill as well on a one lane road. To many stories over so many years.

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Wish I could share them today, but the best stories can’t be told yet. I have video for one of them. 
 

Certainly my best drive that wasn’t at speed was with my father on a CCCA tour when I was in my 20’s. Our car broke down, and he said.......”load it up and let’s head home.” I refused and in less than four hours fixed it on the side of the road, and we finished the tour...........he gave me the best compliment I ever received. Coming from the old man you couldn’t ask for more.

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My most memorable ride wasn't dramatic, but it

was special to me.  A church group had a week-end

together, and one person had a maroon 1973 Chevrolet

Caprice  convertible, well preserved in very nice condition.

 

It was far from antique status, but it was already

collectible.  I was a budding old-car fan.  It was my

first ride in a convertible.

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Guess my stories area little boring to some of you, but they sure hit the WOW trigger with me.... When the Studebaker/ Packard dealer my Dad worked at got in a big 56 Packard Carribean convertible, they told him he could drive it in our little town's Christmas parade and haul the beauty queen, but he could also let me ride along.  I had just turned 9 years old, and the "blow the dust out of it" ride before the parade, the way it would level itself when loaded on the back, (they demonstrated that often) and getting to be IN the parade was just fabulous. 

 

  My 1st "scary" speed ride was in an old 56 Ford Victoria ( not a Crown ) that my buddy ( with me helping )  turned into a drag racer. It had a 406 with 3 carbs, he fixed the home-made 3 speed floor shifter linkage to where 1st gear was where reverse should be, then down to 2nd, back up to 3rd, some kind of wobbly home-made straight axle front end, and it honestly seems like he told me the steering shaft was made from a "rope-drive" Tempests drive shaft.. The 1st ride we took was out of town to a straight country road, turn around, and he rev'd it, dumped the clutch, and we were all over the place seems like forever !!!  When he finally let off, he simply said, "yep, that'll do it" and we delivered it to the owner.  I lived, my buddy lived, but can't remember about the owner, ha !

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Nothing exciting but it is a great memory.  Dad and Mom scrimped enough away by 1973 to take the family to FL and go to Disney World and see my grandfather in West Palm. ( I later found out they had been saving for 2 years and doing every odd job possible to make it happen) So loaded up the 68 Travelall (that would die in the rain) and the travel trailer and away we went with my older brother, 6 month old sister, an old one eye'd German pointer named Lady, and no AC.  Quite an adventure for me from Long Island.  I mean going to PA to see grandma at the time was like going to another country. The oil embargo had just started but that wasn't stopping Dad!  I spent a good portion of the trip under the CRIB in the back roasting as I remember and watched when dad stopped for gas he was taking notes of prices and gallons with no clue why. (I found all his journals after his death tucked away) Had a great 2 weeks and then started back. Only this time we had to stop for gas every 2 hours and wait in line for another 2.  Looking at his journals for the trip much later I saw we could only get 4-5 gallons at a time. By this time he was really doing math at every stop. At every stop lines got longer and sometimes we got only 2 gallons. Finally made it into NJ which seemed like it took a week and it was there he was told no gas unless your plate started with some letter.  Mom thought we would be stuck in NJ for 3-4 days. This adventure was getting boring to say the least. Vividly remember that peanut jar we used for the bathroom wasn't fun anymore. Then out of the blue some guy approached dad and asked "Are you from Blue Point?", pointing at the BPFD sticker Dad had on the back window. (This was before the A-rabs ran the pumps and could speak English) Dad said YES.  Pump attendant said "Well my brother is a firemen in Sayville(one town over) where he then pointed at the travelall and said "FILL IT UP".  Well Dad was happy as can be for the fill up but for some reason we started the rest of the trip at 40 MPH. I do remember wondering why we were going so slow. There was no thought of stopping now. When we hit the bridge he dropped to 35 MPH and then on the LIE down to 30. He was worried about running out of gas. (all documented in his journal).  30 MPH all the way to exit 62.  Into Blue Point, down Madison Street where he got the trailer backed in 3/4's of the way into the back and ran out of gas.  Next morning had to go get 5 gallons to unhook.  Never realized the stress he was under at the time. Money was getting slim. (What was a credit card?) Thankfully for posterity he documented it all. 

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When just getting started in the old car hobby, I drove my best friends 851 Auburn Speedster from Ct. to the ACD meet in Williamsport Pa.  My  best friend was driving his S/C Cord convertible coupe. I must say with the top up, my feet roasted on a hot day with the exhaust crossing under the drivers floor boards. It was a thrill driving the Auburn both ways and it was a year or two before I completed the restoration on my first Cord.

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Probably riding in my Grandmother's 1964 Cadillac Coupe Deville Convertible...heading south on RT. 9D that runs parallel to the Hudson River.... top down. I was young, so it was the late sixties or early seventies....going thru Breakneck Tunnel that divides Dutchess County and Putnam County, my Grandmother hits that horn, that distinguish Cadillac horn..... and her smile on her face - I'll never forget it !

 

 

Steve

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I was up in Northern Wisconsin at my girl friends family reunion, looking for anyone to have a intelligent conversation with, I think I was 20 years old.  I started snooping around the old buildings for anything interesting to see when I spotted an old car in the garage.  This was old! wood wheels, crank start, no windows, front seat looked like it might fit two people that were about 100lbs each.  An older gentleman saw me looking at the car, it turned out to be my girlfriends Uncle the owner.  We talked about the car till after dark, then he says want a ride?  Are you kidding, yes where do I sit?  The car was a 1916 Chevrolet, touring car, guessing it was a 4 cylinder.  I do remember the top speed of 18 miles per hour.  Imagine a wide walking path through the woods, that was the road, imagine driving 18 mph holding a candle in front of you to see.  I have driven in Porsches at over 100 mph in the dark and felt safer, and no seatbelts.   What an experience, what a car, I know I was ever the same... one car I would still love to own someday.

 

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Easy, family friends restored a 31 Model A roadster in the mid 70s.  When it was close to done I had a rumble seat ride that included some highway time, maybe two miles on I-84, so cool!  My friend Rick and his dad won a lot of local shows and did everything except upholstery and chrome bumpers themselves. 

Rick has the car today, it still looks great.  Not a coincidence we have a 30 A rumbleseat roadster today.

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In the 80's I use to drive a 1954 Kaiser Darrin around town with out the doors on the car..

 

Just two girls  told me you have no doors on your car...

 

And a pic of the car.. Just not done yet.. And today..

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Lots of small snippets of riding in vintage cars and trucks float around in my mind, but overall I guess the most memorable trip would be:

2 men, 2 women and 4 kids packed in a '77 Buick Century wagon, silver blue and reliable as rain just like a Buick should be. We drove up Saturday morning from our home at the center of Maryland's Eastern Shore to spend the day at Six Flags Great Adventure in the middle of New Jersey, and had a great time. The adults had things all planned out: we would stay until the park closed, then drive down to Cape May and catch the ferry across to Lewes, DE and an easy trip across the Delmarva peninsula to our home. I can picture Mom & "Miss Brenda" thinking how romantic that trip across the Delaware Bay would be. Sometime after midnight "Mr. Tommy" steered our car toward the ferry terminal, to be greeted by the sign letting him know the last boat of the night left at midnight. NO PROBLEM! Just grab a hotel room...in the middle of the summer...in a resort town...for 2 families...at zero dark thirty. Lots of No Vacancy signs. I remember us stopping in front of some flophouse looking place on a side street; Dad and Tommy went in and came out a few minutes later laughing. Apparently they were asked how many were in the party; upon answering the clerk told them he didn't have enough girls for everyone!

 

After that, a blur. Somehow I migrated from center front seat to the 2nd row. I awoke at what must have been about 2am, we were parked along the shoulder on a dark stretch of rural road. It seems the men needed to relieve themselves, but then came some excitement as a car sped down a nearby side road. It was that moment they noticed the fence with the razor wire. They'd chosen to stop in front of a prison, in the middle of the night. There was no pursuit, which would have really made for a great story...

 

Around dawn I awoke again and we were sitting in a McDonalds parking lot in Delaware. When we finally hit home I hit the bed, awakening in time for supper. 

 

After that, our vacations were planned a bit differently!

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My High Schools annual fete usually had an old car display. One year they wanted the displayed cars moved from the teachers car park to a more accessible area. I had the honour, as a 14 year old in the early 1960's, of directing the parade of old cars to the new display area from the passengers front seat of a 1906 NAG roadster. First and most memorable ride in a old car, even though it was only about 200 metres!

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My first memorable ride was at about eight or nine years old in a '56 Mercury Custom convertible.  I was fascinated by the idea of convertibles as an adolescent.  Our family had a dowdy '54 Ford Mainline Tudor which made any convertible seem glamorous.  My father's cousin had the Mercury, he took us for a top-down ride in late summer when the evening get distinctly cool after sunset.  We three kids huddled in the rear seat while our folks enjoyed the heater up front.  

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Riding in the rumble seat of a 1936 Ford convertible while my wife's uncle transported us from the church to our wedding reception location on August 10, 1968.  

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1953.  I had just turned 17 and had a brand new driver's license.  My folks had rented a cottage at Candlewood Lake in CT for the summer.  One of the summer residents was a Dr. O'Brien, who had just bought a new Jaguar XK120M.  He let me drive it.  He also had a K Lincoln convertible sedan, and he let me drive that, too.  The hook was set.  Thank you, Dr. O'Brien!

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 To this day I still can remember pulling a wheelie at 100 MPH in a dragster in 1962.

 The competition was known to get you on the top end, while we, with a two speed, would get them out of the chute.

 Well he came out right beside me and I kept it in second a lot longer than we used to do.

 When I shifted, I lept out away from him that he actually shut down as he knew he had lost.    😮

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E1AD2147-8FD1-43F0-8F25-EFD96EAC34A2.jpeg.f5aefc642b3c7ee909ef386e40ad2a8c.jpegI’ve got two, first is is driving this Hudson Mile a Minute in the UK will visiting Hudson folk. The owner started it up , he then jumped into his 1924 3L Bentley and and roared of yelling “follow me”!! We ended up at the local pub. 
We had no problem following the Bentley. 

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B5FAAA0F-96EB-4B75-8D1E-75AE5D8467C4.jpeg.9e35333c544e6a1fa689db60d0ba972a.jpegF9464FA7-0ABC-4E9E-AB40-3471430442FB.jpeg.b9dc3f08abef56b9b374660ca55d0835.jpegF094C84C-26D9-4311-BC32-674FF572C6A9.jpeg.c44f8fa2e798d7e0902b7c9240b80014.jpegsecond is going for a ride in this Exact replica of Hudson factory 1916 Indy car. The 1916 motor was heavily modified, pressure feed crank ,way over bored pistons , massive valve and cam work done ,  modified gears in trans, ( 60 mph in first gear). I was scarred out of whits doing 90mph down country lanes with 6’ hedgerows and stone walls on each side. This car is heavily campaigning in the uk and has full historic status. 
what a ride. The exhaust noise again those walls will never leave my mind. 

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2018. My family had made a vacation out of a convention in Toledo Ohio. It was a week long. We took the New York state Thruway and we stopped at every single rest stop so I could see and photograph the historical markers at each one. A ride that should have taken 12 hours took 21 over two days. But that's not all. While we were out there, we also drove into Michigan just because, and down to Wapakaneta to see the Armstrong Air and Space museum. And then! We took a ride over to Lake Michigan. After that, we kept going and ended up at Chicagoland speedway. We ended up driving on Route 66, which I figured out while there...it's no longer called that in Joliet, Illinois, it's now called IL 53. Being on Route 66 was a bucket list item for me and we ended up on it completely by accident. Illinois was the 13th state I've visited and the farthest west I've gotten...so far.

 

I photo documented the entire trip, which you can see on my website here: https://public.fotki.com/ElCaminoBilly/trips/ohio-trip-2019/

Almost 3400 hundred photos so allot some time to deep dive in, lol. And the museums and convention have their own albums to boot. 

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I cannot count the times I have been impressed by a car ride, but riding in this Imperial while looking through the top at the stars was MOST impressive in my childhood. My Dad was a Chrysler executive and had access to the car provided by Chrysler for the Queen of England's Canadian tour. He brought it home and took us five kids for a ride at night. Fun stuff....

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I have very clear memories of a trip from Boston to the ACD reunion circa late August 1968 when I was 4 years old. My dad was still finishing this car on Friday prior to us leaving for Akron and my grandparents on Saturday. I drove the whole way (from Mass) with my dad in the Cord while my mom drove with my little brother in another car following. My brother and I stayed behind in Akron while later in the week my parents completed the drive to Auburn. 

 

I have a first in class trophy from that show somewhere.   I'm mad at myself because the ACD forum had a picture from the parade that year where you could clearly see my mom in the passenger seat and I can't find where I stashed it and the link is gone.


Btw,  the trip is around 700 miles and my dad was going 70 mph the whole time with a car he restored in his garage.

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My most memorable ride was years ago as a passenger in a 1968 Austin Mini Cooper S doing some where well over 100. Like siting on the ground eye level with the car tires you are passing. 

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PpThe first memorable ride was with a man I’ll call my mentor Harold hoe in his 1911 premier,big beautiful brass car ,I believe I was 12,the car had been restored in the 50 s and this was about 62,the car was later sold to a collector in scotsdale Arizona have since lost track of it,the following week I accompanied him to. His special hardware store about 10 miles away in his 28 Lincoln touring car that he bought from gays lion farm, that car was sold after he passed and I don’t know where it ended up,   Dave

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Hello Guys,
                       My most memorable ride in a automobile would have to be self inflicted. It happened back in 1978 when I was a senior in high school and I was driving a totally stock 1970 Pontiac GTO with a 400 cubic motor, a turbo 400 trans and a posi rear dif with 4:10 gears. The car was factory rated at 350 horse but with white wall tires and full wheel covers it was a true sleeper with 49,000 miles on the clock. There was a couple of guys in my high school that were always giving me shit about my GTO and that it had no guts, they proposed to race me out north of town but I turned them down every time because I knew they couldn’t be trusted. I knew sure as shooting they would try to run me off the road. Finally one day I had a grand idea on how to shut them up for good.
                I offered to take them for a ride if they would put $5.00 in premium fuel in my car (it was 69 cents a gallon back then and with 10 and 1/2 compression there was no choice) and so they agreed. After putting the fuel in at the Texaco station they both got in the back seat and we headed north towards the county park that was three miles north of town. On the way up to the park I warmed the old girl up by taking her up to about 100 miles per hour, at the park entrance I started to do a U-turn in the middle of the State Highway and head back towards town. Directly south of the park entrance was a river bridge then the road started a long 1/2 mile climb until it reached the plateau on top. After getting through half the U-turn at the entrance I stuffed the gas pedal tight to the floor which caused the tires to start smoking and I held it there until we crested the top of the hill when I looked down at the speedometer and it had just pasted 130. At this moment the poor old girl was really screaming and I knew she didn’t have too much more in her but I hollered to the back seat “is this fast enough or should I go faster”. I believe I made my point, I heard something from the back seat that sounded like a whimper “fast enough”. I then brought the GTO down to the posted speed limit and cruised her back to the school and needless to say I never heard a single comment from those two jerks ever again. I must say, that was FUN !!   

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In 1974, Automobile Quarterly was looking for a 300 SL for John Fitch to drive so as to reacquaint himself with the type in preparation for an article he was writing.  One of my cars was chosen (perhaps because it was red), so on a fine Autumn day I drove to Lime Rock Park for a spirited driving/photo session.  The track was closed and there were only 3 or 4 of us present for most of the day. John drove for his "reacquaintance," I drove for a number of the photographs, and I was fortunate enough to ride with him for several laps that showed he had forgotten nothing about handling the 300 SL at speed. The car itself had been the Mercedes-Benz Standwagen at the 1956 New York International Automobile Show and provided the connection for me to a most memorable day that I would never have experienced otherwise.

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I have two, both involving my dad. About 1975 or so dad and I were in the front seat of the family 1926 Ford sedan. It was the Summer Solstice, or as dad said, the longest day of the year. We were driving fron St. Ignace, Michigan to our home in Sault Ste. Marie. It was late, but being so far north we had plenty of light. We were driving in and out of rain squalls with multiple rainbows visible over the horizon. My job was to work the hand operated windshield wiper as dad drove. It was a truly indelible experience. 

 

Some 25 years later I was asked to drive a car from the Gilmore Car Museum in the annual Christmas parade in Kalamazoo.  The car selected was Bill Parfets 1935 Duesenberg JN Rolston convertible coupe. The parade was a great success but all good things must come to an end. It was time to return the Duesenberg.  Leaving Kalamazoo there is a long strait road before entering the village of Richland (a town where the police are known to be tough on speeding) I opened up the Duesenberg...a lot. I commented to my dad "why is everyone driving so damn slow?" He glanced at the speedometer and said "probably because you are doing ninety."  This was in a 45 MPH zone. Upon slowing considerably I rounded the curve and saw a Richland policeman who wiggled his finger at me. I feel fortunate to have not been ticketed...and not to have inadvertently blown up the engine!FB_IMG_1627260786365.jpg.db1134b1eb9bd0839f773719c2a6d387.jpg20190907_152001.jpg.64c4b2203dbaaa4ffca54c4d33fe453d.jpg

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Two rides come to mind , driving my cobra replica around rockingham  nascar race track carrying the favourite driver for the upcoming race. 

Being taken down the local motorway at 174 mph  by my friend at the time in his Lamborghini contach scary .

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For me it was in the fall of 2007, when I had finally come to own my grandfather's '35 Packard that I had loved since I can remember. The car hadn't been driven in well over a decade, so I sent it to a shop that brought it back to life and made it (more or less) roadworthy.  The shop was about a 3 hour drive from home, and I took the train there solo and stayed overnight with the plan to drive the car home the next morning.

 

But there was a catch: I didn't know how to drive a manual transmission!  Or at least I had never done it on an actual road, much less in a pre-war car. A week before the trip, a friend had taken me to a parking lot and showed me how to drive a stick on his Honda Accord 5-speed so I could try to drive the Packard home the next week.   And that was all the experience I had when I went on my adventure to pick up my Packard and and drive it the 3 hours home.  

 

It was an absolutely glorious trip.  Fall foliage, rolling hills through the Virginia countryside, people honking and cheering me as I drove through small towns.  I tried to avoid highways, and it took me through some really spectacular scenery.  Even a dirt road, for about two miles, in the middle of nowhere.  The car performed perfectly.  I was nervous about getting stuck or not knowing how to drive the car, but somehow I managed.  And when I arrived home, I felt like the king of the world.  

 

 

Edited by 1935Packard (see edit history)
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Driving a manual for the first time is a challenge alright - but driving a vintage car a distance for the first time alone  with a manual transmission must have been slightly traumatizing ….

 

 

Jim

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I have been reading this thread off and on since minutes after Jim's Original Post about 36 hours ago. And I have been wondering what tale I could tell. Problem is, there are just so many memorable rides. And here, I am thinking of 'rides', not drives. In years past, I have been very fortunate to know several major collectors, active hobbyists, and friends or other associates with interesting cars. I have ridden in a friend's 1907 Thomas Flyer (not THE Thomas Flyer!). Several Rolls Royces, I lost count on the Pierce Arrows.

Or maybe it would be my cousin's car about 1975ish? He had always had a penchant for fast muscle cars. After a few Mustangs, he totaled two of them, one of them three times, and way too many tickets, he got a Ford Torino. I don't know what that Torino had in it, but I rode with him one time going home from a big family picnic. Going up a steep winding highway in the Santa Cruz CA mountains at a leisurely pace, he showed me what the car could do. At about 60 mph going up a steep hill, he floored it! In seconds, we were doing well over 80! Short but memorable.

When I was about three, or maybe four, my dad was sick for a couple months. My mother didn't drive, so she had to 'borrow' rides from friends for various things. This would have been about 1956. One friend she got a ride from was in a Volkswagen. First time I saw one up close. I remember that one very well.

Or maybe the time while I was in high school. We went to a local car show (called a concours, but not like they are today). My dad had known Jack Passey (and his brother Bill) since college days, and Jack had several cars at the show. He was short one driver, so he asked my dad if he would mind driving one of his cars back to Jack's shop. My mother was driving by then, so she drove the family station wagon, while dad and I took the Lincoln model K coupe back to Jack's place! (Such a WONDERFUL and quiet car!)

I could easily name a couple dozen other cars. The Pope Portola roadster (what an INCREDIBLE car!), the 1904 Oldsmobile French front rear entrance tonneau (I rode in the back!) The only true rumble seat I ever rode in was my own 1929 Reo sport coupe (with my dad driving!). I would really like to spend about three days on a major club tour riding in a rumble seat. But I haven't been able to figure out how to drive and ride at the same time? 

Edited by wayne sheldon (see edit history)
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My most memorable ride, while not super, was in my brothers 1954 Corvette. I was 14 and this was my first driving experience. Many other fantastic cars drives from every decade since the 1920's have come and gone, but this is the one that sticks with me. You never forget your first time. Oh excuse me, are we still talking about cars?

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Both of my most memorable rides involve 60's musclecars. The first was in a 1965 GTO tripower four speed, short ride on residential streets but it involved all six barrels and speed shifting. I was driving a 55 Ford 272 automatic at the time and the contrast was mind blowing. The second ride was in a 1967 Plymouth GTX 440 four speed, this one involved flooring the gas at 45 on a semi-highway and very quickly topping 100 mph, again mind blowing. From that point on I was into musclecars, for about the next 30 years. I never owned a GTO but I had two 67 GTX's along with many other cars totally unaffordable today.

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On a ice fishing outing at 14 years old my Dad handing me the keys to his 6 cyl 3 speed muddy pink 1960 Dodge wagon. Two of my younger brothers jumped in, we did donuts and some  power slides that turned into multiple spins.  That was much better than sitting in the wind on a 5 gallon bucket when it was 5° - 10°F.

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Notice how a lot of the memories are from

when members were children, before driving

or just learning to drive.

 

This shows how, today, we can make memories

for others by giving a child a chance to sit in our cars;

by taking him and his family out for a leisurely ride;

by patiently explaining the forgotten features to him.

For that girl or boy, the impression we make

may be very long lasting. 

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Halloween 1970. I had just turned 14 and my mother was starting to realize she had a restless boy on her hands who was damn tired of being stuck under her and my grandmother all the time, and for whom the words "no, because I don't want you to" were by then guaranteed to start a fight.

 

My 6 years older cousin was in the Air Force, stationed in Ohio and had bought a 1966 Comet Cyclone. Awesome enough car on its own, but it had a full Cobra engine package- 390 four speed, two big Holley four barrels, big cam, headers with side pipes, the works. Car was technically not street legal in VA but he still had Ohio plates on it.

 

He was going into town to pick up some stereo equipment from a friend and stopped to get me. Mama had the no because look on her face but my return look said you better not say it. She let me go with him.

 

On the way to town there's a river bottom about a mile long. Straight, flat four lane highway and long known for late night racing.

 

Coming home thru that bottom, he was loafing along at the speed limit when he turned to me, smirked, pulled that Mercury back to 2nd and opened all 8 barrels. The back tires broke loose and within seconds the car was past 100 and picking up speed. The road got narrow and you probably couldn't have pushed a pin in my backside, but I remember having the biggest grin on my face when it was all over. I even remember what was in his underdash 8-track... (I chose this version to pay my highest respect to the Vietnam veterans on the Forums)

 

 

My Mama never knew about it. She'd have beat Gary if she had. But as far as I was concerned that ride was one of my first steps to freedom.

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