In the 1960s, cars were still interesting and pretty to look at. After that, it all went downhill.
At least that’s my opinion. But for all your die-hard car fans out there, here are the later-model cars from the show.
Ah, the 1950s, era of black and white TVs with not much to watch, of drive-ins and sock hops and hamburgers and Levittowns.
But they sure knew how to make cars. Here are some beauties from this year’s car show:
Cinderella’s coach? The owner said the 1956 Nash Ambassador was the official car of Disneyland back in the day.
We did it again–went to the Magnolia Car Show, where Bigfoot took marvelous pictures but kept them hidden away in his camera for weeks while we strolled through Discovery Park and lolled around our back yard, enjoying the all-too-short season of Seattle sun. As the French say, Il faut profiter du soleil quand il y en a, you gotta catch the rays while you can, and nowhere is that more true than here.
Which is a long-winded but true excuse for not publishing these photos sooner, but for the classic car fans who seem to find their way to my blog even though I only wrote one other post on the subject–here they are at last!
I’ll divide the show into several posts so that the photos don’t take too long to load.
The owner of this car spent three years restoring it. It was worth the time to him because it reminds him of the 1955 Fairlaine his mom used to drive.
When he bought it, he found a brochure tucked in the trunk that described the car’s color as “meadow mist green and Colonial white.” He researched the old Ford colors and had the car painted to match them. Notice the slim “meadow mist green” circle inside the tires’ whitewalls. Adding one of the colors of a two-tone car to the tires was common then. Isn’t it an elegant touch? The old cars had so much class.
And here’s one of our favorites: a 1949 Buick Roadmaster just like the one Bigfoot’s own mom used to drive. What a beauty! How come these moms didn’t think ahead and hang onto these treasures for their kids? They had no idea they’d have any value, that elegance and styling would be replaced by aerodynamics and fuel economy. Just like they had no idea that the gorgeously illustrated Donald Duck comic books of the ’30s would become valuable collectors’ items. Yes, Bigfoot’s mom got rid of those too.
Makes you wonder what we casually toss out today that will make the next generation scream. It’s hard to think of anything in this age of disposability and fast-moving technology. Would anyone ever pay money to collect one of those early brick-like cell phones? Ginormous stereo speakers from the ’70s? A boxy old Macintosh computer? I don’t think so.
But those old cars really had something going. It’s like Joni Mitchell said, though, you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.
If we had to choose a favorite based on looks alone, with no sentimentality entering into the picture, it would be the 1941 Plymouth Special Deluxe below:
Those are the cars that felt the most special to us. But you might have another opinion.
The next posts will feature shots of beautiful old cars from the ’50s, the ’40s, and the ’30s.
Aren’t they magnificent! Those old guzzle-boats.
In person, they’re much bigger than you imagined. Even some from our own youth, like ‘70s Mustangs, which were cool little hotrods back when. They look like big boats now.
Every year Magnolia has a car show. It’s mostly rare old birds, though this year they also had a Nissan Leaf for contrast.
The car above is a 1937 Cord. No, not Ford, Cord!
We never heard of it either.
But the guys at the car show know. They can tell you all about their shiny, meticulously maintained vehicles, inside and out.
We have to admit, it is kind of interesting to peer under the hoods back to simpler days. Even someone like Domesticus, who doesn’t know what a spark plug is (Do they even exist anymore?), can see there was a beauty to the uncomplicated inner workings that made these big lions roar.
But even more fun for us was a 1932 black car, we think it was this one:
whose owner let us climb inside and breathe in the past from the original interior. Most of the cars had re-done interiors, but somehow this guy managed to preserve the Depression-era layer of beige plush all these years. We felt like Bonnie, as in Clyde. If we’d been in there long enough, we might have gotten into the times even more and transformed ourself into Jean Harlow or Greta Garbo, but we worried about overstaying our welcome.
Because Domesticus could have sat in that car all afternoon. We were even tempted to ask the guy to drive us around the block in it, but, really. It’s a car show, not a dealership.
Here’s another model that will interest our friends from Hawaii – a ’51 surfer’s car (no, we don’t know the model, but maybe some of you guys can help us out):
And here’s Domesticus’ favorite, a ’49 Buick Roadmaster just like the one Bigfoot’s mother used to drive:
These old car guys are serious, passionate, and willing to spend as much on their cars as some people spend on a home. (But then, they probably live in their garage.) According to our little local Magnolia News, one of them spent $130,000 on a 1937 Packard, including restoration. Another spent $180,000 on a 1939 Chevy Town Sedan.
In contrast, the Nissan Leaf on display starts at $35,000 and costs two and a half cents a mile to run with electricity.
As for the Old Guzzlers, well Domesticus doesn’t know the stats, so we asked our friend www.anythingaboutcars.com, who said:
A new car back in the 1940s cost about $800, and for 18 cents, you could buy a gallon of gas. On average, most 1940s cars got about 15 to 20 miles per gallon.
Not as bad as we thought. About the same mpg as an SUV. You don’t have to charge it up either. But of course gas is super expensive now, and Evil compared to charging up in your garage.
We are forced to conclude that owning a Classic Car, while it may provide a few hours of fun, is an expensive, time-consuming, gas guzzling misuse of resources.
And we want one!
How about you?