Cars We Love & Who We Are #502024-02-29T12:30:45+00:00

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.

Cars We Love & Who We Are #47

As announced in the last Drivin’ News posting, I have chosen the depths of winter in New Jersey to produce a Collectible Car event comprised of a photography show, raffle, wine tasting and panel discussion. Its purpose, to benefit North Jersey’s decades-old and respected Tri-Boro Food Pantry.

The logic inspiring my seemingly counter intuitive plunge into the heart of Winter Pattern SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) resides in the fast fading joy of the increasingly distant holidays and the associated ennui of a large population of car enthusiasts Jonesing for something, anything car related to do. I am placing my bet on a sunny day in January that together with a fun and interesting Collectible Car event will entice a boatload of enthusiasts out of their man cave hibernation.

As my esteemed panel of experts comprised of Dave La Chance, Bob Austin, Bryan Maletsky, Fred Hammond and Matt Maisano will be wrestling with the topic of “The Future of Collectible Automobiles” I have decided to explore just what makes an automobile collectible.

Defining “Collectible Car.”

Vinny Plotino with his ’70 Plymouth Superbird and ’62 Ford Falcon

So What defines a collectible vehicle?

In the broadest sense, a collectible car is one you do not need in the least but would most love to have. Much like asking opinions on who makes the best pizza, the  definition of a Collectible automobile can vary. In the case of Jay Leno, he says, “It should be of technical or historical interest, fun to drive and pleasant to look at.” Others such as renowned car enthusiast Miles Collier, founder of the Revs Museum and Dr. Fred Simeone founder of the eponymous Simeone Automotive Foundation Museum both put a more a much finer point on what determines a true collectible automobile. For the sake of this article, I would like to take everyone to my friend Vinny Plotino’s garage.

Opening the garage doors reveals a pristine B5 Blue 1970 Plymouth Superbird and a severely distressed 1962 Ford Falcon. Few cars could stand farther apart on the collector car spectrum. Vinny’s Superbird towers as an unmodified, low mileage, highly valued iconic beacon of visually outrageous high performance.

His lowly, bland Ford Falcon displays a level of patina that crosses the line into structural decay. As to its cash […]

By |January 18th, 2024|4 Comments

Conversations With People We Value #51

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 […]

By |November 30th, 2023|2 Comments

Conversations With People We Value #50

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 […]

By |November 9th, 2023|2 Comments
Drivin' News Quiz
Here’s this week’s question:
What is the derivation of the Swedish auto maker’s name, Volvo?
 

Answer to last week’s question:
In 1957 GM offered fuel injection for the first time in two models. One was the Chevrolet with the Corvette and Bel Air. The other  – Pontiac Bonneville

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.

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