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What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

Posted November 24, 2014 12:00 PM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic auto favorite preferences

All of us have our favorite cars-cars we've known, cars we've owned, cars we've loved, cars we wish we could own. But what were the most influential cars in your life, good or bad, and why? What cars shaped your outlook on things automotive? My list is below. What's yours?

See the list on Hemmings.

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#1

Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/24/2014 1:37 PM

Well, I lost my "cherry" in the back seat of my 53 Hudson Hornet. Does that count?

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#2
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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/24/2014 3:07 PM

Probably rolled under the front seat next to that quarter and wad of gum.

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#11
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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/24/2014 7:12 PM

No, that was my beer bottle.

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#5
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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/24/2014 4:06 PM

Of all the cars that I have ever owned, the Hudson remains my favorite. My grandfather (who bought it new in 53) gave it to me when I got my driver's licence in 63. Hudson had gone out of business back in the middle 50s and the car had no resale value.

It was big and it was fast, and it was the only one in my part of New Hampshire. It became a legend, "The Golden Hud". Everyone knew it on sight. Unfortunately, that included every police officer in the area, who would routinely pull me over on general principals. ("There goes Gringogreg in his Hudson! He must be up to some kind of trouble")

The Golden Hud lasted me for five years, through high school and into college, despite the abuse that only a teenager can inflect on a car. Finally, while I was away at school, my father, who was tired of seeing it sitting in the yard with a failing transmission, had it towed away to that great junk yard in the sky, where all good cars go when they die.

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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/24/2014 4:24 PM

My Dad, being a stock-car fan, had Hudson's until he could no longer get parts to maintain them. I remember the rubber bladed fan on the rear deck of one and how ticked-off he would get if you stuck your finger in it to make noise.

Years later, he and I were in an old auto parts store when he picked up a small can that said "Hudsonite Clutch Oil". He explained that Hudson's had an oil-bath clutch and the oil would work well in an old Villiers bike that he had rebuilt the cork oil bath clutch on. It did.

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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/24/2014 5:01 PM

I remember the big fold-down arm rest in the back seat. When I was little, I loved to ride in the opening of the arm-rest.

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#12
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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/24/2014 8:07 PM

My favorite is my current 10-year old car. It is the only car that I have owned for as long as I have (8 years) and I have put just shy of 100,000 miles on it. Hoping the next 100K is at least as much fun. I have been through a lot of cars in my life!

I even got Derek Bell to sign the inside of the hood. :-)

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#27
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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/28/2014 12:22 AM

I even got Derek Bell to sign the inside of the hood. :-)

Or did you mean Bo Derek????

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#3

Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/24/2014 3:23 PM

Two by Studebaker (defunct) and two by Plymouth (also defunct):

1953 Studebaker Starliner coupe

1963 Studebaker Avanti

1965 Plymouth Barracuda Formula S

1970½ Plymouth AAR'Cuda 340/6BBL

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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/24/2014 5:05 PM

A friend of mine had a Studebaker Golden Hawk that shouldn't have been allowed to go that fast. It had a Judson supercharger on what I believe was a Packard engine.

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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/24/2014 4:04 PM

My Fathers 1954 Buick Roadmaster, purchased used. The windshield had a state representative sticker.

It had air-conditioning with the evaporator unit in the trunk and clear plastic tubes feeding little aircraft-type vents in the headliner.

The frame had some kind of girders with x-bracing, this was either a repair or reinforcement.

The only tires that would fit were intended for ambulances.

What a sweet cruiser!

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#6

Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/24/2014 4:20 PM

The ones that worked.

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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/24/2014 6:04 PM

I don't know that it really mattered in my life, and it wasn't even my car, but I have some very vivid memories of 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona belonging to a friend.

Man, was that ever a cool car! It was 1972, '73 maybe. I was tutoring this kid in math so he could maybe graduate, and after sessions we would go cruising... go 'Burn the point' was the vernacular that I recall.

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#13

Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/25/2014 4:42 AM

It was not my first car, but the one that I covered most miles in and the one I wish I could still have was the Austin Mini Van, best roadholding and economy, even better on single track Scottish roads than even the 1125 Oselli Cooper I had after it. Alex. Issagonis was a Genius.

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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/25/2014 2:57 PM

I happened to be having lunch in a "Drive-in" with "Carhops" serving. A tiny car pulled in and lurched to a stop. The guys had helmets? and the passenger had a clipboard with stop watches mounted on it. As soon as the carhop approached their car they paid, took the tray and dumped the food in the car. They backed out and left with smoke coming off the front tires-like a streak. I managed to catch a glimpse of the emblem on the rear hatch- COOPER MINI. What a demon!

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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/25/2014 2:31 PM

My favourite car, I wish I still had it, was a '67 Jaguar E 2+2 that I bought really cheap when there was a problem with petrol rationing in 1973/5 (I believe!). I almost got it given to me as I paid only 250 UK Pounds for it! The owner wanted 500, an amount that I simply did not have available...A year before it had been worth a lot more.

I had it unregistered in a lockup garage for a long time, jacked up, battery removed....I sat in it at least once a month and aired the inside....it was a great car just to sit in!!

It was in Concours condition. Beautiful.

It was a very light (Canary?) yellow. Leather, wire wheels. 4.2 Liter straight 6 engine.

My girlfriend of the time (actually it was a year or so later when I registered the car FINALLY!) called it my "Custard Torpedo"....

It was a very pretty "extension!" if you know what I mean.....

This picture is of an identical car of the same year, but as far as I am aware, not actually mine...

Enzo Ferarri said it was the prettiest car ever made in 1961 I believe (the very similar 2 seater version!)

I had to keep the doors locked when driving as strange (young, pretty and often in a mini skirt!) women would simply get in at say a red light and ask "Where are we going?" Which caused me to arrive late at customer sites on several occasions.....

Its only other fault was that on some rough roads, the front wheel tyres could hit the underside of the bonnet/wing.....annoying! Had to drive quite slow on such roads....so I avoided them like the plague.......

I had to sell it to pay for my wedding in '77 sadly......it simply used too much petrol for my finances at the time.....I got back far more than I had paid.....and we had a great wedding!!

Sadly I got divorced in 1980!!!! Short and un-sweet!!

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#16
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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/25/2014 3:06 PM

GA

They were great cars. Almost bought one myself, but the deal was a shady deal. However, the roadster version is something I still regard very warmly.

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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/25/2014 3:20 PM

As a kid (pre drivers license) I looked under a Jaguar on a showroom floor, The rear suspension links were massive tubes. Great combination of looks and build.

The closest I got to a Jaguar after that was the carburetor, on a Harley.

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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/25/2014 3:34 PM

In those days, they had Strombergs, one of my favourites. As are SUs...

Very occasionally here in Germany I get to set up a pair of SUs or Strombergs on old British sports cars....usually about once a year......for a local car club member or two......

Old British sports cars are still very popular here.....but none of them understand the Hayes manual in English.....for SUs.....or for Strombergs.

But it is actually very simple to do, ONCE YOU KNOW HOW!!!!

They are both similar to each other in how they operate.....

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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/25/2014 3:41 PM

I had the monster SU off an X series, I had to learn the dashpot, needle, and jetting.

I liked to watch the slide flutter at idle.

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11/25/2014 3:41 PM

Some years ago a good friend, a car dealer, had a type E roadster of the same vintage and color as yours. Years before, I had owned a couple of British sports cars, an MG-B and an Austin Healey 3000, so I was familiar with driving this type of car. However, from the moment I sat in the driver's seat, started the engine, and pulled out onto the road, it was like Jaguar had designed this car just for me. I have never felt more comfortable and confident driving a car as I did with this one. I wanted that car more than I have ever wanted a car, and he offered to sell it at a price that I could almost afford.

Unfortunately, my house in snowy New Hampshire was 1 km. back in the woods on an unimproved dirt road without a garage. There was no way this car could have survived in this environment. For me, it would be a 4X4 truck or nothing.

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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/25/2014 4:05 PM

"By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher, but selling your fave Jag at the outset is not a favourable omen either way you look at it."

-- Socrates

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#18

Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/25/2014 3:32 PM

I would like to hear from anyone about owning a:

DKW

Borgward

Saab (Two stroke)

Lancia Flavia

"English" ford that looked like scaled-down 57 Chevy.

Last of the Packard Clippers.

Nash Metropolitan (lous Lane car).

Corvair Spyder Monza.

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11/25/2014 4:11 PM

I thought 'Borgward' was a direction.

"Resistance is futile; you will be assimilated."

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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/25/2014 4:18 PM

I don't Know, but it had a rotating shift knob, so you never knew which way you where going to go.

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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/28/2014 12:57 AM

DKW- As a youngster working in a garage learning all I could, There was a DKW that was serviced there. I seem to remember that it was 3 cylinder.

Packard Clipper- Before I was old enough to work on cars, I worked in the family grocery store. Baby lambs are in demand by traditional Greek families for Easter dinner. One year there were just none to be had locally, and many regular customers still looking for lambs with only a few days to go before Easter. A friend of a friend who knew someone told us that there might be some baby lambs available in Brooklyn. (An hour ride from Astoria.) With the prospect of getting 5 lambs it was deemed proper to just take the car to go pick them up. Well, my uncle had a Packard Clipper. About a 56. In turquoise and white of course. I went with my uncle to get them. When we got there, it turned out that "the guy" was an old friend of my uncles. They had a few drinks, and told stories from the old days, and I was told to load as many lambs as I could into the trunk. I did a good job. Perhaps too good a job. On the way back to the store the car was bottomed out, and every bottle cap we drove over was cause for rubbing of tires, and scrapped bumper. As the only store in Astoria with baby lambs, we made a good profit that year. But, I never forgot the ride from hell in that Packard.

Corvair Spyder- While in the navy, I was stationed in Brooklyn, and living in Queens.(Both parts of N.Y.C.) I had a chance to pick up a Spyder for only $250. It did not run, but that was only an ignition problem. While it was parked in a garage I worked in part time, someone ran into it. The guy was drunk and wanted no police. So he bought it for $500, and towed it to the scrap yard. So, I never got to start it, but doubled my money on it.

Hope that helps. Bob.

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#25

Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/25/2014 10:44 PM

I bought my first car in 1966, a 1946 Plymouth Special Deluxe for $50.00 and drove it for about 3 years before the inability to get parts took it off the road. It was both my transportation and an apprenticeship in auto repair. Boy, I still miss it!

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Re: What Were The Cars That Really Mattered In Your Life?

11/26/2014 8:00 PM

1967 Volkswagen Type 2 17 window van. Primer blue, 1500 single port. My first car. Nothing special. When I went down to Huntington Beach all sorts of hot babes wanted to go for a ride. My friends had mustangs, novas and plymouths. But is was my car that drew the ladies like bees to honey.

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