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Post by knightfan26917 Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:17 pm

...long lost vehicles & Route 66....

3 articles for you to read/enjoy, the first 2 written by me.

#1 ... " Finding Long Lost Friends "


Walking home from 5th grade the Friday of Labor Day weekend 1984 I was on a bit of a high. We were, after all, about to embark on a special trip north to see relatives in Minnesota. However, as I rounded the corner of the old Gromer's Supermarket store [the building of which is now gone, in favor of a new fire station; I suppose SOME progress is good], my mood dropped considerably, as I didn't see "my" 1976 Monte Carlo ... anywhere. Oh, I knew it was in its last days with us; Mom and Dad were in the process of evaluating replacement vehicles, including a 1978 Caprice Classic sedan, but I didn't expect it to just be ... gone. Imagine my relief when my parents told me that it was in the garage. This possibility hadn't crossed my young mind because, since they had purchased a 1981 MC SC (mine since December 1999), they routinely left the 1976 MC out when we went away, in an effort to make it look like people were home.

The reason "my" 1976 MC was in the garage (where it had been from the time Dad and Mom bought it in 1976 until they bought the 1981 MC in 1982) didn't make me any happier. They had found a replacement vehicle that would become ours the next Tuesday evening. I was devastated. I wanted NO part of another car. The 1976 MC was MINE, for goodness sakes. While Dad and Mom finished preparations for the trip up to Minnesota that evening, I trudged myself out to the garage and just stared at "my" 1976 MC.

To say I enjoyed that Labor Day weekend with relatives in Minnesota doesn't tell the entire story. I was, after all, one unhappy kid. I know my relatives in Minnesota didn't understand why I was so unhappy, and I suspect that, even now, some 28 years later, they still don't. The weekend, of course, flew by, and we were on the road home Monday morning with the intent of making it home so we could wash "my" 1976 MC one last time that evening. During that trip home, the expressway became a parking lot. We never found out the cause, though, as Dad did something that you aren't supposed to do. He steered our 1981 MC SC through the grassy median and chose another route home.

I remember that next night, the Tuesday after Labor Day weekend 1984, almost as if it was yesterday. The front of "my" 1976 MC smiled at me when I got home from school, but as we drove away from the dealership later that evening in our "new" car (a used 1982 Chevette...hey, at least it was RWD!), I caught a glimpse of the tail end of "my" 1976 MC ... and those taillights literally were frowning at me. I had always seen that "frown" in the rear end, but suddenly that night the frown was suddenly very huge and very real to this at-the-time 11-year-old kid.

I was reminded of all this recently when I found the results of a "title search" I did for that very 1976 MC, the car that started my automotive love affair. I re-discovered the results because, since my energy has increased, I've started the painstaking, long-overdue, and slow task of going through my many papers, files, belongings, etc. In that process, I've also come across a number of old magazines, clippings, and even some letters from people long since gone, whether by death, lost touch, or simply only vaguely remembering the signed name.

#2 ... More of my ROUTE 66 STORY

Chapter#s 26-28, "A Couple in a LTD", "A Rude Awakening" & "Tale of Two Conversations"...:


#3 ... " Where have all the 1980s cars gone? "

This Tribune article ranks the 1980s MCs (and their Oldsmobile and Pontiac cousins) as "Survivors" with a collectibility grade of C ... do you agree?

There's a missing generation in American car collecting, people who came of age between 1974-1990. Collectors of cars from that period are conspicuously absent. Hot-rod shows are divided between V-8-powered gray panthers in 1930-1960s muscle and 20-somethings with Asian pocket rockets from 1990 to the present.
Extinct cars were wretched when new, with fragile motors, bad electrics, questionable handling and reliability issues. They are 99 percent gone.

Endangered species cars may still be found in small towns, parked outside seniors' homes, or at estate sales. You may find a little old lady car that you can bond with (as a contrarian), and find parts in wrecking yards.

Survivors had special merit — the 1984-89 Corvette C4 is still a marvelous car, and the turbocharged Buick Grand National was collectible from day one. Some plush-o-matic cruisers were bought by folks with white belts and plaid pants. Think Cadillac Eldorado, Buick Riviera and Oldsmobile Toronado. Other survivors were so numerous and inexpensive — like Chrysler's K cars — that they haven't all been used up yet.


Cort | 38.m.IL | pigValve + paceMaker + cowValve | 5 MCs + 1 Caprice Classic
* roadsNwheels + CapriceClassicForum = http://rdwhl-capriceclassic.proboards.com/ *
* rNwJumpStartCruzNite | 5:30-10:30p; SAT, 05/12/12 | BeefVilla, 1225 W Spring St, S Elgin IL *
"Those dreams move on if you wait too long" __ Billy Ray Cyrus __ 'Could've Been Me'
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