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According to my mother, as a very young child I would get all worked up at gas stations yelling "gaswater." It was a sign of things to come. Cars. Where to start...

Me & the "Ol Case" my favorite toy as a kid (approx 1965)

At about the age of 3, my parents I were at the Woodstock Inn at Woodstock, Vermont where an antique car show was being held. I got to sit in a Stanley Steamer and remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever. In turn, visiting the Woodstock Farm Supply Store got me excited about tractors. I am still excited about both and then some.

My First Car 1964 VW 1200 (aka Beetle)

At 13, my friend and I went in on a 1964 VW beetle. We had a great time with it and then got a second '64 Beetle. Because they were stored in a boathouse, and I was not allowed to tinker during school, it was a while before I realized the winter storm of 1978 had flooded the cars with saltwater. Saltwater, aluminum engine, 3 months... yuck.... There have been many cars of different types and differing quality over the years. Some make me weepy to think about, some get my blood boiling. With the exception of one Audi, all were fun or interesting in one way or another. I'm used to middle of the night car emergency calls from friends and family, and helping people decide upon the right car for their needs. About once a year someone gives up on a car and hands me the title, I have accepted some real clunkers knowing I could make some good come from it. Overall, the car hobby has a been a great one for me.

I currently own two classic automobiles: a 1966 Lincoln Convertible, and the recently acquired 1969 Subaru 360. You can track the progress of the Subaru Project on this site - I am just waiting for that big surge in micro-car collectability I have been predicting! My daily car is a 1992 Volvo 240 wagon, and for the tough jobs around the house and hauling outboards, a 1996 Chevy K-1500 Silverado pick-up truck. The wife has a Honda Accord - she doesn't like to tinker with her cars....

Click on the photo below to go to a section

My old '55 DeSoto with the Subaru and the kids jeep

Good & Bad Cars

When I was growing up we had a 1967 International Scout, the first car I ever drove on the road (on my dad's lap up in Vermont) My dad purchased it new and, despite its major shortcomings; rust, front end problems, poor overall quality, I think he loved it more than any car he ever owned - dad was ahead of the curve with the allure of the SUV!! Of course they weren't called SUV's in the 60's, (if anything it would simply have been a UV - Utility Vehicle) the Scout was all business and amazing for hunting, fishing and working the farm. There were no cup-holders or creature comforts (like arm rests!) in the Scout - heck, the only leather in the vehicle was in your watchband and shoes!

Unfortunately, by the mid 70's dad's Scout had no original sheet metal left below the door handles - I think IH made the body panels from sugar, as soon as they got wet they dissolved! Dad experimented with fiberglass, bondo and other "fixes" but it just got worse and worse. By 1978 the poor Scout only had 18,000 miles but was so ugly my mom would not have it parked in our driveway. One gray spring day I followed dad to the junkyard, he took out the battery and handed them the keys.

There are no pictures of our '67 Scout - but I did find the brochure in my dads files. See the colt licking the fender - proof the body panels were made of sugar!
The 1967 Buick Sportwagon - Solid, reliable and it never rusted!

On the opposite side, we purchased a 1967 Buick Sportwagon as an “extra car” in the late 1970’s from my friend Paul. (It essentially replaced the Scout) I need to preface the story by saying that my dad worked for GM-AC when he was in business school back in 1948-49. Part of his training was a plant tour that highlighted all the ways they saved 1/10 of a penny by leaving off a washer here, a bolt there, etc... After the brief time at GM, dad became a die-hard Ford man, (with the exception of the Scout). Not that he thought Ford or IH was any better than GM but at least he didn't KNOW how they were skimping.

Dad hated the '67 Buick from day one - it had vista windows in the roof, faux wood on the side, automatic transmission, A/C, power windows, all the things he (as an old-time New Englander) thought were excesses and would just break and cause him problems. In our family "extra car" status meant it had all the ugly jobs, dump runs, towing boats, loaning to neighbors, etc. As it turned out, the Buick's vista windows leaked like a sieve - so badly that the car smelled like a greenhouse inside. (fueling dads dislike for it) Despite the hard use and high interior humidity, it always ran and NEVER RUSTED!! In the late 70's and early 80's both my brother and I learned to drive in it and, as teenagers may do, beat the living tar out of it. My dad passed away the year the Buick turned 20, at the time both my brother and I had moved on to other car(s) and did not want the Buick. It was detailed and sold looking as good as it did when new.

Here we are 25+ years later and my brother and I miss the Sportwagon and would love to have it back. Its legacy of dependability and excellent engineering are why both of us are diehard GM owners today! But dad loved the Scout & hated the Buick, despite the overwhelming empirical evidence to the contrary. Sometimes owning a car is more about how you feel about it......

My dad and his family's 1928 Studebaker President
One of my favorite photos - at their home in Edgertown MA. (approx. 1929) This car served them well but met its end during WWII when it was donated to the scrap drive.

Art's Auto Rollcall | 1966 Lincoln Convertible | 1968 Subaru 360 | Volvo Corner


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