Frequent forum contributor Matt Harwood has been keeping a blog to chronicle the progress of his ’41 Buick Century restoration. Occasionally Matt takes a break from describing the restoration to get philosophical. These tend to be my favorite posts.
Last week Matt wrote an essay that I found particularly interesting. Below I’ve reposted the first few paragrahps. Follow the link at the end to read the entire post.
Where Are All the Great Cars?
I’ve been going to car shows for nearly 30 years now. I think my father got into the old car hobby during its glory days back in the early Seventies when he bought a 1934 Ford four-door sedan at an auction. He knew nothing of old cars, but liked the shape of that old Ford. I was four years old at the time, and I still have the photograph from the local newspaper that showed me standing in front of my father’s new acquisition, holding a toy car of my own. From that moment, I was completely and irrevocably hooked.
We went to car shows every weekend when I was a kid. We took the old cars (my father’s collection eventually bloomed to nearly a dozen old cars) to friends’ houses on weekends, on long drives in the country, out to dinner, and sometimes on vacation. And everywhere we went, there were frequently other old cars there with us.
In the 80s, we toured. The VMCCA’s so-called Michigan Tour was a popular one, and my parents once tried the Glidden in their 1925 Buick touring. I distinctly recall attending Michigan Tours in Indiana, Ohio and New York where at any time I could have a ride in the back of a 1937 Packard V12 dual-cowl phaeton, an all-aluminum 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom II touring, a ’34 Packard V12 club sedan (my personal favorite), a 1939 LaSalle rumble-seat convertible coupe, a 1913 Lozier touring car as big as a garage, a V16 Cadillac roadster and more than a dozen others. Today I go to car shows, especially those sponsored by the car clubs themselves, and I’m completely underwhelmed by the presence of ordinary cars from the Fifties, Sixties and early Seventies.
Not that there’s anything wrong with these cars, and I’m sure their owners are very passionate about them. But park a 1932 KB Lincoln town car next to a 1968 Pontiac Catalina 4-door with bench seats and see where the crowd goes. People are only looking at these “ordinary” cars because there aren’t any extraordinary cars at shows any more. I probably won’t make any friends by saying this, but I’m really, really, REALLY tired of all these garden-variety cars at every show I go to.
Where have the great classic cars gone?