Contributed by Norman Kincaide.
The dust has settled from Saturday night’s demolition derby at the Arkansas Valley Fair. The aroma of teriyaki chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, turkey drum sticks, and cotton candy has all but dissipated with the sunrise.
Yes, folks, some cars just should not be 4-doors. A lot of folks felt this way when the Dodge Charger was reintroduced in the 2006 model year, but we did get used to it. For the most part. I know the cops sure did.
And usually, if a car has a back seat, I'd like back doors there. I learned my lesson in a 2-door Chevette about leaning forward to let folks in the back.
But there are some cars that no amount of time will ever pass to let them be. They are surely from, or should go to, the twilight zone.
On this Easter weekend we resurrect (pun entirely intended) a Car Lust Classic that poses a question nobody really asked: Just what did Jesus drive?
A somewhat farcical question to be sure, but one that we here at Car Lust are more than willing to throw ourselves into with gusto. This post has as its ultimate source a small movement some years ago by environmentally-directed religious groups to get people out of their gas-guzzling SUVs and into smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles (no obvious relation other than in name to the band). While the merits of this quest of theirs is beyond the scope of this post, it nevertheless spurred me to ponder the question: Just what did Jesus drive?
Admittedly, a small treatise on the wheeled vehicles present in the early 1st century AD Levant isn't all that relevant to modern drivers. OTOH, it's still (IMO) a useful exercise that may shed some light on our common wheeled heritage going back a bit further than the initial stabs at automobiles early in the preceding century. Besides, a little foray into ancient history never hurt anybody and it might add another small dimension of humanity to the divine that many of us are celebrating this coming weekend.
So, come with me as we journey back 2,000 years to see what sort of wheels our Car Lusting forebears were perhaps drooling over and come at least a little closer to answering the age-old question of: What Did Jesus Drive?
(Obviously, If Jesus did come back today, He would certainly drive a 15-passenger Econoline van: room for the 12 Apostles, plus the two Marys, of course!)
Call this a hat trick if you will. The 2010 and 2011 Nashville British Car Club Shows have been featured here at Car Lust, so now we complete the trilogy with the October 13, 2012 presentation, which included the Sunbeam Alpine Invasion.
The weather for each of these three shows was simply superb... dry October days with temperatures in the low 80s. Quite the contrast from the damp country that built these magnificent automotive specimens, which may explain why many of them are here in the first place.
2010 and 2011 brought a multitude of Triumphs, MGs, Jaguars, and the like. They were lined in rows that seemed almost endless. And there were a number of those roadsters at the 2012 show, but this year seemed to be devoted to the rarest of the species. And that's what we'll concentrate on here... so let's start with the really rare:
The Auburn Automobile Company was one of the many "independent" automakers that was unable to survive the Great Depression. Like its fellow Hoosier Studebaker a generation later, Auburn did not go gentle into that good night.
Studebaker made its last stand in the early '60s with a burst of creativity all out of proportion to the resources it had to work with, producing the Gran Turismo Hawk, the Lark, the unique Wagonaire, and the timelessly swank Avanti. So, too, with Auburn, whose last years produced two cars which are still counted as among the most beautiful things ever to roll on four wheels: the "coffin nosed" Cord 810/812 and the topic of today's lesson, the Auburn Model 851 and 852 Speedsters, the last of the "Boattails."
Yesterday I popped in to see the newly-opened LeMay Car Museum -- technically the LeMay - America's Car Museum -- for a much-too-short hour and a half (I snuck out of a niece-in-law's high school graduation ceremony at the adjacent Tacoma Dome. . .don't tell!). I've never actually been to a car museum so it was an entirely new experience for me. The Museum just opened this month and it's really quite a wonder for these parts given that we have no domestic automotive industry to garner history from, at least directly. But we are home to Harold and Nancy LeMay who acquired a truly astounding collection of automobiles. From the above-linked web site:
Harold and Nancy LeMay amassed the largest privately owned collection of automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, other vehicles and related memorabilia in the world.
At its peak, the LeMay Collection numbered in excess of 3,000 vehicles and thousands of artifacts and was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest privately owned collection in the world; impressive if accomplished by a King, but jaw dropping, awesome when accomplished by a local businessman from Tacoma, Washington.
As with most high-end collectors, most of the cars are, well, high end collector cars: gleaming jewels of spotless chrome and deep, rich paint, shined to mirror-like perfection and lit to enhance their beauty. They're not all owned by the LeMays; there's a permanent collection and several 'galleries', if you will, of donated collections and sets of related cars on loan from individuals. Definitely worth a trip for the auto history enthusiast.
Sadly, no mint-condition Pacers I'm afraid.
Still, there were a few specimens that we've covered here and a couple that will no doubt be covered in the future. Here are a few snapshots for some of the more Lustable items.
Once again we venture into the field (pun intended) of historical archaeology for some interesting automotive tidbits. This post gives some updates on the previous post as well as a couple of new items for your edification and amusement -- and hopefully some information input. That previous post proved quite valuable as many of the cars have been identified to a good series of years, giving us at least a baseline for the time that they were put there, always a valuable commodity for archaeologists. Also in the meantime I found out a bit more about the car dump along the river bank which I will pass along.
I also have a new site which, sadly, I had only a couple of minutes to snap a few photos of, so I am hoping for some reader input on the make, model, and year, although that might be tricky given the limited set of photographs.
And for the pièce de résistance one utterly Car Lustable example that will surely send certain auto-hearts to twitterpating.
Again, this is all from an unidentified area of eastern Washington state, although at least one photo and link will give the general location away.