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.