Thursday, June 15, 2017

Alpha Car Show - Part 1

Hadn't been "home" for long before it was time to hit a car show.  Both the bike and Miss Frump started right up after a long winter nap.  I take several steps to putting them away each year and I think its that preparation that assures an easy job of getting them going.  (Writer toots own horn.  Writer thinks it is better than tooting someone else's horn.)

This time it was Alpha, and I joined them on their 10th anniversary.  I think I may have gone either for their 1st or 2nd way back when and it certainly has grown.  Any opportunity to show off the Frump is a worthwhile endeavor so off we went.  Little did I know there were surprises yet to unfold.   

Those who know me know I am not a lover of muscle cars, or tubbed, or chopped, or hot rod-ized.  I like unmolested originals just the way they came off the assembly line.  The gauntlet of engineers, beauticians, stylists and corporate execs a car has to go through for final approval is daunting.  Teams of people with keen eyes, pencils, and measuring devices have all had their hand in the pot, so to speak, and when they all give their OK's and Hosannas, that should be the end of it.  But that isn't usually the end of it.  Guys with money to burn find these cars, take them apart, put them back together, chroming it up and generally "making it their own", which is a travesty to the car, the people who designed them and we poor mopes who have to walk by and see their present unsightly state.  Original is best.  It is the only way.  All of my old cars were originals, I could not and would not attempt to improve upon the final creation.

It is why out of all the cars in Alpha that nice day in May I found this one to be the most captivating.  It was an exquisite beauty.  It was a 1962 Cadillac Series 62.  It was original, a convertible, jet black inside and out, and the best looking machine in town that day.  I'd give my left kidney and my right nut to have it.  I looked up the value in Hemmings Old Car Price Guide and it had the average price was $47,400 and I'm thinking it could fetch even more to that guy (or girl) who wants to relive his childhood and has money. 

I realize some of you are nut car buffs.  You must, however, be impressed with size wherever you see it.  This car has size.  It is about half a football field long and could likely carry both football teams and maybe some smaller bleacher residents.

There weren't a lot of people who owned Caddies when I was growing up.  Maybe the Kingry's had one later but Seaton being Seaton, one wouldn't want to be too ostentatious.  Never really got into them as a brand - they always seemed to be just a bit over-the-top in size and style and in sheer look-at-me-I'm-rich status.  But there is no question the beauty of them - all through the years.  

I am convinced of the originality because of the sun-faded areas all original 'verts have.   carpets, and seats take a beating when the top is down.  Notice the fading in the carpet.  

The Bruce Foote dealership in Monmouth was about the only place to find a GM car back then.  Herb got a few cars from them:  a 62 Olds, a 64 Olds and a '65 Pontiac Bonneville.   It was great to see the name plate again.  According to the web they are still in business but sell Chevy's now.   

This odd little coffin on wheels is a Messerschmitt.  Once the war was over they turned the factories to making these little guys to former Nazi's as a kind of war reparation for past evel acts.  Then they built the Autobahn without speed limits to do what some of the War Trials couldn't.  But I digress.  Cute little car that was more oddity than transportation - kind of like today's Smart car, which isn't smart in most driving conditions.    

The final car today is the 1947 Crosley.  It was built by the guy who made Crosley radios, Powel Crosley.  He also owned the Cincinnati Reds and you might have heard of their old stadium, Crosley Field.   He and his engineer brother wanted to make an economy car and they succeeded admirably.  They started cranking them out in '39 but they didn't go over very well.  They started again in '41 and when the war began they were a hit because they didn't use much gas.  These would get 50 miles to a gallon then and because of conservation became a big hit.  

After the war they kind of died again but they did achieve some firsts in car manufacturing.  First slab sided car, first overhead cam engine, first sport car (the Hotshot) and few other distinctions.  Cool looking car today and simple as all get out.  

This was my view for most of the day but was excited to see a couple cars down my old high school buddy Fast Eddie came with his 62 Chevy.  We had a great time chatting.  Another surprise was to see Neighbor Tim stop by from BFE.  He was later joined by Mrs. Neighbor Tim so I got to see him twice, which is always fun.  

I never go for trophy hardware anymore - those days are gone with an old 4 door Dodge.  But you won't see anyone else with one so there is that.  There is also fun in these if you have patience and don't have anything else to do.  As it so happened I received an invite to BFE for a Bloody Mary and I took him up on it, so all in all a great day in Northlandia.  

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