So Hagerty wants to know "What is your best memory in a classic car?".
Well... for me I believe it was the first time I got to see Caroline for the first time. A 1958 Buick Century.
I had come to a place in my life where I could afford a modest priced classic car, which is tough considering most of the really cool-looking ones carry a pretty cool market value. I knew my checklist was a simple one... Find one I can work on, find one with some fins, and lastly, I could afford.
While most people my age are still quite passionate about muscle cars, I think I was born an older soul so to speak, I LOVE the late 50s fins and chrome. I always have. I think it's because we had automakers putting form over function in many cases. We weren't afraid to go bold and build these works of art and they did so without the use of computers. Take a look at the grille on a '58 Buick and you'll see where I'm coming from
I looked for months online until one day I came across a little website hidden way down in the pages of google. It was a simple website that a collector had published for a way to advertise some of his cars for sale. He had many I could not afford... but one jumped out at me.
It was a mostly-original 1958 Buick Century with only 135K on the clock. I thought "This is it!" I had never seen one of these before.... ever! It's not everyday you come across any of the models of a '58 Buick and yet I was surprised at the asking price. The market values on the '58 Buicks are not known for being high and yet to me here was this beautiful machine up on my monitor. It was located about 2 hours away and I called the nice gent up immediately.
The next day I drove to his place of business.
Beautiful.... just beautiful. I came around the corner of the parking lot and it was an immediate sensory overload. BAM!
It had all the right lines and presence I was looking for. Fantastic! It needed a little TLC but I didn't care. I've turned many wrenches and ratchets in my life and this was gonna be a great learning experience.
The really cool thing was that it had that "classic car smell". Now unless you're really passionate about original old cars you may not get that statement. To me every original classic has this unique interior scent... even if you have two of the same make and model. It a combination of age, materials, and environment that makes it, and to some it sort of like a pheromone. It sounds crazy but that's my memory... opening the door and sliding behind that giant steering wheel for the first time and (big long sniff...) smelling that wonderful scent of that old interior.
The test drive was beyond words. I came back and didn't even question his asking price. It was fair and I paid it, and I've had her for over a decade now. I get offers from time to time but I'm not a collector/trader sort of enthusiast. I bought her to drive and enjoy and I've been doing that every chance I get... And the cool thing is every time I slide behind that wheel that memory of that day comes back... beginning with my nose!