Friday, November 17, 2017

Car Swap

In a previous posting I mentioned swapping around motorcycles and managing to upgrade as I went.  (Or at least I thought at the time I was upgrading.)  But I also swapped around some cars, and looking back on it, I made some big mistakes.  Many of those cars would become collectible classics.  In my defense, at the time they were just fun drives.

In no particular order, I had a 1946 MG TC, a 1953 Corvette, a 1956 T-Bird (with both tops), a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado 2-door convertible, a 1969 Ford Torino Cobra Jet, a 1969 Hurst/Olds, a 1968 Dodge Charger, and a 1968 Mustang G.T.500KR, as well as several others.

Today that’s an impressive line-up for anyone, but back in 1965 to about 1973, those were just cars—desirable even then, but still just cars.  Times have really changed.  The MG TC I paid $75 for.  I swapped it even for the Cadillac, and in turn swapped the Cadillac for the T-Bird.   I was driving the T-Bird one day when a guy offered me some cash and the ‘Vette he was driving for a trade.  I took it.  I still had a little sports car and a bunch of money.

The 1953 Corvette was white with a red interior, a two-speed automatic transmission and a six-cylinder engine.  It was fun to look at, but it was a pain to drive and maintain.  It was underpowered and unreliable.  The 6-volt electrical system just kept going out to pasture, and the thing drove like a tank.  I realized too late why the guy was willing to offer me such a good deal.  I’ve been afraid of good deals ever since.

The thing is though, I should have kept the car.  I can’t recall the serial number, but it was very low.  “002,” “003,” “004,” something like that.  I doubt this car is still around today, but if it is, I’m certain the current owner is quite aware of its value.  I traded it for a 1961 Chevy Impala SS 409.

The trades and swaps continued for a few years, and I started driving a 1971 Ford Maverick as my regular car.  It was a late year model and was equipped with a very powerful V-8 that I later discovered had been installed by mistake.  It was a Boss 302 someone at the factory was tinkering with, but it got into the regular sales by accident.  I kept this for a number of years while the other cars came and went.

At some point about 1973 I sold the last muscle car I was hanging on to.  It was a 1970 Super Bee Hemi.  And for some reason I just stopped trading.  Work had me traveling constantly, and the car swapping was becoming boring as well as difficult to continue.  But looking back on the cars I was privileged to possess, even for a short time, I was a very fortunate man.  As I’ve discovered over the years, very few persons have ever had the opportunity to sit in just one of these cars, much less own and drive one.