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Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction, Part 6

Cadillac has long been GM's luxury marque and synonymous with "top of the line". In fact, they used to say that Hewlett-Packard instruments were the Cadillacs of the industry. Obviously, only well-off individuals of the day could afford such expensive luxury vehicles. My family was never in that league and, perhaps to reduce dissonance, my friends and I used to cast aspersions on the designs of these "land yachts".

For example, I was very much amused by the strange design of Cadillac's rear fenders. As you may recall during the late 1940s through the early 1960s, they evolved from bumps that included the tail lights to sharp fins that looked like they might slice off an extremity as the car passed by. With maturity, I find that I have more appreciation of those designs.

This vehicle is a 1950 Cadillac Fleetwood 4 Door Sedan which, according to the seller, "was at the top of the line in the USA in the era". What I found more interesting was that the car was purchased on behalf of a 12-year old boy with Multiple Sclerosis. Further, the original title was kept under the hood in front of the radiator. The car only has less than 31,000 original miles.

For some reason, this 1950 Ford F-1 Custom Pickup caught my eye. It seemed to speak to me — perhaps one of my relatives had a similar truck — I can't recall for sure.

This one was nicely restored and had even learned to write — notice the sign "PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH ME". Sorry about that — I just took my little buddy, Johnny, to see Cars 2 (his first time in a movie theater) — and I still expect cars and trucks to think and speak (and write).

Oh, another woody — my weakness. This one is a 1950 Ford 2 Door Woody Wagon. According to the seller it has only been repainted one time and has a mere 59,000 original miles on it.

The history of the car is special in that it belonged to Tom and Dick Smothers (The Smothers Brothers) for many years. Tommy named it "Yoyoman" after he used the same name in part of their act where he demonstrated his impressive talent performing yo-yo tricks.

Wow, what a nice 1951 Ford Custom 2 Door Hardtop! I love the paint job. And it reminds me of the car that a friend had during my teenage years — although his was a 1950 Ford and we had to imagine the paint job. He was the only one with a car and became our transportation to high school. Much cooler than riding the bus.

In addition to the great paint job, this car also has the flathead V8, 3-speed transmission with overdrive. Even the clock works.

Here is a 1954 Ford Sunliner Convertible. This vehicle is the result of a 12-year, nut and bolt restoration to show standards. Fully power including top, seat, windows, brakes, steering and convertible kit. In fact, it was the cover car for Automobile Collectible in April, 2006.

Quite honestly, it is the continental kit that raises the image of a rather prosaic Ford and really makes this vehicle stand out.

Well take my breath away — a 1954 Chevrolet Corvette convertible. This is a first generation Corvette, having just been introduced with the 1953 model year (with only 300 hand-built cars made). This was every boy's dream when I was growing up. And the funny thing is that my favorite Corvettes are these earlier models, especially the 1961 and 1962 model years.


I have a theory and this is an appropriate time to share. I noticed that the largest set of cars on sale were from the 1950s. That would have been the time when the Baby Boomers (myself included) were becoming aware of cars. Now as many of those individuals are now in middle age, probably empty-nesters, those with a few extra bucks and some time on their hands can indulge that little boy passion for cars of this era.

"The only difference between men and boys is the cost of their toys." Author Unknown

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com