Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Favorite Mid-Century Cars

Long before I had any interest in mid-century architecture and house design, I was in love with the car.  I must have 3 or 4 paper boxes (you know, the kind that multiple reams of paper are shipped in) full of Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars.  I am still to this day fascinated with cars.

My absolute favorite car of all times, from as early as I can remember, to this day, is the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air.  I loved it all, the expansive grill, the sleek lines, and the amazing tail fins.  I still dream of one day owning one of these cars.  I would really like a 2 door hardtop, but I would be perfectly happy with a plain 4 door post.

Being a car fanatic from an early age (my grandfather was a mechanic in his younger days and a shop manager for the local GM dealership in his older days), I was obsessed.  We could be driving down the road at night and I could identify almost any car by it's tail lights.

I also have always wanted an original Volkswagen Beetle.  I loved this little car from the time that I got hooked on the Walt Disney Herbie movies, The Love Bug, Herbie Rides Again, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, and Herbie Goes Bananas.  With a personality like that, who wouldn't want one?

As I was approaching my sixteenth birthday back in the mid-late 1990's, I began looking for a vintage car for my first vehicle.  What I found was a 1970 Chevrolet Caprice 4 door hardtop (no post between the windows in the front and back door, so that when the windows were rolled down, you had a complete open space from the A pillar to the C pillar).  This car was owned by the second owner, who purchased it when it was only one year old.  This Gobi Beige beauty had around 60,000 original miles, a dark gold vinyl roof, brocade cloth interior in gold, and fender skirts (the ultimate sign of luxury).  She also sported a 400 cubic inch Chevrolet small block V8 (remember when engine displacement was listed in cubic inches instead of this ridiculous idea of liters?) with a Turbo Hydramatic 400 transmission.   I bought it from the son of the second owner, who was selling it because his mother had Alzheimer's and so the family took the car away from her.  I even named her - Grizelda, from the Monkees' song "Your Auntie Grizelda."  

I still have this car, but it has been sitting for a few years, and I am beginning to think that I may just need to sell her to someone who can love her and enjoy her.

Sorry for the light post today, it has been a really hectic few days for me, and it may be that way for a few more days.  Hopefully tomorrow will have a more in-depth post.

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