Fair warning: these are not your usual, daily driven Curbside Classics. However, they are driven, and many of the following cars aren’t vehicles you’re likely to see parked downtown or at the grocery store – even in the car-friendly climate of Eugene.
I had a brief – albeit interesting – career as a car salesman last year. I had zero experience, but I thought it was worth a try, considering my love of all things automotive. Dahl Ford was willing to give me a shot. And although it didn’t work out, I don’t regret trying. The general manager, KV Dahl, is possibly a bigger car nut than I am, and he and his dad have a great collection of classic iron. We have remained friendly even after my departure, and last week I finally got the tour of the Old Car Home. Rest assured, dear readers, this is just a brief overview. Thanks to KV’s generosity, there will be some full CCs on the coolest cars in the collection in the future.
One of their prettiest early V8 Fords is this ’40 convertible, in dark maroon with a red leather interior. Over 200,000 miles were put on it before KV and his dad bought and restored it. The maroon paint is not the original color, but it looks great!
This 1941 Chevrolet has had some mild cosmetic restoration, including a repaint, but the entire interior is original, right down to the door cards and woodgrained metal instrument panel.
This 1976 Coupe de Ville was my main focus for this visit, although I must admit that my attention lapsed, once I saw some of the other cars it was sharing space with. The dealership actually took this car in on trade, shortly before I started there. The filler panels, as on just about every 1974-76 GM B- and C-body, had to be replaced, and while an attempt was made to blend the new fillers in with the still very nice original paint, so much of the car had to be painted to make it look right that the whole car wound up being repainted. KV also replaced the standard wheel discs with NOS wire wheel covers, the first year they were available on Cadillacs.
I love the big 1971-76 Cadillacs, and this one is beautiful in optional Crystal Blue Firemist with a white Cabriolet top and white leather interior with blue trim.
Interestingly, the 1976 Cadillac brochure featured a nearly identical car. I bet the car’s original owner saw this picture in the catalog and decided to order that exact color combination, although with white leather instead of blue.
The white vinyl top was in very nice original condition and did not need to be replaced. And that crest is correct for the year; only Fleetwood Broughams and Fleetwood 75 limousines and eight-passenger sedans had the wreath and crest.
As you can see, the cars are pretty close together, but I did manage to get the whole car into this shot. Not easy, as this is a really big car! Right in front of it is a very sharp ’67 Mustang in lime gold; it was delivered new by Dahl Ford, and bought back by KV and his dad in 1989. It was traded in on a new Escort wagon, believe it or not.
Last, but certainly not least, is this extremely rare supercharged 1954 Kaiser. This was KV’s first car, at the age of 13. With his dad’s help, it was totally restored. It is an extremely rare first-series Special two-door sedan, one of 500 built in ’54 and one of 10 known to survive today.
1954 was the next-to-last year for Kaiser automobiles, at least in the United States. The Manhattan itself would be sold in Brazil as the top of the line Kaiser Carabella all the way up to 1962. Fear not, CCers, the ’54 will be getting a full CC writeup one of these days. Hope you enjoyed this brief tour!