This is the time of year for annual recaps, and Paul Niedermeyer has already given us his (here). I have found some fun things myself this year, and here is my attempt at ranking my top ten. I found some fascinating things at shows, but show cars just can’t count – these classics were all found curbside (or thereabouts). Here are my favorite finds of the year:
No. 10 – Tie: 1964 Chrysler 300K and a Corvair sedan. I just couldn’t decide here. Two cars so different, yet almost never seen out on the street. This is the next to last Letter Series Chrysler 300, decrepit but still mostly there. Actually, the Chrysler was found in Iowa, and Tom Klockau had already been there, but I begged and begged and he agreed to let me have it. He drove a hard bargain, though. Just who do you think had to buy that Town Car he is enjoying? And what more needs be said of the 4 door second series Corvair? Neither of these has been written up yet.
No. 9 – 1962 Buick Special: This is just such a rare car. It is not that I have ever pined for one, but these proved fairly fragile over long term use, and seldom survived to such old age, particularly in the midwest. This car’s recent CC is here.
No. 8 – VW Fox: Another rarity. These are seen hereabouts about as frequently as GM Y cars, which is to say, not very darned often. Of course, it was shot parked outside of a repair facility. Come to think of it, so was the 62 Special. CC is here.
No. 7 – Model T touring: Nothing rare about this car, Model Ts are still decently collected and are in museums everywhere. Where they are not found, though, is in the parking lot of a Sam’s Club. Although it was parked outside of the tire and battery service area, I doubt that Sam’s carries these tires or these batteries. What was it doing there? Who knows. Not yet written up.
No. 6 – Tie: 1955 Chrysler New Yorker and 1952 Buick Super. I loves me a good old 1950s luxury sled, and both of these scratch me where I itch. How to decide between them? Both are beautiful examples, both were out being driven in nice weather, and both are before-and-after bookends to the rapid changes in upper-priced American cars during the first half of the 1950s. CC for the Chrysler is here, and here for the Buick.
No. 5 – 1963 Pontiac Safari: I love station wagons and ’63 Pontiacs, so this one was a personal win. Also, we here in Indiana often see rusted wrecks or beautiful cars, whether original or restored. What we rarely see is that sort of SoCal or Oregon style of patina that other CC contributors find so frequently. When it was found at a downtown parking meter, all the better. Not yet written up.
No. 4 – 1975 Pontiac Grand Am: I declare myself the winner here. Earlier this year, there was a long discussion about the GA in response to one caught on the move. One by one, every CC contributor lamented that he had not yet scored one at the curbside. Well, the CC effect went to work , and that very week I found this parked at a local eatery. Paul, would you please add the 5,000 bonus bitcoins to my account? Not yet written up.
No. 3 – 1960 Ford Thunderbird: This is another car that can be found at every stinking car show and auction you care to attend. It is a whole ‘nuther thing (as we say in Indiana) to find one of these birds in the wild. This car had clearly been living outside for some time, with no heed being paid to the plastic back window that was evidently half torn out of the convertible top. Every car has a story, and this Bird’s tale is a first-rate mystery. But there it was, and here it is. Not yet written up.
No. 2 – 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge: What else is there to say? This is not some show queen, but has been owned by the same guy since 1971 and is almost completely original. It is cars like this that keep me from completely giving up on muscle car mania. CC is found here.
No. 1 – 1972 Lamborghini Espada: This car took me out of my automotive comfort zone, but I know something special when I see it. When I found this car in a Sam’s Club parking lot in Champagne, Illinois, I knew that i had found something very rare, at least in the midwestern U.S. When many readers in places like southern California related that they had never seen one in hotspots of exotic wheels, I got a better idea of the significance of this find. We recently received a very nice comment from the owner’s son, who indicated that it has been a long-term driving resto project of his Dad’s. CC here.
Well, this is my list. Now, let’s see what I can find for 2014 to add to my backlog of photos. Happy hunting in 2014 to the rest of you as well.