By Paul DeGuiseppi, MACS Manager of Service Training
Someone asked me if I could have my choice of a dozen (but only a dozen) collectible vehicles, which ones would I choose. I’ve listed them below, and I think my picks might come as a surprise to many reading this.
As you’ll see, I’m definitely not interested in speed or flash, but solidly in nostalgia. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older – and especially recently, pining for the good old days – that my collection would consist of the following. I’d want each to be bone-stock, and the basest, least option-laden example possible. And unless I otherwise specify, excluding pure black or white, the blander its color, the better.
1960-64 Chevrolet Corvair. Two door, four door or station wagon – either would be fine. I’d want it equipped with a Powerglide – I think the shift lever sticking out the dash is cool. I’ve always dug the sound of Corvair engines. Not mistakable for anything else. I like looking at the generator/fan belt on Corvair engines, the poor things!
Charles Wacker-bodied Divco Van milk truck. Out of all the vehicles on this list, I don’t think any one says nostalgia more than this one does. I wasn’t even in kindergarten, but I can remember the milkman coming to our house in one of these. He used to let me sit in what I seem to remember was a folding jump-style seat, and pretend driving it. Which, as I also seem to recall, could be done from a standing position if desired.
1960-63 Ford Falcon Two Door. I’d want it to be just like the one Tseets (my great Uncle Joe) used to have. Cousin Phillip used to drive us to our guitar lessons in it, and we would crank its AM radio as if we were trying to rip the paper off its speaker.
Ford Model A Pickup. Every time I go to a car show, I spend a lot of time around these. There are so many things about them I find cool, especially their wooden bed floors and quatrefoil instrument clusters.
Ford Model T Tudor. Here’s another example where I really like the sounds the car makes. Not only that, shifting gears by foot, and controlling the throttle and spark advance by steering column mounted hand levers, would make for a completely different driving experience.
1949 Ford Tudor. I’d want this to be a clone of the one Aunt Marian used to have. I think this is one of Ford’s coolest looking cars ever. Really clean lines inside and out, and awesome deco touches on the dashboard.
1967 Jaguar XK-E coupe. Here’s my only nod toward flash on the list. I’m certainly not the first person to declare that E-Type Jags are some of the most beautiful cars ever made, and I’ve had a crush on them as far back as I can remember. It positively, absolutely would have to be British Racing Green with a black interior, and its chrome wire wheels would need to gleam.
Forward Control Jeep. What a cool view of the road ahead these provide! Georgie, my childhood neighborhood garage owner, had one of these as his tow truck. He would sometimes let me or other neighborhood kids ride along when he would go out to fetch dead cars he needed to work on. He would often let us work the shift and transfer case levers. We sure thought we were some pretty hot stuff then.
1956-62 Nash Metropolitan. Yes. This one’s on the list only because I want it for my wife. Yeah, that’s it, it’s for my wife – of course, I personally don’t like these cute little bugs. I’m, I mean, my wife, is not big on ragtops, but this would have to be one.
1975 Opel Manta Rallye. ’75 was the last and best year for the Manta in the U.S., as it received fuel injection. Someone I knew had one of these they purchased new. It was quick, and handled well. I really enjoyed driving it. Performance and style wise, Mantas had it all over other cars in their class.
1973 Plymouth Duster. Gotta be brown, and have a Slant 6 and a front bench seat. The parents of the keyboard player in my old band bought one of these brand new, and the very same day, he used it to pick me up for band practice. I thought it was too cool that his parents were letting him drive their brand new car. I remember we blasted the then new tune, Money, by Pink Floyd, on its radio during the ride to his basement. I’ve liked these cars ever since.
1967 Volkswagen Type 1. I’d want this to be just like the one I used to own. I like ‘67s because they were the last year to have what I consider classic Beetle vibe and styling (inside and out), but with upgraded 12 volt electrical systems and other improvements. Besides maybe Porsches from the same time frame, nothing else, and I mean nothing else, sounds and feels like an air-cooled Volkswagen.
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