Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Even Non-Car People Can Revisit Memories

It turns out, even non-car people can love the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car auction festivities. I dragged my daughter to family day, a preview fun event for regular folks to see the cars ( I am sure a few buyers were there checking out the stuff). My daughter loves old Corvettes and all old sportscars, and she saw her first "Woodies", Model T's and other vintage vehicles.
It was a blast: there were cars, but there was art, clothing, jewelry, food, vintage signs and gas tanks -- something for everyone, car person or not. You can rent golf carts to get around if you cannot walk around the mammoth displays.
The tent of cars for the charity auction had an Elvis-style Cadillac, Ken Caminiti's 57 Chevy being sold for charity and a variety of other Dusenbergs and very vintage vehicles. It was next to the Rock 'N Roll auction goods, including gold records, a drawing by John Lennon when he was 11, other clothing and memorabilia. Regretfully, only bidders could enter or we would have seen a Beatles headboard (gate?) and a piano played by John Lennon. My daughter wanted to touch it.
I loved the "Huckster", an old produce delivery truck, obviously the origin of my father-in-law's favorite shopping venue. The Fiat "Jolly" is a vehicle from Europe used by "playboys and their supermodel girlfriends" (My first car was a Fiat, but not a "Jolly".) We saw vintage sedans and convertibles from 1900 to 2000, with the majority of cars between the 50s to 70s.
Pamela Anderson had restored a 1960 red Cadillac convertible that was a big hit and was very cool!!! It was done as an engagement gift for Kid Rock. Another guy had rescued a 1952 Chevrolet Motorhome and lovingly restored it -- everyone that took off their shoes to go inside never wanted to leave. He is now working on a 1947 model. A Plymouth Fury was completely redone, with photos following it from the junkyard to completion.
My daughter loved the vintage bugs, all kinds of Corvettes, particularly the smashing "Miss Rose", in dusty pink, of course. I saw cars I used to have in the 70's. But my overall favorite was a 1907 Cadillac convertible. Two guys had inherited it from their dad. They were polishing the chrome, wiping it with a soft cloth, answering questions from people of all ages. What struck me was the iPod speaker dock on the floor of the car. 1907 goes to 2007.
I, for one, am going back in 2008. Yes, for the cars, but for the trip down memory lane, seeing old cars, Flying A neon signs, and people who have a passion for something of their past. As we waited for the shuttle back to the parking lot, a family with three sons were discussing the different cars they had seen. Since Ford sponsored family day, our bus was filled with mechanics from various Ford dealerships, carrying the auction catalog and looking at cars. Most folks there could never buy any of these cars, but we got to touch them, sit in them and talk about memories with our kids.
At least I did. She pointed to a 1915 Model T and asked if that car was my age. Thankfully, she did not ask if I rode in the original 1880 Wells Fargo stagecoach. Wow, those settlers were determined, riding in those cramped coaches over bumpy terrain on wooden seats. It was eye-opening. Many parents were telling their kids that those were the main form of transportation until the late 1800's; hard to imagine how much the world has changed since that stagecoach made a run across the country.