Cars We Love & Who We Are
More than the polished parts and hard to find pieces, the special interest vehicles people collect embody the character of each owner. “Cars We Love & Who We Are” profiles individual special interest vehicles and the proud owner committed to its preservation.
Conversations with People We Value
Talking with skilled professionals who support our passion for collectible automobiles.
Roads We Remember
Some roads discovered far from home reward us with a once in a lifetime driving experience. Others are old friends revisited to elevate our spirits and celebrate the joy of life behind the wheel.
Returning from a too long deferred journey to visit the hallowed grounds of the Gettysburg Battlefield, I found myself on the old Lincoln Highway and in the heart of Amish Country. In possessing no meaningful contact with the Anabaptist community, reliance on contemporarily derived depictions like Harrison Ford’s movie “Witness” shaped my life view. That void left me unsatisfied. I had increasingly desired a better understanding of their chosen path. Now, writing Drivin News afforded a context for me to explore the seemingly simpler path chosen by these gentle people.
Join me for a buggy ride in Amish country.
Amish Buggies, Where Worlds Collide but No One Crashes
The approaching rhythmic clop-clop sound of horse hooves created a calming sound track while triggering learned memories of a simpler time before our birth. Fittingly, a hunched, weathered, gray bearded man in dark trousers, white shirt and black, flat brimmed hat gently eased the wooden-spoke buggy to a halt in an open barn yard. Pulled by a handsome sweat glistened black Morgan cross breed, the Amish buggy presented a timeless image that, save for safety lights and a windshield wiper blade, would seem appropriate to any day over the last two-hundred years. As tourists departed the buggy, a man of similar age and dress as the driver appeared at the opening of a nearby barn. Reserved but open, he introduced himself as the owner of this tourist buggy ride business. Hearing of my intention to write about driving an Amish buggy in the modern world, he willing agreed to the interview.
Before proceeding with the story, attention must be directed to what will prove to be the complete absence of names and/or photos of the Amish men and women who agreed to be interviewed. Their religious views and cultural imperatives precluded,, such perceived expressions of ego.
The unwavering Amish reliance on the horse drawn buggy serves as a perfect metaphor for the their culture’s steadfast commitment to a simpler life. As well, their favored mode of personal transportation stands emblematic of their passive and powerful resolve to defy the pressures of a modern world. One cannot help but be curious as to the nature of life lived by the Amish at the intersection of their chosen path and that of a frenetic modern world that compels the vast […]
Though not exactly Sophie’s choice, the decision to sell my 1953 Ford F100 Golden Anniversary Edition pickup left me torn and uneasy. Grudgingly working through the process of winnowing down my small collection of vehicles left standing alone my able and eager Meadow Green F100 work horse of the 1950s. Consideration of my other vehicles found them either worth too little or meaning too much. Now, the question facing me required deciding on how to sell it. Park it on a busy street sporting a for sale sign? Maybe an online purchase site. Certainly myriad online auctions beckoned. Finally based on a friend’s suggestion, I turned to Facebook Marketplace. Let me say upfront, I consider Facebook to be the Devil’s work. That said, I figured why not let the Devil work for me.
Going face-to-face with Facebook Marketplace
An old school car guy goes face-to-face with Facebook Marketplace
Unlike billions of other Earthlings I did not spend time on Facebook…until last week. Enlisting the aid of friend and online sales maven Nick Navarro of Navarro Automotive Consulting (NAC), I elected to go where millions of people have gone before, just not me. I entered Mark Zuckerberg’s digital bazaar.
My friend Nick represents the “Hope” side of what I call “The History and the Hope” spectrum of automotive enthusiasts. The “History” side of the classic vehicle obsession makes itself painfully evident with the departure of the many skilled craftsman and passionate collectors we witness melting out of the culture. Nick conversely represents one of the many young men and women who share the passion and willingly accept the baton we of the “History” side happily hand off, grateful for their youthful interest.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Automotive Restoration from McPherson College and, after post graduation work in high-end classic car restoration including work for the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and the Audrain, Nick began his own company, (NAC) focusing on restoration consulting and brokering.
Nick, being both a dyed in the wool car guy and an accomplished digital native, represents the future of classic car enthusiasm. To better understand those comprising the “Hope,” one should recognize an attribute, that of “Digital Native,” common to those like Nick. Think of digital communications as a language. Rare is the older person who learns a language […]
The immediate dopamine rush when discovering a previously unknown car brand bearing one’s first name is heady stuff indeed. Certainly for me. While a fairly lengthy list of automobile brands sport the last name of their founders, only one brand, Mercedes, took on a person’s first name in advance of making it famous. Or so I thought, until at a recent car show I pulled up next to a charming, if rudimentary, blue European sports car branded with the name Burton, my first name. And in this case it would be all about me. The surprise coupled with my healthy sense of self fired my curiosity. My total ignorance of the Burton brand would soon be addressed with my introduction to European car importer Simon Knott.
Meet Simon Knott and the Burton.
What’s a Burton?
With a slight autumnal chill in the evening air and a brilliant blinding sun hanging low in the sky, I slowly squinted my way into a spot on the field of a local car show. With my dazzled eye sight returning to normal, I turned to the car on my left. It strongly resembled a cross breeding of a Lotus Seven (Patrick McGoohan drove one in “The Prisoner”) and the 1950s British built Singer roadster. This MGTD-sized open sports car projected a charm and vigor that would seem to fit nicely as a runabout in a Florida, California or other sun drenched temperate community. Adorning the nose and the high cutaway door sills, elegant chromed script copy within an oval emblem spelled out “Burton.” I couldn’t help wondering, “Why choose that name?”
At the car’s left hand driver’s side a genial man with a fine British accent spoke to a group eager for details about the Burton. A smooth blend of salesman, tour guide and professor, he spoke in a most engaging and casual manner. Before the curious group of admirers he held forth detailing the virtues of the Burton. Clearly, this little blue sports car was the first Burton any in this gathering had ever seen. I would soon learn that the Englishman explaining its merits was Simon Knott whose company, Round Peg International, had imported it to America from the Netherlands.
As the crowd dissipated, I had the opportunity to ask Simon, “What’s a Burton?” and, for me, even more pressing, “Why choose that name?”
I learned […]
Here’s this week’s question:
On what vehicle did Carroll Shelby base the Cobra?
Answer to last week’s question:
In Springsteen’s song “My Hometown,” what make car did his father drive? Buick
About the blogger
Burton Hall has written for an automotive client list that includes Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Maserati, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Peugeot and Volvo. He has also written for The Washington Post, AutoWeek, Corvette Monthly, Jaguar Magazine, BMW Magazine, Hemmings.com, Hagerty Magazine and numerous auto restoration buff books.
He is a member of the Society of Automotive Historians and the Historic Vehicle Association.
As a classic car hobbyist, He owns a 1961 Corvette that he bought in 1967, a 1953 Jaguar XK120MC Drophead Coupe that he restored after finding it in a barn in 1980, an original 1953 Golden Anniversary Ford F100 pickup that he purchased from the original owner and a 1951 MG TD that presently serves as a planter and centerpiece in his garden. All are great drivers, except the MG which has a few bugs.
10/26/23 – What’s a Burton
10/12/23 – Carvana Confusion – Dude Where’s My Car?
08/17/23 – In search of the 7th Royale (Part 8)
08/03/23 – In search of the 7th Royale (Part 7)
07/20/23 – In Search of the 7th Royale (Part 6)
07/06/23 – In Search of the 7th Royale (Part 5)
06/22/23 – In Search of the 7th Royale (Part 4)
06/08/23 – In search of the 7th Royale (Part 3)
05/25/23 – In Search of the 7th Royale (Part 2)
05/11/23 – In Search of the 7th Royale (Part 1)
04/13/23 – Trapped by a Forest of Trucks
11/24/22 – How to manage down a classic car collection
08/04/22 – Let’s create a Concours d’Elegance. OK…How?
06/23/22 – Does original matter anymore?
04/28/22 – Hot Road Missionary and his monster machines
04/14/22 – The monster truck that nearly crushed Volvo
02/17/22 – Return of the Zipper King
01/20/22 – When blue highways turn white
01/06/22 – Blue highways, back roads – If not now when?
12/09/21 – Hot rod love, family style
10/28/21 – Provenance – Uncovering your car’s backstory
10/14/21 – Comparing classic car sales platforms
09/30/21 – Evolution of the new car brochure (Part II)
09/16/21 – A hot rod life defined by abundance not lack
09/02/21 – The man they trust to rebuild history
08/19/21 – Bring what you love
08/05/21 – Exploring our power within
07/15/21 – Evolution of the new car brochure (Part 1)
06/03/21 – 90 GTOs, 30 Corvettes and counting
05/06/20 – When the find is the barn
04/22/21 – Man Cave Garage Sale unmasks Covid boredom
04/08/21 – The odd couple in Vinny Plotino’s garage
03/25/21 – Lemans 1978 – A young man’s memories
02/18/21 – Carried away by Bring a Trailer
01/21/21 – Behind the wheel of a time machine
01/14/21 – Wurst Kase Motorsports
01/07/21 – Singing the CarGurus no title blues
12/03/20 – Carnucopia II – Classic Car Food Drive
11/26/20 – Vintage Cord binds father and son
11/19/20 – NY Route 9D – A sure cure for Covid boredom
11/12/20 – Confessions of a demolition derby survivor
11/05/20 – Sons of Danger – Mad Men on wheels
10/22/20 – Guatemala and back in a Karmann Ghia
09/24/20 – Crash course for an underage driver
09/17/20 – Playboy Bunnies in the rearview mirror
09/10/20 – The journey is the reward
08/27/20 – Old School Larry
08/20/20 – In celebration of a life off the leash
08/13/20 – Asleep at the wheel – Rest Stop Recovery
08/06/20 – Rt. 17A – A sweet ride to Sugarloaf
07/30/20 – What’s a”Vineyard truck?”
07/16/20 – The woman picks up where the girl left off
07/09/20 – When time and other things stand still
07/02/20 – Drive-In movies, Back to the future
06/18/20 – Dagavar’s Jaguar, the truth at last
06/11/20 – TAKE-OUT, Lifeline to the future
06/04/20 – Henry Hudson Drive
05/28/20 – CARnucopia Food Drive Results
05/21/20 – CARnucopia
05/14/20 – Collectible Car Culture in a Pandemic
05/07/20 – Austin Healey? Nope, It’s Austin’s Crosley!
04/30/20 – Storm King Highway
04/23/20 – Children We Love
04/16/20 – Mustang Madness Revisited