Classic Car Corner - March 26, 2012

To begin, I’m happy to have my Willys back.  The guys over at R & G Auto Body did a great job on my world’s first SUV. They refurbished my recycled hood that I found in Oregon to look like new, repaired the damage on my roof and repainted the roof and entire front end.  No. They didn’t pay me for mentioning  them  (maybe they should have!), but I like dealing with local, experienced professionals.

I had an opportunity to visit my friend Greg here in Woodinville recently, between the snow and rain, and since the sun was actually out, he had several of his cars out sunbathing on the driveway.  Greg is like many “car guys” I know who have a full garage, can’t bear to part with any of his classic cars and so can’t actually buy more cars.  This is a sad but all too common predicament for those of us who enjoy classic cars. It’s not a good idea to park them where they aren’t fully protected as I recently learned with my Willys at a cost of $2,500!  I’m currently looking at building more car storage at my house and maybe even parting with a car or two.  I have been able to help several “car guys” recently sell their homes and move to a place where they could build the shop they’ve always wanted (and buy more cars)  and I hope to cover that process in the future.

Back to Greg: Classic car buyers often purchase cars like the ones they had (or wanted) in high school or ones that their fathers, uncles or grandfathers had.  In Greg’s case, his father had a 1950 Ford half-ton pickup, so when he happened to find one locally he just had to buy it even though it meant selling a very nice 1949 stock Chevy pickup to make room.  Prices were very close but this Ford is a step up when it comes to driving.  It has a modern 302 cubic inch Ford V-8, with an automatic transmission, modern rear end and front end, new interior and a heater, plus it looks great.  Vehicles like this one that look vintage on the outside but have modern drive trains and suspensions are commonly called resto-mods and are very desirable to today’s collectors since they are comfortable and easy to drive.  The previous owner found this truck deteriorating in a field in Cheney, Wash., and did almost all of the labor on the restoration, spending much more on parts than Greg paid and even took it on an 8,000-mile break-in trip around the country but unfortunately had to sell it for health reasons.  Greg can drive this truck down the freeway at 70 all day long just as if he were driving a modern pickup.  The exact vehicle you want in this condition doesn’t often become available so Greg was very lucky to purchase it and when I check back with him in 20 years, I’d be willing to bet he’ll still have this great pickup.

Greg has five cars in his 4-car garage (he also has to park his wife’s car in there!).  To squeeze them in, he parks the 1967 MG he’s had for 23 years all the way in and perpendicular to the others so he has to move two other cars just to get the MG out of the garage.  It pretty much stays in the garage all winter.  Greg also has  1983 Porsche Targa that looks and drives like new with just 45,000 miles.  Lastly he has a 1923 bucket- T that you just can’t miss as he drives through town.  It’s bright yellow with no top, no hood, no fenders and lots of chrome.  Keep an eye out for one of Greg’s cars here in town or at the local car shows.  Like myself, he believes in driving his cars, so watch for my big red Diamond-T pickup in Saturdays All Fools’ Day Parade.

In closing, I would like to invite any of my readers with classic cars that they would like to show off to invite me over to see what they’ve got and discuss classic cars.  Just call Windermere in Woodinville and ask for Tom.

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