Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Comparing 1957 & 1967

Yellow and white Ford wheel well and tireHere are a few shots of how Ford viewed its prime offering in 1957, a Fairlane 500 post coupe or what the company called a Club Sedan. This model also came as a two-door and and four-door hardtop.

Some authorities consider The Club Sedan or post coupe nearly as stylish as Ford's hardtop convertibles. And, typical of the era regardless of make, a post coupe was more practical. Its hardtop convertible brethren were prone to poor fit over time. 

Gaskets would wear, slip, become brittle, or crack. Match-up between window-on-window was subject to misalignment allowing rattles, whistles, and then weather to seep in. Ford seemed to do a pretty good job of making a post coupe pass for a hardtop back then.


Side view of yellow and white Ford coupe

Big, round tail light mounted in yellow and white



Here's a very stylish hubcap and spinner treatment from a 1967 Ford convertible. Fairlane has been relegated to a lower status, and "Galaxie" is now top-of-the line.

chrome and ruby tail light against chrome bumper and blue

Big tail lights continue to rule, and 1967's is blended into the rear bumper with the backup light in the center of the assembly as in 1957. Not much protection these days.

rear view of blue Ford showing tail lights and hug open trunk

Trunks of the era were expected to be huge and accommodate a full-sized spare tire and wheel. No skimpy little doughnut thing to get you by until the next tire shop. Five wheels and tires were part of the rotation.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

More Oldies

Blue Oldsmobile front end view

1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale 2 Door Brougham with 39,315 miles at $9500


Tan Oldsmobile, side view

1985 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale Brougham with 26,977 miles at $9000


white Oldsmobile 2-Dr, 3/4 view

1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale Brougham with 39,315 miles at $14,995


White Chev Sedan, 3/4 view

1987 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Brougham LS, unknown mileage, $10,995



Black Chev 2-Dr, 3/4 view

1987 Chevrolet Caprice Classic with 59,835 miles at $14,995

Saturday, April 30, 2016

More "Oldies But Still Goodies"

White coupe with garage wall backdrop

1995 Buick Riviera with 92,000 miles at $7500

white coupe on grass with fence

1999 Buick Riviera, mileage unpublished,  at $8000

White coupe with dealer background

1983 Chrylser Cordoba with 77K at $5950

(This is a stunning car from the side view. Quite uncommon. The dealer/ Hemmings photograph does not show it off as well as could be.)

Marroon and white coupe with dealer backdrop

1981 Cordoba with 70K at $5750



1985 Parisienne with 50K at $11,995


Selection criteria is listed below when we inaugurated this feature of Country Cars, Trucks, and Tractors. Basically, low mileage for the age and priced accordingly. No rough stuff or project cars are listed. Just good, solid, well-cared-for vehicles a bit out of the mainstream that represent good to exceptional values in the overall market today.

More photographs and details at Hemmings.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"Oldies But Still Goodies"

A new feature we're trying, debut this week. We're calling it "Oldies But Still Goodies" where desirable, workable cars from the mid-80s through and into the early 2000 years present good values considering today's market.

Selections include low-mileage coupes, sedans, and station wagons priced at one-half or a third of the sticker prices found on new car lots. Most are capable of decent to surprisingly good economy and offer comfort, safety, and convenience enough. Unless noted otherwise, these are offered by a dealer or private sale through the Hemmings organization and publications. 

Some are collectible. Most are overlooked family or personal vehicles. No project or muscle cars here; no vans, pickups, or off-road utility types. 

These photos are not ours and do not present these cars very well. However, one can find other angles and interior shots at Hemmings by searching through its make, model, year, and price filters. Shown are:

 1981 Coupe deVille with 6700 miles at $9950 









1985 Grand Marquis 4-dr with 10,675 at $12,995


1986 Grand Marquis wagon with 56,524 at $7995 










1988 Grand Marquis wagon with 126,182 at $7595








1986 Grand Marquis LS wagon with 107, 000 at $6500



1990 Grand Marquis with 74, 921 at $6900                 




Sunday, April 17, 2016

Some Auto and Show Resources for You

Yellow Ford Model A with trees and mansion


The Antique Automobile Club of America posts a terrific site and features sports car imports, trucks, and of course all ages and types of Detroit iron. Included is its 2016 event and show calendar.

We can't seem to list it here as downloading wreaks havoc with this blog.

So, if interested in all the AACA offers, you will have to go to the website,  http://www.aaca.org.

We cannot keep repairing the damage. It's the same old electronic glitchery we've all come to know, folks. Imports are often trouble, more trouble than they're worth, and here's another case.

Some Major Regional Car Shows, 2016-17



Classic car shows provide attendees with the opportunity to sample automotive history, featuring cars that may date to the earliest days of motorized transportation. Such shows are held across the United States, especially during the warmer months. 
This list of America’s top ten classic car shows includes events from all regions.
1. Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
The Concours is the signature event of the Pebble Beach, California, automotive week show. Concours — French for “a parade of vintage vehicles — is held on the third Sunday in August, bringing approximately 200 collector cars and motorcycles to the Pebble Beach Golf Links. 
2. The Woodward Dream Cruise
Detroit,  known as Motor City, has its own classic car event. The Woodward event takes place on the third Saturday in August. With more than 40,000 classic cars on display, it is unrivaled in size. Cars cruise Woodward Avenue with more than 1 million people in attendance.
3. Charlotte Autofair
Billed as the world’s largest automotive extravaganza, the Charlotte AutoFair is a four-day event held in April and repeated in September. Held at the famous Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC, this show features auctions, a classic car corral and thousands of merchant spaces.
4. Amelia Concours d’Elegance
Amelia Island, near Jacksonville, Florida, is the destination for this Concours display. This three-day March classic car show at the Ritz-Carlton welcomes the finest vintage vehicles to compete for two awards.
5. The Elegance at Hershey
Hershey, Pennsylvania, is the host of a mid-June Concours event featuring some of the most beautiful vehicles of a bygone era. The vintage race is one of its signature events. 
6. Southwest Street Rod Nationals Plus
The State Fair Park in Oklahoma City is the venue for this three-day street rod event held in April. It is just one of 10 events sponsored by the National Street Road Association each year, with more than 1,700 vintage cars on hand for the Oklahoma show alone.
7. Hilton Head Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance
Spanning 10 days, this South Carolina exposition is more than a classic car show. Indeed, it offers a speed classic, car club showcase and an aero show, capping the festivities with a Concours display.
8. Telluride Festival of Cars & Colors
The newest classic car show takes place in Telluride, Colorado, and spans four days in September. This event celebrates fall foliage and old cars, including high-end restorations, vintage and exotic vehicles.
9. Iola Old Car Show & Swap Meet
Iola, Wisconsin, hosts this three-day show held in mid-July. The Iola venue features more than 2,000 show cars and over 4,000 swap spaces. A swap meet gives visitors the chance to procure historic automotive artifacts.
10. The Texas Hoedown
Located in Homestead, Texas, the Texas Hoedown brings pre-1972 custom hot rods, muscle cars and choppers to the Waller County Fairgrounds on the fourth Saturday in May. 
11. The Daytona Turkey Rod Run
Daytona, Florida, a four-day event held over the Thanksgiving weekend that hosts more than 7000 classic cars in the Daytona International Speedway infield.
Google these sites for greater detail and dates. Some charge admission (the tab for the Pebble Beach event this year is $325 per person!) So it behooves one to be plan ahead and be selective, picking those shows most appealing to his or her interest. Below are some regional shows of note. 
(Be aware, some of the events listed below may feature new or concept vehicles only. If you are interested in vintage only, these might not be the events for you.)

Northeast


Albany Auto Show
Public Dates: 11/04/16 - 11/06/16
Connecticut International Auto Show
Public Dates: 11/18/16 - 11/20/16
New England International Auto Show
Public Dates: 01/12/17 - 01/16/17
Pennsylvania Auto Show
Public Dates: 01/26/17 - 01/29/17
Northeast International Auto Show
Public Dates: 01/27/17 - 01/29/17
Washington Auto Show
Public Dates: 01/27/17 - 02/05/17

Midwest


Krusin Klassics Fun Run 2016
Public Dates: 06/03/16 - 06/04/16
Ault Park Concours d'Elegance
Public Dates: 06/10/16 - 06/12/16
Concours d'Elegance of America
Public Dates: 07/29/16 - 07/31/16
Oklahoma State Fair Auto Show
Public Dates: 09/15/16 - 09/25/16
Indianapolis Auto Show
Public Dates: 12/26/16 - 01/01/17

West Coast


Rodeo Drive Concours d' Elegance
Public Dates: 06/21/16 - 06/21/16
Pebble Beach Concours d' Elegance
Public Dates: 08/20/16 - 08/21/16
Altcar Expo
Public Dates: 09/16/16 - 09/17/16
Orange County International Auto Show
Public Dates: 10/06/16 - 10/09/16
Sacramento International Auto Show
Public Dates: 10/21/16 - 10/23/16
Los Angeles Auto Show
Public Dates: 11/15/16 - 11/27/16
Central California Auto Show
Public Dates: 11/18/16 - 11/20/16
San Francisco International Auto Show
Public Dates: 11/19/16 - 11/27/16

South


Memphis International Auto Show
Public Dates: 10/28/16 - 10/30/16
Nashville International Auto Show
Public Dates: 11/18/16 - 11/20/16
Central Florida International Auto Show
Public Dates: 11/24/16 - 11/27/16
Tampa Bay International Auto Show
Public Dates: 12/02/16 - 12/04/16
Hampton Roads International Auto Show
Public Dates: 01/13/17 - 01/15/17
West Virginia International Auto Show
Public Dates: 01/27/17 - 01/29/17
North Carolina International Auto Expo
Public Dates: 02/09/17 - 02/12/17

Southwest 


State Fair of Texas Auto Show
Public Dates: 09/30/16 - 10/23/16
Houston Auto Show
Public Dates: 04/05/17 - 04/09/17

Alaska & Hawaii

First Hawaiian International Auto Show
Public Dates: 03/18/16 - 03/20/16
We assume "Public Dates" refers to the time period when enthusiasts can enter the venue. This, likely after the car writers and critics have had their sneak preview and conducted their interviews. As with any event of this nature, it is best to visit the show's website for details and directions. Events can be postponed, cancelled, or moved. So be aware. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Some from my Pinterest Collection: Fins!





Cadillac's finned era started with the 1949 model. We'll post a few of those later. 

Here are two examples where flamboyancy cruised the boulevard in 1958, top.The 1959 Caddy, of course, is celebrated or ostracized for its excess. Those lenses were quite exposed.

Chrysler became devoted to fins as well. Ford seemed more subdued as were some of the GM makes as well.

By the mid 1970s, the fascination with fins became passe', and rear fenders lost their allure, no longer the subject for comment.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Wish It Were Mine

tan Ford convertible with trees


Here's a 1947 Ford Super Deluxe convertible. To my mind, a great example of an all-too-short period in automotive Americana. Modest enough, stylish enough to get a second look, a bit impractical perhaps in hard winter country, but unpretentious and yet a tier above common day-to-day Detroit iron.

Photographically, this works for me as well, beautifully. Well-lit on the shadowed side. Low-angle but not too artsy. Both front and grill and rear deck are in excellent proportion without exaggeration.

While I appreciate artistic angles and license when photographing cars––I've shot a few such interpretations myself––there are times when I'd rather not be confronted with a huge glaring eyeball of a headlight. Or, isolated and massive tailights. Such make great poster art and there's nothing wrong with that. Automotive sculpture lends itself to some great, arresting shots even if a bit bizarre.

But, as you'll see at my Fine Art America website, I try to keep it low-key. Same with my new Pinterest collection. You'll see links where you can click for both below.

All kinds of prints, pillows, throws, coffee mugs, and cell phone cases featuring my work can be purchased at the Fine Art America site. Nothing for sale at Pinterest, of course.

IMPORTANT: CLICK ON THE TOP of the collection where it says, "Along Country Roads", not the bottom where it says "Follow on Pinterest". Don't ask me why. This seems to work. It's cyber-sense, folks, not common sense.

I've tried to craft my Pinterest collection toward cars of the 1935-1970 era in their natural settings. Nothing like green grass to show off most vehicles at their best. For the most part, I've selected cars and views that present the car, truck, or tractor as one would see it from 30 feet or a second-story window. Hope you enjoy both the Along Country Roads FAA collection and the Pinterest selections. 

The FAA collection is strictly my work and includes hood ornaments and a few tractors. There are livestock and scenic galleries to view as well.

Leave a comment. We don't hear enough from you. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Here Are Some Toy Shows, 2016


National Toy Shows

June 3 and 4, 2016: 
Summer Farm Toy Show, Dyersville, Iowa

June 18 and 19, 2016: 
Lamoure Toy Show, Lamoure, North Dakota

July 22, 23, 24, 2016:
Orange Spectacular Show, Hutchinson, Minnesota 

November 4, 5, 6, 2016:
The National Farm Toy Show, Dyersville, Iowa
                            

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Major car, truck, tractor & farm power shows in North America, 2016

Major truck shows

Trucks first:
Here are some of the better-known shows scheduled from March 31st through November, 2016.
Do visit the websites listed or call the phone numbers under each entry if there are any doubts about the dates and locations. Such are subject to change, especially the smaller, local, or regional shows. You don't want to drive a long distance to arrive disappointed.
MIDWEST PRIDE IN YOUR RIDE – May 6-7, 2016Tri-State Raceway in Earlville, Iowa. Call (563) 580-8200 or visit www.midwestprideinyourride.org.
SPOOLIN’ UP SHOW & DRAGS – May 15, 2016
Island Dragway in Great Meadows, New Jersey. Call (570) 807-8671 or visit www.supershowrigs.com.
ATHS NATIONAL CONVENTION & SHOW – May 26-28, 2016
Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center in Salem, Oregon. Call (816) 891-9900 or visit www.aths.org.
WHEEL JAM TRUCK SHOW – June 3-5, 2016
South Dakota State Fairgrounds in Huron, SD. Call (605) 354-2809 or visit www.wheeljamtruckshow.com.
SHELL ROTELLA SUPER RIGS – June 9-11, 2016Joplin Convention and Trade Center in Joplin, Missouri. Call (973) 588-2000 or visit www.shell.com/rotella/superrigs.
WALCOTT TRUCKERS JAMBOREE – July 14-16, 2016
Iowa 80 Truck Stop in Walcott, Iowa. Call (563) 284-6961 or visit www.iowa80truckstop.com.
FITZGERALD TRUCK SHOW – July 15-16, 2016
Fitzgerald’s Truck Sales in Crossville, Tennessee. Call (888) 649-1053 or visit www.truckshow.com.
TRUCK FUNCTION IN JUNCTION – July 16, 2016
Junction City, Oregon. Get details on Facebook, call (541) 954-0762, or visit www.truckfunctioninjunction.com.
WORLD OF LARGE CARS – July 22-23, 2016
Gwillim Trucking in Carlinville, Illinois. Call (217) 415-3904 or visit Gwillim Trucking Inc. on Facebook.
TOP GUN LARGE CAR SHOOTOUT – July 29-31, 2016
Rantoul National Aviation Center in Rantoul, Illinois. Call (217) 202-1473 or visit www.topgunlargecarshootout.com.
COLOR & CHROME FANTASY TRUCK SHOW – July 29-31, 2016
Keith County Fairgrounds in Ogallala, Nebraska. Call (308) 883-5508 or visit www.ccftruckshow.com.
JOPLIN 44 TRUCKERS JAMBOREE – August 5-6, 2016
Joplin 44 Petro Truck Stop in Joplin, Missouri. Call (417) 621-6140 or visit www.joplin44.com.
GREAT SALT LAKE TRUCK SHOW – August 12-13, 2016
Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah (south of Salt Lake City). Call (800) 877-1320 or visit www.saltlaketruckshow.com.
WAUPUN TRUCK-N-SHOW – August 12-13, 2016
Waupun Community Center in Waupun, Wisconsin. Call (920) 324-9985 or visit www.waupuntrucknshow.com.
SHINE & SMOKE SHOW & DRAGS – August 13, 2016
Island Dragway in Great Meadows, New Jersey. Call (570) 807-8671 or visit www.supershowrigs.com.
NO COAST LARGECAR TRUCK SHOW – August 13-14, 2016
Hancock County Fairgrounds in Britt, Iowa. Call (641) 860-0867 or visit www.lifetimenutcovers.com.
EAU CLAIRE BIG RIG TRUCK SHOW – August 19-21, 2016
Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, WI. Call (715) 832-6666 or visitwww.eauclairebigrigtruckshow.com.
GREAT AMERICAN TRUCKING SHOW – August 25-27, 2016
Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. Call (888) 349-4287 or visit www.truckshow.com.
CENTRAL VALLEY COMMERCIAL TRUCK SHOW – September 3-4, 2016
Fresno Fairgrounds in Fresno, California. Call (559) 684-1806 or visit www.cvcts.com.
THE BIG IRON CLASSIC – September 9-10, 2016
Dodge County Fairgrounds in Kasson, Minnesota. Call Jim at (507) 208-0222 or visit www.bigironclassic.com.
RICHARD CRANE MEMORIAL TRUCK SHOW – September 16-18, 2016
Little Bear East Arena in St. Ignace, Michigan. Call (906) 643-6950 or visit www.nostalgia-prod.com.
BUSTED KNUCKLE TRUCK SHOW – September 16-18, 2016
Wilkins Oklahoma Truck Supply in Tonkawa, OK. Call (800) 299-5308 or visit www.wilkinstruckchrome.com.
U.S. DIESEL TRUCKIN’ NATIONALS – September 17, 2016
Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ. Call (732) 446-7800 or visit www.usdtn.com or www.racewaypark.com.
GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION TRUCK SHOW – September 23-24, 2016
4 State Trucks in Joplin, Missouri. Call (888) 875-7787 or visit www.chromeshopmafia.com.
TRUCKIN’ FOR KIDS SHOW & DRAGS – September or October 2016 (TBD)
Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California. Call Frank at (208) 448-2811 or visit www.truckinforkids.org.
PDI’S CUSTOMER APPRECIATION TRUCK SHOW – October 6-8, 2016
Held at Performance Diesel’s headquarters in St. George, Utah. Call (800) 511-1231 or visit www.pdidiesel.com.
DYNAFLEX MONSTER STACK SHOOTOUT – October 21-22, 2016
Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura, California. Call (888) 349-4287 or visit www.truckshow.com.
CALIFORNIA TRUCKING SHOW – October 22-23, 2016
Ontario Convention Center in Ontario, California. Call (877) 281-7758 or visit www.californiatruckingshow.com.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

What is a "Brougham"


Here is one of the best definitions we've found lately . . . from Richard Bennett, Founder of The Brougham Society.



"Brougham" is a style that we most likely will never see again. I suspect that the combination of stately, elegant styling and luxurious, over-the-top interiors, combined with the smooth, quiet ride still speaks to many today. I know that's why I love them so much!  A look through our membership ranks will show quite a large number of members that are in their teens, twenties, and thirties.  This is encouraging to me, in that it ensures that TBS has staying power.  Broughams are beginning to increase in value, but compared to the average muscle car they are still bargains.

A lot of magazines/shows/blogs speak negatively of American auto industry from 1975-1985, going so far as to even call it "The Malaise Era."  Yet, this seems to be a golden age for brougham cars. How do you reconcile that?  Some of these cars had some pretty serious flaws.

It's true that quality control took a dive during those years.  The reason for much of that I feel is a combination of government regulations forcing the automakers to have to develop cars that were cleaner, more fuel efficient, and safer, all at the same time. It was a massive undertaking for the Big Three.  Combine that with record sales, and the need to produce more cars faster caused the quality control to lapse in many cases.

Now, the reason Brougham took off then?  It is believed that as members of the Greatest Generation were hitting middle age, they wanted something that coddled them during their commute and truly showed that they had "made it", as they were well within their prime earning years.  What better way than to drive a big, stately automobile!

Why did cars like this fall out of style in the U.S.?

There are a number of reasons.  One, like most generations, the Boomers by and large didn't want to be seen driving the same thing as their parents.  The gas crisis of the 1970's caused larger cars to become undesirable.  Adding the quality problems that caused many to flock to cars from Japan and Europe, the damage was done and there was no going back.

People love to say that "if they still built cars like this, I'd buy one!" but how true is that? It seems like America has moved on.

There are some signs that touches of Brougham are returning, but they are mainly found in high-end luxury cars from Europe, of all places!  But when it comes to seeing Ford, GM or Chrysler build a traditional "Brougham", it's not going to happen.  Sure, there are a few that would snap up a new, rear wheel drive, body on frame, V8 Lincoln Town Car or Cadillac Fleetwood, but the numbers would be so small that they would be massive money losers for the manufacturers.  As much as we like to think otherwise, automakers are in the business of making money, and their research shows that currently it's all about the SUV and pickup truck.

Another interesting thing about The Brougham Society is the emphasis on keeping automobiles “stock.” While TBS is very friendly, they don't seem to take kindly to a lot of car modding.

During the past decade, many sub-cultures have beginning to take an interest in Broughams, but instead of seeing them as the stately, upscale cars they are, they have began turning them into rolling caricatures, complete with giant, oversized wheels, garish paint jobs, and obnoxious stereo systems.  This concerns me in that I am seeing clean, original Broughams becoming more and more extinct as they are being transformed into these things!  Because of that, a main goal of The Brougham Society to share and show how the designers intended for these cars to look, and hopefully many will see the true beauty of them and leave them the way they were meant to be.

I think that's something a lot of classic car groups face—the conflict over how much modification can be done before it becomes tasteless. You and I both seem to be fairly conservative; although I'm all for things that increase drivability, like radial tires and aftermarket fuel injection, which still preserve most of the original car's intentions.

A number of purists would cry blasphemy over the idea of changing so much as fan belt, but this is where I will differ slightly. There are cases where some cars were known to have drivability issues or were problem plagued, so in order to keep them on the road a mechanical modification would be appropriate, such as a new engine or better tires.  In these instances I don't see it a problem, so long as "the look" is kept intact.

Actually, I have several cars that could considered my "favorites".  But for the sake of our time here, I will select the one that has been my dream car since I was a young kid, the 1980's Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham Coupe!  I was blessed to have a 1987 model when I was in my early twenties, and it was my ultimate inspiration behind TBS.




A beautiful example of this "brougham" business. These models, regardless of make, usually were priced at a premium. True broughams of this modern American automobile sported a full or partially padded roof. We drove a 1983 Olds 98 Regency Brougham for a few years we found in a service bay at an Olds dealership. Had a slushed transmission but with a full padded roof. Wonderful ride in matching tan leather superior to a Cadillac we also owned a few years ago. Wish we'd held on to that one.

Strictly speaking, broughams had a cab or driver's section outside of the passenger compartment and open to the weather. So another term misapplied over the years and as auto language has changed. But, hey, we who belong to the Society don't care. We just like the looks and the term adds a nice accent. Consider joining Richard's The Brougham Society if you value classic style and a bygone era of American or European auto design.