Once again, at the behest of my loyal readers I set off to investigate the cars of the world. This time I handed my real estate affairs over to my trusted associates and was off to Tanzania to check out the automotive scene. After over 20 hours in the air I set down at Kilimanjaro Airport in the dark and was whisked off in a Toyota Land Cruiser to a camp in the jungle. Of course the cars they used were Toyota Land Cruisers — sorry Range Rover fans, you come in a distant second to Toyota’s venerable Land Cruiser — something about reliability. After a day in the jungle I was driven down some horrible roads to begin my trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, thus beginning what was to be eight days without seeing a car. Upon thinking about it, I realized that we rarely even go a day or two without at least seeing a car so this would be a real break from everyday life as I know it.
Auction time recently rolled right in with the car show season here in the Puget Sound area. At the end of May I attended the Lucky Collector Car Auction Spring Classic at the LeMay Family Collection at Marymount in Steilacoom. I did sign up for a bidder card but was able to keep it in my pocket this time. There was a ’36 Ford Coupe in almost original condition I thought I needed but it quickly went to three times what I was willing to spend.
I’m either really cheap or it sold for too much. I would guess that about half the cars were sold and they were the less expensive half. There were a handful of six-figure cars available and supposedly there were phone bidders from around the world but the six-figure Caddys and Packards went unsold.
EPIC TRANSFINITY: Yes, my friends at VMG/Studio 520 are very creative so when they had their 10th anniversary gala celebration they had to come up with a name for it that reflected their creativity. I guess that since neither I nor anyone else knows what “Epic Transfinity” means they hit the mark. It apparently had something to do with the “Retro-Future,” whatever that is.
DEADLINES: I’ve now been writing this column for over two years and this is the first time that I’ve gone 30 days without having experienced something about cars that I could write about! Sometimes I have several ideas lined up or something comes up at the last minute but this time — nothing. Am I just leading a boring life or perhaps I’m just busier helping people buy and sell homes? Whatever it is don’t hesitate to call me and invite me over to check out your collection.
I am looking forward to my first car event of the season, the Monroe Swap Meet, sponsored by the Puget Sound Regional Group #18 of The Early Ford V-8 Club on May 17 and 18. There are so many car parts and accessories that it’s hard to check them all out. I am amazed that anyone could actually figure out which of the hundreds of carburetors would actually fit their car or that one could find a part for a 52 Hudson but a lot of great finds are there for the right buyer. The only thing I really need is a 1964 license plate for my Studebaker but I usually manage to find something else that I think I need. Since this is a fairground, there is fair food, most of which is just fair but I usually show up hungry so I can pound down some scones. I show up at what I think is early and the place is packed with car people — I can’t imagine what time they get there.
If you have a car for sale or some extra cash to add a car to your collection then the Car Corral in the West parking lot is a must. They charge about $35.00 to park there (your car must be for sale) and I think some people put their cars in there with a high price tag just for fun. The cars go from $50K + down to rust buckets on trailers, something for everybody, and quite a few sell. I one time took my 1960 Studebaker Champ pickup, sold it and then realized I had no ride home so walked down the aisle and bought a 56 GMC pickup for the same price. See ya at the Fair.
I am also planning to attend the Lucky Collector Car Auction May 30 and 31 at the Lemay Family Collection site at Marymount in the Spanaway area. They will auction some vintage motorcycles Friday night and cars on Saturday. They have a wide variety of cars to auction, some with no reserve. It’s a fun event and always nice to tour the rest of the grounds and see several hundred of Harold Lemay’s cars. I sold my Mustang there last year and found my T-bird also. Once again I could hold onto my earnings for only a few hours. This year I swear I’m not buying a car there.
I hope you can attend one of these great car events and next month I’ll have a topic for my “Classic Car Corner.”
CAR SEARCH: At the behest of many of my loyal readers I recently set forth on another trip to distant lands in search of cool cars. This time I was off to the island of Hawaii. Since I also needed to check out the local golf courses every day my car hunting time was somewhat limited. You would think that the weather in Hawaii would result in a lot of classic cars driving around but I just didn’t see very many. On the way back from the golf course to my cheap hotel though I did spot a nice Ford Model A that a master carpenter had converted to a wagon type vehicle with a lot of terrific woodwork at a local gas station and I was able to stop and talk to the new owner. Inside and out it was really nice but it did have the over used Chevy 350 crate engine. I’m not necessarily a Ford fan but I think engine swaps should stay true to the marque. Just my opinion. Like many people I don’t heed my own advice though since I do have a Studebaker pickup with an old Chevy small block engine. Anyway, this Model A had been on the island quite awhile, the builder/owner had passed away and his friend had bought it from the estate and was shipping it back to the mainland. I watched him start it up and drive away and it looked and sounded like I should own it.