Thursday, May 26, 2011

What I Saw Today

This olelongrooffan has previously mentioned I am contributing not just to Hooniverse but also to Curbside Classic.  Enjoy a post I did over there about this sweet ride I spotted a couple days ago.

Earlier this week I was visiting my specialty fastner supplier to acquire the necessary bolts and nuts to successfully complete another project.  In the employee lot was a 1992 Ford Festiva in near mint condition. As that lot is usually filled with big domestic pickups, this was a surprising sight to this longrooffan. I spoke to the owner of that Festive little car about it and got the inside scoop as to why it was there.

As I was heading back to my jobsite I was contemplating whether a 1992 anything could be considered a Curbside Classic. Then out of nowhere in front of Billy's Tap Room (established 1922) beachside Ormond, I spotted this Opel GT turn off John Anderson Parkway in front of me while I was stopped at the light at that intersection. Of course, I immediately grabbed my trusty elcheapo point and shoot camera I always try to have with me and gather the image you see above.

I mean, even if I can't put together a Curbside Classic should it escape sight, at least I can get a CC Outtake to share with all ya'll. But it was definitely much more than that.

I followed that beautiful fastback east on Granada Boulevard and then headed south on A1A in hot pursuit of it. That GT continued on down past the turn off to my condo, the Taj Mahal, and I watched as it passed several high rise beachfront hotels and condos my only thought was

Oh please, Oh please. Do not turn into one of those under the building gated parking garages thus shutting this longrooffan out of any further image taking opportunities.

Almost as if Jutta could hear me through some parallel wavelength, she pulled that sweet General Motors GT up onto an above ground parking lot adjacent to one of those beachfront condo buildings. Of course, I whipped in the parking lot just behind her, parked and strolled over to her 1968 Opel GT.

Its owner, Jutta, was just climbing out of the cockpit of this automatic transmission equipped sports car. We made eye contact and she started laughing. "I was wondering if you were following me." I laughed along with her and complimented her on her ride.

"Thank you," she replied with a slight German accent. She then proceeds to tell me she has owned the car for twenty-five years and seven years ago she had it restored.

It certainly is in pristine condition. She also commented this has been her daily driver since she bought it. "Not bad for a 75 year old woman?" she queried me.

And, yes, this is the CC Clue that c5karl guessed a mere 1 hour and 56 minutes after I posted it yesterday.

I'm not really sure if it was intentional but the rear end of this Opel has some strong Corvette design cues.

All the way down to the twin exhausts. Those split bumpers remind me of the first gen Triumph Spitfire one of my older brothers, the Bus, owned back in the early 70's.

Oh the stories about that British Racing Green sports car.

On each interior end of those bumpers on that GT is a light as shown above for illuminating the rear license plate.

I asked Jutta if she was German and she replied, "Yes but we have lived here in the states since 1965. As a matter of fact," she continued, "I took my driver's test in North Carolina on a scooter. That is the only driver's test I have ever taken."

I almost used the above image as the CC Clue and as quickly as that Clue was solved, maybe I should have. Next time it will be a lot tougher.

The interesting thing about these headlamps is they are not vacuum activated. There is a lever alongside the shift lever that is manually pulled rearward to open these lights.

Yes it is a rare sight, at least in running condition, around these here parts.

This is definitely a fastback and the only way to access the rear of this car is, also very Corvette like, through the interior behind the seats.

As Jutta was showing me around the car she pointed out where she had backed into her sister's car in their driveway. "Sometimes I feel like a dunce," she commented.

She then asked me if I had seen the orange one that is also around town? I replied in the negative.

 "Young man, just wait until you see it. It is absolutely gorgeous."

So is yours Jutta, so is yours.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

They Say The Economy Is Getting Better

But this olelongrooffan thinks Diana Pendleton might feel a little bit differently.

However, the fact this olelongrooffan has three fairly warm employment opportunities going on right now sure helps me

Celebrate Life.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Moon, The Sun and The Earth

After the horrific tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri on Sunday (I grew up 30 miles from there), I thought an image of the beauty that Mother Nature can also bring was in order.

This is the sunset at the North Pole with the moon at its closest point to Earth on January 13, 2011 This is a scene you and this olelongrooffan will probably never get to see in person, so please take a moment and enjoy. And, you also see the sun below the moon, an amazing photo and not one easily duplicated. 

And thanks to TomK, this really allows me to

Celebrate Life.

Thanks TomK

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Art of The Automotive Lifestyle Car Show, Part 1

As this olelongrooffan mentioned here, I stumbled on an absolutely awe inspiring car show a couple weeks ago.  I mean I have been to many car shows over the years and they all are pretty cool but this one had over a thousand vehicles in it and the diversity was astounding.

I mean Counters, just check out the variety here

An 80's era El Camino with '57 Chevy panels attached.

A Meyers-Manx dune buggy

A Series II Jaguar XKE

A late '60 Ford Ranchero and yes, that is a Cadillac Allante in the background.

A rare chrome bumper Triumph TR6.

A 70's era Lincoln Versailles

A vintage, and highly desirable, Toyota FJ Land Cruiser.

A '63 or '64 Pontiac Bonneville convertible

with these awesome wheels!

A 1959 Triumph TR3A.

The rare CJ2A around these here parts thejeepjunkie hasn't or doesn't own!

And this olelongrooffan has not even left the parking lot yet!

Man, I was able, that day, to have a blast and

Celebrate Life.

1959 Mercury Monterey; A Little More Chrome Please?

1959 Week Continues.

One of the cool things about living down here in the greater Daytona Beach, Florida is the fact that we have a bunch of car related stuff happening pretty much year round. While Curbside Classic is not about "trailer queens", at many of the shows I frequent there are many near daily drivers in attendance. (That red TR3A I posted was in the parking lot.) This 1959 Mercury Monterey is one of those near daily drivers. I have seen it on three different occassions, twice at a show and once parked in the lot of Ronald McDonald's home.

As this olelongrooffan sarcastically mentioned in the title of this post, there are chrome doodads all over this car. Admittedly, during a discussion with its owner at its most recent sighting, he added a couple items just for fun.

But really, take a look at that dashboard. There is more chrome on it that my 1963 Falcon Station Bus had on its entire body. And a suicide knob to boot.

I especially like the number arrangement on the speedometer of this Monterey. It even has chrome dashmounted power seat controls. In 1959.

The first time I spotted the old Merc was at Bellair Plaza on A1A just a few blocks from my home in Ormond Beach. This was a couple years ago and my habit back then was to gather just a couple images of a particular car and move on. Thanks to my attendance on CC, I have learned that two images just won't cut it anymore! Yes, my friends, that is a 1959 Chevy in the background of the above image.

As I mentioned, the second time I spotted it was in Mickey D's parking lot resting comfortably up against that city mandated landscape buffer. Take a look at the rear end of it. The ten different lamps on it are surrounded by miles of chrome.

Another look inside reveals even more chrome as well as an aftermarket factory air conditioning system.  I bet it has to work overtime to cool that huge cabin.

Its owner did admit to me that he had added the spotlights on both front fenders to his Monterey but they were period correct. Check out that chrome accent on the front fender just above the bumper.

Only to be matched with this trio of semi discs on its rear flanks. Yep. Chrome. Everywhere.

The owner just had to add to all that period correct chrome with a pair of curb feelers on each corner, just for fun.

I still don't know what these attennas on each "C" pillar are for. There is an antenna mounted on the passenger side front fender also.

And those car shows I mentioned earlier? It appears this car has appeared at as many of them as this olelongrooffan has over the past few years.

This 122 inch wheelbase automobile is long and low.  And it just roomy enough inside for a King.

Yes, my friends, Elvis is alive and well living in a 1959 Mercury Monterey and is still stuffing himself with Big Mac's

1959 Triumph TR3A, Hey I've Been Busy

So this olelongrooffan has gone and done it again.  I am a guest contributor on yet another blog.  This one is really cool though and, yes, it is car related.  It's called Curbside Classic, kind of similar to my What I Saw Today series but way cooler.  A couple weeks ago I attended a super cool car show with thejeepjunkie and did some posts both on Curbside Classic as well as in the Hooniverse.  I thought I would pop up this one I did for 1959 week over on CC and share it with those Counting Along With Me.

Ahh....1959...the year in which my Mom and Dad both conceived and brought this longrooffan into the "Year of the Fin."

I arrived home from St. John's Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri in my Mother's lap while riding in an off white two door 1958 Chevy Belair hardtop. And not a seat belt nor a car seat in sight! Being the seventh child (of ultimately 10), this was not an unusual experience for my folks!

Incidentally, sharing my birth year were fellow Curbdweller jpcavanaugh (welcome aboard!), Barbie, Food Stamps, The Coppertone Girl, and Coors gave birth to the aluminum can. And a little known fact, Ford beat Chrysler in a court battle for the use of the Falcon nameplate!

But I am certain my Curbdwelling friends don't really want to take a stroll down memory lane with this olelongrooffan. Let's talk about some really cool stuff. Like Cars. From 1959. "The Year of the Fin."

Yes, the "Year of the Fin." In my opinion, 1959 represented the ultimate in design excess, especially when it came to the rear end of General Motors offerings. But I still like them. Alot.

A couple of extreme representatives of this styling were the 59 Impala, with its huge picnic table like horizontal fins as shown above. It is interesting, the 57 Chevy's had huge vertical fins, the 58 I rode home in sported angular fins leading to the 59's huge horizontal ones. Transistional styling direction by GM back in the day seemed to be the case.

And I don't know about you but I think Paul's most recent CC Clue has to be somewhere on that 59 Impala. I just can't find it.

And these even larger vertical fins offered by Cadillac that model year. This was the most extreme fin offered on a production car (the Rocket Cars weren't production) to date and lasted only one model year. But a hell of a lot of them were built and are still around. Just look at the shadow cast by that driver's side fin on the trunk as captured in the last afternoon sun down here in the Sunshine State a year or so ago!

But, as the headline suggests, this is not about fins or, for that matter, something even constructed here in the United States for that model year. No, this is about my favorite '50's era sports car, the Triumph TR3A.

All jokes about Lucas Electrics, jars of smoke and oil leaks aside, these cars represented a break through in the offering of modern British sports cars in the United States.

There were several remarkable items included in 1957 redesign of the Triumph TR including the wind deflectors on the windscreen,

As well as secondary set screws to hold the bonnet in place. Yeah, one of these on each side of the hood to provide a backup to the standard latch.

This one possesses the optional luggage rack on the rear deck. I always wanted to get one of these cool items for the deck of my E30 convertible. And see that removable panel to which the license plate is attached? Stay tuned for more on that.

Last year while I was out and about I spotted this white one at a show down in Cocoa Beach. It, unlike the red one I saw a couple weeks ago, possesses steel wheels as opposed to the optional wire wheels on the red one.

Under its hood there were twin SU carburetors attached to that 1991 cc (2.0L) product of the, what was at that time still independent, Triumph Motor Company in Coventry, England.

This one also contained the optional rear seat although it is suitable for a couple bags of groceries and maybe a small pet.

And remember that panel I pointed out earlier? Behind it is the spare tire. Between it and the petrol tank, there is probably not a whole lot of trunk room in this little sweetie.

About 15 years ago, my Dad sent me a thick scrapbook of old car ads, old car stories and other miscellaneous old car print material. One of the items contained within that scrapbook is a copy of an article titled "Stars and Their Cars." Included in that article was this image of Anne Francis, of Hollywood fame, posed on the bonnet of her Triumph, although this one is an earlier TR model as is evidenced by the "small" grill on its nose.

And in a final somewhat related note, the above photo is of a good friend posed on the front of his 1958 Morris Garages MGA, a direct competitor to the Triumph TR3A, back in the day. This was his first car and to this day he laments ever selling it! Sound familiar? Also, just check out all those Curbside Classic's just down the street!

(digital images by longrooffan, photos courtesy Robert G. Lee, TomK)