Again the week in review begins with an apology. However, this time I would also like to add a request.
What are your thoughts about a small daily post and then a feature column with a week in review as well as book reviews at the end of every week? Please leave a comment at the end of this post. Now, an explanation on the Buick logo theme for the week. First, I thought these would be of interest to readers. Second, I found them quite fascinating as they are year specific and as such are not often seen. Construction on the new office and a record breaking week for truck rentals has occupied an overwhelming percentage of my time. The former resulted in my working Saturday afternoon, a few hours on Sunday, and a large portion of Monday, my regularly scheduled day off.
I will post pictures of the new set up soon. The owners wanted a museum feel to the office so the center piece is a 4.5 inch deep shadow box counter top filled with automotive odds and ends from my collection. This includes vintage hood ornaments, Edsel brochures, insurance claim photographs from the 1930s, vintage road maps, post cards, press kit automotive photographs from the 1930s, and other eclectic items. After the walls are painted we will add framed automotive advertisement, press kit photos, Route 66 related photographs, and vintage automotive dealer posters. So, if you find yourself cruising Route 66 stop by the Penske office in Kingman, say howdy and enjoy our little museum. Projects currently on the burner include a couple junk yard profiles for Cars & Parts, the next Independent Thinker column for the same publication, a feature on the evolution of prewar front wheel drive development, and the forthcoming book, Ghost Towns of the Southwest.
It looks as though I will be covering the annual Route 66 Fun Run this year for Cars & Parts. This is an interesting event that is a combination 200 mile cruise on old Route 66 and three day street party. For me the fascination has always been in seeing what shows up. The number of entries runs between 800 and 1000. Over the years I have seen everything from a 1908 REO to a customized van from Germany, vintage motorcycles to colorful street rods. My favorites are the survivors, cars that have avoided the torch of customizers and have not been restored.
The quest for a vintage truck that bridges the gap between the need for highway speed and yet delivers fuel economy continues. The latest to cross my path is a nice 1955 Ford with V8 and overdrive. The truck is a good, older restoration with a couple minor custom touches (oak bed, chrome bed strips, non original chrome bumper, and garish red velvet interior trim). The attention to originality is rather impressive. The battery is still under the floor, the original radio is in the dash, and even the hubcaps are correct. The price is fair but a bit out of my budget, $10,500, so the search continues.
Meanwhile Barney the wonder truck continues to provide reliable transportation. The quirks of this truck really grow on you. If it wasn’t for fuel economy concerns the old Dodge might be a member of this family for years to come.
My wife and I are giving thought to bidding farewell to her 1973 Olds. It still runs strong with only 88,000 original miles on the clock and the ac still blows cold but we don’t need three vehicles any longer and the old gal is showing her age.
I won’t say the paint and interior is rough but we could hide it in any junkyard and no one would notice. Anyone in the market for a tried and true road warrior?
After a few false starts book reviews will now be a regular feature on this blog. Please let me know if these are helpful.
With that in mind I have one more thought. Do you have ideas or suggestions pertaining to old cars or lost highway you would like to see on this blog.
Things to look for in the next couple of weeks will be photos of the new office, a new feature column on the diversity of the American auto industry before 1940, and a photo spread profiling the oft mentioned, never seen family truckster – the 1988 Ford Crown Victoria LTD Country Squire station wagon.