My New “Treasure”

It all started with a slow day at work… these are rare (my bosses generally read these so I will actually go with very, very rare). I was ambling around the internet looking for some parts for my Mini when I saw an ad “ 1983 Lincoln vi, no rust, totally straight, needs a headliner and heater core, certified” . The price was less than an Italian hand bag I am sure my wife wanted so I figured I could sell it and at least break even if she decided she wanted the bag instead of this stunning example of 1980’s American personal luxury.

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I called my partner in crime who happens to be a huge Ford/Lincoln guy. He assured me of what I already knew: I would be crazy not to buy it. I had a moral duty to buy this car. At this point I called the number in the ad and left a message to call. I then played the waiting game. It is unnerving because at this point I had convinced myself that if I didn’t get this car, the world would cease to exist… I didn’t want him responding to someone else first and selling it to them, I also didn’t want to call back and seem desperate or crazy. Of note: it was around this time that I realized this car was in Sarnia, a 3 hour drive from Toronto. Hey, love can travel right?

The seller called me back about an hour later, this is the meat and potatoes of the conversation:

Me: “hey man, thanks for calling me back, still got the Lincoln? Whats the deal with it?”

Seller: “ still got ‘er, she’s super straight, no rust anywhere, no dents, it needs a heater core, I have one to go with the car and the head liner sags, I’ve done some stuff to it so I can sell it certified, I just got the car”

Me: “ paint is good, interior is okay otherwise?”

Seller: “paint is amazing, the car was from Florida, a priest in florida owned it and kept it parked inside most of the-“

Me: “ woah, woah, woah, a priest owned it before you?”

Seller: “yeah man, he lived down south and moved to Sarnia, he is in his 90’s and couldn’t drive it anymore”

Me: “sold, I’ll take it”

Seller: *laughing* “because it was owned by a priest?

Me: “crap, you live in Sarnia? Does it run?”

Seller: “yeah, Sarnia, runs, needs a heater core so I would not drive it to Toronto, needs a headliner”

Me: “and a priest owned it?”

Seller “……yes……”

Me: “I’ll come on Sunday to get it”

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My partner in crime (we will call him Kevin to protect his true identity, his wife may read this as well…) and I drove the 3 hours to Sarnia on a Sunday to see the Lincoln. Sweet mother of chrome she was in great shape. The landeau roof was not torn or overly sun faded. The paint looked like a 9 out of 10 (a couple of touch-ups) 1 door ding and the chrome was excellent other than a trim peace coming off the rear bumper. The fold-away headlights worked, all the buttons I pressed had a reaction, even the old-school analog temperature gauge attached to the driver side mirror seemed correct. The car was as we call it in automotive speak “a pin”.

I will write about this odyssey again and regale you, fine reader about venturing into the unknown of fine velour seats and faux wood. Just know this for the time being: I now own a prime example of 80’s American class an elegance, the only person more thrilled than me is my wife.

Ford Verses Chevy who wins?

Let’s talk about rivalries. Sports teams have them, siblings have them, gangs have them and companies have them. Aside from the Montreal Canadians being a terrible team  – go, Leafs, go – nothing is better than a good old rival between two car companies over competing products.

A rivalry pushes both manufactures to bring out a more fuel efficient, safer, faster, quieter, cheaper and pretty well everything else that ends in “er” in a bid to dominate the competition. What does this mean for you, Mr. and Mrs. Customer? Well, you can stuff all those “er’s” in your back pocket and smile. We are going to focus on two companies who are constantly at each other’s throats: Chevy and Ford.

I saw two cars parked next to each other today that epitomize this rivalry, and it inspired this article. I was going to write about the ultimate gifts for the car lover on your holiday list, but I refuse to accept the holiday season before December first. I also refuse to spend any amount of time in a place that plays Christmas jingles, serves eggnog or has ugly Christmas sweaters… I will save that rant for another time.

Camaro vs. Mustang:

The American dream in vehicle form, presented in the form of a vehicle.  Cheap V8-power, rear-wheel drive, 2-door coupe and convertible. These cars can lay down some serious rubber and belch a fantastic sound with some minor exhaust work.

The winner:  While the Camaro went on a hiatus in 2002 and came back with a vengeance several years ago, the Mustang wins because it invented the “personal sports car” market and has never gone out of production.

Chevy Silverado vs. Ford F-150:

We like our pickup trucks BIG, powerful and comfortable, with lots of towing and payload capacity. Nothing says I’m a manly-man quite like a shiny grille at eye level, big meaty tires and a side profile bigger than most barn doors.

The winner: Ford F-150 has been the best-selling pickup truck in America since TV’s were black and white….seriously.

Chevy Blazer vs. Ford Bronco:

Who makes the better full-size, 2-door convertible 4X4? This market segment is distinctly American. Yes, I would like a massive truck and, no I do not need a pickup box, but could you cut the roof off for me? After we finished with them as daily drivers, snow plowers would buy them for their bulletproof drivetrains and tight turning circles.

The winner: Ford Bronco because in 1992, O.J. Simpson drove on down the highway while we all watched, stunned.

Cadillac vs. Lincoln:

This is Classic American Luxury at its finest. From interiors that looked like they came out of a porno shoot (both Cadillac and Lincoln were guilty of this from 1969-1992)to trunks that could swallow a medium-sized sow (a guy in my dad’s hometown actually hauled a pig in the trunk of his Lincoln).

Winner: Cadillac by a Texas mile. Lincoln is a shadow of its former self. All of their products are merely Ford vehicles with ritzy interiors and updated exteriors. The Cadillac Escalade continues to dominate the luxury SUV market and the CTS-V is one of the best performing sedans on the market.

All said, two great American car companies both competing for the same thing: to be in your driveway. See, stop fighting your sibling for extra dessert or the t.v. remote. The rivalries between auto manufactures are way better, and nobody gets a time out!

When Autofest attacks

This past weekend Auto|One Group was at Autofest in Oshawa. For those of you who don’t know what that is, I feel bad for you. It is one of the largest classic car shows in Canada. Oshawa is a large GM town, they have been building cars in Oshawa for as long as Canada has had trees… maybe not quite that long but close. Oshawa has always built GM vehicles and is home to some of the busiest and largest plants in North America.

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As you would expect there were lots of classic General Motors products at the show, both stock and otherwise. Auto|One Group brought two vehicles. One was a 1959 Oldsmobile that rolled off the Oshawa assembly line at the number two plant in march of 1959. The other car we brought was a 1970 Alfa Romeo 1750 sports car. We like to shake it up a bit and thought it would be nice to bring a rare import, guessing that nobody else would- we were right.

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Mother Nature loves classic cars, it’s a fact that has been proven by science. She gave us sunny skies and nice warm weather for the all the cars to bask in. Speaking of which there were close to 1,500 cars in attendance. We are not talking about low end clunkers that came from someone’s barn, yes there were some there. We are talking about high dollar restored vehicles; hot rods, muscle cars, rat rods, lead sleds and original classics. Everything from an original 1904 ford up to a 1,000 horsepower Chevy was in attendance.

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The show essentially takes over the city for the weekend. Make no mistake about it, Oshawa loves it’s motors. These guys work there hands to the bone during the day so they can work on there pride and joy at night. They want them just right, whether that is the right stance, paint, motor, interior or look they don’t care. Oshawa breeds a type of car guy that does not stop customizing/modifying there car until it is perfect. want proof? look at the picture below LOOK HOW BIG THAT MOTOR IS!

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This also needs a special tribute. What started as a Pontiac is now chopped, channeled, shaved, painted and amazing!

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Friday night is a cruise in downtown Oshawa, this shuts down the core of the city. Saturday and Sunday approximately 30,000 people flood to the park at the foot of Lake Ontario to see the cars. There are two entrances to the show and people are lined up for kilometers at either entrance watching cars enter and exit the show. It is a spectacle to be seen.  Our booth was located along the main corridor of the show. We would sit in lawn chairs at night and watch the cars leave the show. What an amazing experience!

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Lots of awards were given out and Cruise nationals was on hand to present the awards for best truck, station wagon, hot rod, paint, etc…. This was also the final stop on the Cruise nationals tour. All winners from this event are considered to be champions and invited to the Canadian International Auto Show in February so the competition was stiff.

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the awards being handed out. Note man and machine, together in harmony.

At Auto|One Group we love classic cars. They are as individual as we are. We love seeing the rare gems come out, the oddball customs and the wild cruisers. We believe that each car is a direct representation of there owner’s taste and style. How can you look at these cars and not want to meet the characters who drive them? We can’t wait for the next classic car show to see more of these fantastic individuals (and there drivers). One more picture of a car to hold you until then….

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